Chp 17

"Know Thyself" & My Body/Mind's Unconscious Function?
I'm still nurturing my nature's unconscious urge, in the creative symbolization of existential meaning?

Its January 2014: 18 months since I first wrote, "creative symbolization of existential meaning?"
As I continue to unfold more of my innate nature, and explore the inner reality of my sense of being?
Shedding mechanistic logic & cognitive pretensions of maturity, nature's muse is in the music, I see?

Late last year I had the surreal experience of dealing with a "machine" logic, and having, one of those strange moments, when Pink Floyd's anthem, or ode to our current age, sprang into my mind. I'd been to my Australian governments centrelink office for a scheduled three monthly interview. Unfortunately, the "system" was having problems that day, and didn't properly record my visit. Hence I received a text message three days later, saying I had not attended and should contact my local office, asap. As instructed by the logical machine, I did so and was told to ignore the text message, "it's probably just a glitch in the system." Yet a week later the logical machine told me that my government support payment had been suspended, due to my non-compliance with its logical instruction. So back into the local office I went, to speak face to face with a innately rational, human being.

'You did not attend your interview Mr Bates, that is why your payment is suspended.'

'But I did attend that interview and thats why I've been transfered to this particular office.'

'No! Look here, it says that you did not meet your obligation to attend a scheduled interview.'

'Yes, but as I said when I sat down, they were having problems with the system that day.'

The official looked at me perplexed, not sure whether to believe me or the logic of the machine, then continued searching the screen again for some sign of what to do here. I was as patient as I could be with this lack of trust in my human integrity, although feeling like the machine has replaced the good enough parent, for the person sitting in front of me. Half a minute passed by before I said.

'Look, its a computer program, it does not posses self-reflection, it doesn't know when its wrong, only you can sense that, because your a sentient human being, not a machine.'

Reluctantly the official accepted my plea for human sanity, in my rage against the machine, and restored a balance of reason. Yet it does make one wonder about our increasing reliance on objects and particularly the mechanistic logic of the machine? It makes me wonder, about our "objectifying" responses to each other? It makes me contemplate the meaning of this song;

Was the 1960's really the beginning of a Revolution? A Steady Rise in Mass-Consciousness?

Welcome my son, welcome to the machine.
Where have you been? It's alright we know where you've been.
You've been in the pipeline, filling in time,
Provided with toys and Scouting for Boys.
You bought a guitar to punish your ma,
And you didn't like school, and you know you're nobody's fool,
So welcome to the machine.
Welcome my son, welcome to the machine.
What did you dream? It's alright we told you what to dream.
You dreamed of a big star, he played a mean guitar,
He always ate in the Steak Bar. He loved to drive in his Jaguar.
So welcome to the machine. _Pink Floyd.

In the previous chapter, I wrote of  Mind - Madness & Mother Nature's Method, suggesting that mother nature underpins our human unconscious. Hence my quip above "the muse is in the music, I see." Yet what is the muse (nature) trying to say, beneath our current tendency to assume that maturity, is equated with an intellectual knowing or the "objective" appearance of understanding? Is an ability to regurgitate facts and figures, a sign of maturity, or is maturity more a question of emotional growth, than intellectual IQ? Why does this well known song begin its opening verse with "Welcome my son, welcome to the machine?" Does our faith in the cause and effect, scientific method and our intellectual sense of objective logic, deceive us? Is Pink Floyd's famous song, suggesting something's wrong with our mind's "cognitive" perception?

Are our first world economies increasingly based on the acquisition of knowledge, where cognitive capacity and performance are assumed to be more valuable than physical skills, dexterity and lived wisdom? Are our younger generations, becoming cognitive cogs in an economic knowledge machine? Why is it, that in this age of rising standard's of mass education, we also have rising levels of unhappiness and mental illness? Especially in our so-called, first world countries? Are our education institutions churning out people with a false sense of self? Please consider;

Non-PhDs need not apply? A Mark of the knowledge economy?
Does higher education outweigh real-life experience, in Mental Health?
The Knowledge Economy?
Is PhD research into mental health about the livelihood of researchers, more so, than the mental health of other people? 
In a hierarchically structured society, which group of people does the knowledge economy serve?
Like the money markets of the worlds stock exchanges, can knowledge be the basis of a real economy?
"We're in a knowledge economy and it is about being able to demonstrate that the most capable staff are on the books to give the best possible experience to students,"

Professor Marshall added. But such capabilities could equally come from expertise gained outside the research degree track, she said. "I would argue it is about what's fit for purpose....

A Cog's view, from our Industrial Age?
A Mechanistic, Cause & Effect Cognition?
different discipline areas will require different skill sets to deliver the best outcomes for students." New universities are just as likely as those in the Russell Group of large research-intensive institutions to require academic staff to have PhDs or the equivalent relevant experience.

UK universities are increasingly pushing for academic staff to hold PhDs, an investigation has revealed. Almost 30 per cent of the 113 universities that responded to a Freedom of Information request by Times Higher Education say they have aims or commitments to increase their proportion of academics with doctorates, whether by hiring new staff or by providing training for existing employees. See: Doctoral-level thinking: non-PhDs need not apply By Elizabeth Gibney.

Does higher education provide more perceptive insights than real-life experience? (read more here)

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Please consider how I started chapter 12 of this online journal in August 2012, after another six week long psychosis had charged my brain/nervous system with enough metabolic energy to reconfigure, those neural pathways within my brain stem and limbic system, in an unconscious need to face reality, as it is. Face reality, without the habitually fearful "neuroception" that I'd acquired through a traumatic birth and life experience.

The Door & Key to Self-Revelation: An Existential Journey?
Nature's unconscious urge, in the creative symbolization of existential meaning?

What is The True Nature of Our Existential Reality?

The 1960's? The beginning of a Revolution? A Rise in Mass-Consciousness, towards Realization?

Born in 1951, at beginning of the second half of a 20th century. A period infamous for its carnage and loss on a truly global scale, and the birth of the nuclear age. An age which has begun the pressure for a more enlightened view of our predominately, tribal existence. For illogical and objectively irrational reasons I have held the belief since childhood that this period of human history, was in fact the prophesied Armageddon of the Christian Bible. I have always been drawn to the existential meaning of the Biblical stories and their possible interpretation on differing levels, of our daily existence. Metaphor, Myth & Meaning, fascinate me and fire my sense of curiosity like no other field of human interest. And of coarse it was a prayer to God about my deep desire for a new existential reality, which first triggered my thirty two year journey, of mental illness experience and recovery. Why has this sense of Biblical metaphor and meaning, plagued me since childhood, and been central to my experience of euphoric mania, whether on or off, psychotropic medications? And what does my experience have to do with Biblical prophecy and a public debate about mental illness and its treatment?

A public debate which is now raging in America, where there are grave concerns about an epidemic of mental illness. Arguably, America leads the world, as the dominant cultural-tribal force, and carries the Christian Bible deep within its own cultural bosom, often perceiving itself as a nation of historical destiny. Consider this passage from Wikipedia, on the history and influence of Armageddon theology-mythology;
"Influence: The idea that a final Battle of Armageddon will be fought at Tel Megiddo has had a wide influence, especially in the US. According to Donald E. Wagner, Professor of Religion and Director of the Center for Middle Eastern Studies at North Park University, Ronald Reagan was an adherent of "Armageddon theology," and "seemed to blend his political analysis with his Armageddon theology quite naturally."

At first glance, my linking of what to many is an outdated and tribal religious history, will have no connection to the science and humane treatment of mental illness? Our current consensus reality in first world countries, is generally one of mutual exclusivity, when it comes to comparing religious metaphors with objective science. Understandable reactions will be an assumption of simplistic emotional associations, in my presentation here? Many will no doubt see a confirmation of psychotic thinking and delusion?

Yet the very premise of my argument here, is to show a fundamental mistake in our highly subjective, consensus reality, with denial as the core stimulus need in our socialized sense of self? A fundamental confusion about the primary process reality of the body and the secondary process subjective nature of the mind. Our socialized and idealized sense of self, confuses emotionally energized states of mind, with the fundamental nature of our existential reality, our body? We do this because human society's civilization process demanded a denial of our evolved nature, stimulated by a deep fear of chaos and anarchy? Our social consensus reality, based on a denial of our true nature takes two major forms, either objectification or mystification of the human condition?

So what does my experience of multiple psychoses have to do with Biblical prophecy and a public debate on mental illness? Well, is Mental Illness better defined as an Existential Crisis? The experience of mental illness can be judged as a biological disease process, in line with our current consensus, or perceived as a profound challenge to an individual's existential reality, in what it really means to be a functioning human being? "Your out of your freaking mind!" Is often the harsh judgment of psychotic experience, while failing to acknowledge how our adult state of mind is based on a suppression of innate affect/emotion, beginning in the second year of life? We suppress our own evolved nature, for the sake of social harmony? We think and we say the word EVOLUTION, yet we fail to fully embody it, we deny its felt reality by suppressing sensation, and we fall into the trap of unconscious trauma conditioning, through our learned denial?

Is it time to face up to our Denial & The Damage Done?
As we look at our fellow human beings at the beginning of this 21st century A.D. There seems to be a deep yearning and rising desire for a return to the ancient wisdom of an embodied sense of self and an honoring of our organic nature, as truly immersed within the reality of our planets biosphere. In this chapter I hope to show you the qualitative difference in depth of self-awareness, between our everyday survival needs and our capacity to perceive our true-self. There are two distinct levels to our sense of self? Further-more I hope to open the door to a self-revelation that was always meant to be, in the natural evolution of our human consciousness? As we continue to fall into the self-realization of this Chemical Universe within? Consider;

From Object Like Self-Definition to Chemical?

"Evolving definitions
The concept of an "element" as an undivisible substance has developed through three major historical phases: Classical definitions (such as those of the ancient Greeks), chemical definitions, and atomic definitions.
Classical definitions
Ancient philosophy posited a set of classical elements to explain observed patterns in nature. These elements originally referred to earth, water, air and fire rather than the chemical elements of modern science. The term 'elements' (stoicheia) was first used by the Greek philosopher Plato in about 360 BCE, in his dialogue Timaeus, which includes a discussion of the composition of inorganic and organic bodies and is a speculative treatise on chemistry. Plato believed the elements introduced a century earlier by Empedocles were composed of small polyhedral forms: tetrahedron (fire), octahedron (air), icosahedron (water), and cube (earth).
Aristotle, c. 350 BCE, also used the term stoicheia and added a fifth element called aether, which formed the heavens. Aristotle defined an element as:

Element – one of those bodies into which other bodies can decompose, and that itself is not capable of being divided into other."

Neuropeptides: Our Chemical Elements Within?
Neuropeptides are small protein-like molecules used by neurons to communicate with each other, distinct from the larger neurotransmitters. They are neuronal signaling molecules, influence the activity of the brain in specific ways and are thus involved in particular brain functions, like analgesia, reward, food intake, learning and memory.

Neuropeptides are expressed and released by neurons, and mediate or modulate neuronal communication by acting on cell surface receptors. The human genome contains about 90 genes that encode precursors of neuropeptides. At present about 100 different peptides are known to be released by different populations of neurons in the mammalian brain. Neurons use many different chemical signals to communicate information, including neurotransmitters, peptides, cannabinoids, and even some gases, like nitric oxide.

Peptide signals play a role in information processing that is different from that of conventional neurotransmitters, and many appear to be particularly associated with specific behaviours. For example, oxytocin and vasopressin have striking and specific effects on social behaviours, including maternal behaviour and pair bonding.

We all know the phrase "we are made of stardust," yet how do we embody this reality?

Please Consider how Perception is Chemically Created, Inside You?

From an Earthly Survival Need, to a Cosmic Self-Revelation?

“If you want to change the world, you have to change the metaphor” _Joseph Campbell.

From object oriented to chemical metaphors of self-awareness & interpretation?
Feel the frizz of real-life chemical sensations within you?
Our Evolving Self-Definition?
As Cosmic Survival?

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The Nature of the Body, as a Door to Ancient Wisdom?
Is the phrase "know thyself," about the Nature of our Body/Mind & Sense of Self?
Please consider;

"Know thyself

The Ancient Greek aphorism "Know thyself" (Greek: γνῶθι σεαυτόν, transliterated: gnōthi seauton; also ... σαυτόν ... sauton with the ε contracted), is one of the Delphic maxims and was inscribed in the pronaos (forecourt) of the Temple of Apollo at Delphi according to the Greek periegetic (travelogue) writer Pausanias. The maxim, or aphorism, "know thyself" has had a variety of meanings attributed to it in literature. The Suda, a 10th-century encyclopedia of Greek knowledge, says: "the proverb is applied to those whose boasts exceed what they are," and that "know thyself" is a warning to pay no attention to the opinion of the multitude.

Ancient Egyptian
There are two parts of the ancient Luxor temple: the outer temple where the beginning initiates are allowed to come, and the inner temple where one can enter only after proven worthy and ready to acquire the higher knowledge and insights. One of the proverbs in the Outer Temple is "The body is the house of God." That is why it is said, "Man know thyself." In the Inner Temple, one of the many proverbs is "Man, know thyself ... and thou shalt know the gods."

By Plato
Plato employs the maxim 'Know Thyself' extensively by having the character of Socrates use it to motivate his dialogues. Plato makes it clear that Socrates is referring to a long-established wisdom. Benjamin Jowett's index to his translation of the Dialogues of Plato lists six dialogues which discuss or explore the saying of Delphi: 'know thyself.' These dialogues (and the Stephanus numbers indexing the pages where these discussions begin) are Charmides (164D), Protagoras (343B), Phaedrus (229E), Philebus (48C), Laws (II.923A), I Alcibiades (124A, 129A, 132C).

In Plato's Charmides, Critias refers to the maxim consistently with the view expressed in the Suda, with Critias saying, "for they imagined that 'Know Thyself!' was a piece of advice which the god gave and not his salutation of the worshippers at their first coming in." In modern words Critias gives his opinion that 'Know Thyself!' was an admonition to those entering the sacred temple to remember or know their place and Critias says, " 'know thyself!' and 'be temperate!' are the same. Notice that when the words of Critias are written, 'thyself' and 'temperate' are punctuated with exclamation marks in the English translations, as if they were commands. In the balance of the Charmides (dialogue), Plato has Socrates lead a longer inquiry as to how we may gain knowledge of ourselves. In Plato's Phaedrus, Socrates uses the maxim 'know thyself' as his explanation to Phaedrus for why he has no time for mythology or other far flung topics. Socrates says, "But I have no leisure for them at all; and the reason, my friend, is this: I am not yet able, as the Delphic inscription has it, to know myself; so it seems to me ridiculous, when I do not yet know that, to investigate irrelevant things."

In Plato's Protagoras, Socrates lauds the authors of pithy and concise sayings delivered precisely at the right moment and says that Lacedaemon, or Sparta, educates its people to that end. Socrates lists the Seven Sages as Thales, Pittacus, Bias, Solon, Cleobulus, Myson, and Chilon, who he says are gifted in that Lacedaemonian art of concise words "twisted together, like a bowstring, where a slight effort gives great force." Socrates says examples of them are, "the far-famed inscriptions, which are in all men's mouths,--'Know thyself,' and 'Nothing too much'.". Having lauded the maxims, Socrates then spends a great deal of time getting to the bottom of what one of them means, the saying of Pittacus, 'Hard is it to be good.' The irony here is that although the sayings of Delphi bear 'great force,' it is not clear how to live life in accordance with their meanings.

In Plato's Philebus dialogue, Socrates refers back to the same usage of 'know thyself' from Phaedrus to build an example of the ridiculous for Protarchus. Socrates says, as he did in Phaedrus, that people make themselves appear ridiculous when they are trying to know obscure things before they know themselves. Plato also alluded to the fact that understanding 'thyself,' would have a greater yielded factor of understanding the nature of a human being. Syllogistically, understanding oneself would enable thyself to have an understanding of others as a result.

Later usage
From 1539 onwards the phrase nosce te ipsum and its Latin variants were often used in the anonymous texts written for anatomical fugitive sheets printed in Venice as well as for later anatomical atlases printed throughout Europe. The 1530s fugitive sheets are the first instances in which the phrase was applied to knowledge of the human body attained through dissection.

In 1651, Thomas Hobbes used the term nosce teipsum which he translated as 'read thyself' in his famous work, The Leviathan. He was responding to a popular philosophy at the time that you can learn more by studying others than you can from reading books. He asserts that one learns more by studying oneself: particularly the feelings that influence our thoughts and motivate our actions. As Hobbes states, "but to teach us that for the similitude of the thoughts and passions of one man, to the thoughts and passions of another, whosoever looketh into himself and considereth what he doth when he does think, opine, reason, hope, fear, etc., and upon what grounds; he shall thereby read and know what are the thoughts and passions of all other men upon the like occasions."

In 1734, Alexander Pope wrote a poem entitled "An Essay on Man, Epistle II", which begins "Know then thyself, presume not God to scan, The proper study of mankind is Man." From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Temple, as The Body/Mind & The Cosmos Within?
Is ancient wisdom suggesting the Body/Mind, as a Temple of Cosmic Creation?

Is Psychosis Our Evolved Nature, "Acting-Out?"
Consider sage advice, about the human body & the analogy of a cave;

“The cave you fear to enter holds the treasure you seek.” _Joseph Campbell.

“Gods suppressed become devils, and often it is these devils whom we first encounter
when we turn inward.” _Joseph Campbell.

Recall a statement from chapter 12 and America's public debate on mental illness;
ELYN SAKS, author, "The Center Cannot Hold: My Journey Through Madness":

I think I actually have special insight, because I have experienced those things myself. I'm a person with chronic schizophrenia.
The best way to describe having a psychotic episode is like a waking nightmare, where things are crazy, bizarre, frightening, confusing.

Elyn Saks has stated publically that she believes that both schizophrenia and bipolar disorder are brain diseases, which at this point in time mirrors the Western world's general consensus on mental illness. Yet can ancient wisdom and philosophy shed light on the reason why, despite 100 years of research and billions of dollars spent, there is still no empirical evidence, of a brain disease process in either schizophrenia or bipolar disorder? What does Plato have to say about the nature of our human reality, within? Please consider;

Allegory of the Cave

The Allegory of the Cave—also known as the Analogy of the Cave, Plato's Cave, or the Parable of the Cave—is presented by the Greek philosopher Plato in his work The Republic (514a-520a) to compare "..the effect of education and the lack of it on our nature." It is written as a dialogue between Plato's brother Glaucon and his mentor Socrates, narrated by the latter. The Allegory of the Cave is presented after the metaphor of the sun (508b–509c) and the analogy of the divided line (509d–513e). All three are characterized in relation to dialectic at the end of Book VII and VIII (531d–534e).

Plato has Socrates describe a group of people who have lived chained to the wall of a cave all of their lives, facing a blank wall. The people watch shadows projected on the wall by things passing in front of a fire behind them, and begin to ascribe forms to these shadows. According to Plato's Socrates, the shadows are as close as the prisoners get to viewing reality. He then explains how the philosopher is like a prisoner who is freed from the cave and comes to understand that the shadows on the wall do not make up reality at all, as he can perceive the true form of reality rather than the mere shadows seen by the prisoners.

The Allegory may be related to Plato's Theory of Forms, according to which the "Forms" (or "Ideas"), and not the material world of change known to us through sensation, possess the highest and most fundamental kind of reality. Only knowledge of the Forms constitutes real knowledge.[1] In addition, the Allegory of the Cave is an attempt to explain the philosopher's place in society: to attempt to enlighten the "prisoners."

Plato's Phaedo contains similar imagery to that of the Allegory of the Cave; a philosopher recognizes that before philosophy, his soul was "a veritable prisoner fast bound within his body... and that instead of investigating reality by itself and in itself it is compelled to peer through the bars of its prison."

Inside the cave[edit source | editbeta]

In Plato's fictional dialogue, Socrates begins by describing a scenario in which what people take to be real would in fact be an illusion. He asks Glaucon to imagine a cave inhabited by prisoners who have been chained and held immobile since childhood: not only are their legs (but not arms) held in place, but their necks are also fixed, so they are compelled to gaze at a wall in front of them. Behind the prisoners is an enormous fire, and between the fire and the prisoners is a raised walkway, along which people walk carrying things on their heads "including figures of men and animals made of wood, stone and other materials". The prisoners cannot see the raised walkway or the people walking, but they watch the shadows cast by the men, not knowing they are shadows. There are also echoes off the wall from the noise produced from the walkway.
Socrates suggests the prisoners would take the shadows to be real things and the echoes to be real sounds created by the shadows, not just reflections of reality, since they are all they had ever seen or heard. They would praise as clever, whoever could best guess which shadow would come next, as someone who understood the nature of the world, and the whole of their society would depend on the shadows on the wall.

Release from the cave[edit source | editbeta]

Allegory of the Cave. Left (From top to bottom): Sun; Natural things; Shadows of natural things; Fire; Artificial objects; Shadows of artificial objects; Analogy level.
Right (From top to bottom): "Good" idea, Ideas, Mathematical objects, Light, Creatures and Objects, Image, Metaphor of the sun, and the Analogy of the divided line
Socrates then supposes that a prisoner is freed and permitted to stand up. If someone were to show him the things that had cast the shadows, he would not recognize them for what they were and could not name them; he would believe the shadows on the wall to be more real than what he sees.
"Suppose further," Socrates says, "that the man was compelled to look at the fire: wouldn't he be struck blind and try to turn his gaze back toward the shadows, as toward what he can see clearly and hold to be real? What if someone forcibly dragged such a man upward, out of the cave: wouldn't the man be angry at the one doing this to him? And if dragged all the way out into the sunlight, wouldn't he be distressed and unable to see 'even one of the things now said to be true' because he was blinded by the light?"
After some time on the surface, however, the freed prisoner would acclimate. He would see more and more things around him, until he could look upon the Sun. He would understand that the Sun is the "source of the seasons and the years, and is the steward of all things in the visible place, and is in a certain way the cause of all those things he and his companions had been seeing" (516b–c). (See alsoPlato's metaphor of the Sun, which occurs near the end of The Republic, Book VI.)[3]

Return to the cave[edit source | editbeta]

Socrates next asks Glaucon to consider the condition of this man. "Wouldn't he remember his first home, what passed for wisdom there, and his fellow prisoners, and consider himself happy and them pitiable? And wouldn't he disdain whatever honors, praises, and prizes were awarded there to the ones who guessed best which shadows followed which? Moreover, were he to return there, wouldn't he be rather bad at their game, no longer being accustomed to the darkness? Wouldn't it be said of him that he went up and came back with his eyes corrupted, and that it's not even worth trying to go up? And if they were somehow able to get their hands on and kill the man who attempts to release and lead them up, wouldn't they kill him?" (517a) The prisoners, ignorant of the world behind them, would see the freed man with his corrupted eyes and be afraid of anything but what they already know. Philosophers analyzing the allegory argue that the prisoners would ironically find the freed man stupid due to the current state of his eyes and temporarily not being able to see the shadows which are the world to the prisoners.

Remarks on the allegory[edit source | editbeta]

Socrates remarks that this allegory can be taken with what was said before, namely the metaphor of the Sun, and the divided line. In particular, he likens
"the region revealed through sight"—the ordinary objects we see around us—"to the prison home, and the light of the fire in it to the power of the Sun. And in applying the going up and the seeing of what's above to the soul's journey to the intelligible place, you not mistake my expectation, since you desire to hear it. A god doubtless knows if it happens to be true. At all events, this is the way the phenomena look to me: in the region of the knowable the last thing to be seen, and that with considerable effort, is the idea of good; but once seen, it must be concluded that this is indeed the cause for all things of all that is right and beautiful—in the visible realm it gives birth to light and its sovereign; in the intelligible realm, itself sovereign, it provided truth and intelligence—and that the man who is going to act prudently in private or in public must see you it" (517b–c).
After "returning from divine contemplations to human evils", a man
"is graceless and looks quite ridiculous when—with his sight still dim and before he has gotten sufficiently accustomed to the surrounding darkness—he is compelled in courtrooms or elsewhere to contend about the shadows of justice or the representations of which they are the shadows, and to dispute about the way these things are understood by men who have never seen justice itself?" (517d–e)

Influence[edit source | editbeta]

Evolutionary biologist Jeremy Griffith's best-selling book A Species In Denial includes the chapter Deciphering Plato’s Cave Allegory

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Our Internal Cave of Unconscious Projections?
"Returning from divine contemplations to human evils"
And Murray Bowen's "Family Therapy in Clinical Practice."
Please consider;

"The conventional steps in the examination, diagnosis, hospitalization, and treatment of “mental patients” are so fixed as a part of medicine, psychiatry, and all interlocking medical, legal, and social systems that change is difficult. There are other projection processes. Society is creating more ‘patients” of people with dysfunctions whose dysfunctions are a product of the projection process. Alcoholism is a good example. At the very time alcoholism was being understood as the product of family relationships, the concept of ‘alcoholism as a disease” finally came into general acceptance.

There might be some advantage to treating it as a disease rather than a social offense, but labeling with a diagnosis invokes the ills of the societal projection process, it helps fix the problem in the patient, and it absolves the family and society of their contribution. Other categories of functional dysfunctions are in the process of being called sickness. The total trend is seen as the product of a lower level of self in society. If, and when, society pulls up to a higher level of functioning such issues will be automatically modified to fit the new level of differentiation. To debate such a specific issue in society, with the amount of intense emotion in the issue, would result in non-productive polarization and further fixation of current policy and procedures."

And consider an excerpt from chapter 14;
Studying Family Therapy, and Murray Bowen's seminal ideas in particular, had quickened my intuitive sense of an emotional development issue, involved, somehow, in my psychoses. For me, Bowen’s unique insights into an emotional projection process, within our unconscious functioning, explained the triangular patterns of emotional reactivity in my own family, and by extension the paternalistic nature of human societies. “The family projection process is as vigorous in society as it is in the family." (Bowen, 1985) His observations of a generational transmission of "emotionality," seems to be understood within neuroscience disciplines, as an unconsciously learned, self-regulation, involving the primacy of “affect/emotion” My need for a deeper understanding of my "affective" states, led me to Silvan Tomkins conception of "affects," as the physiological foundation of human emotions. From reading Tomkins and others, it seems to me that our innate “distress” response, early in life, epitomizes this notion of primary affect/responses, stimulating emotional reactivity, and underpinning our intellect and sense of reason. (Tomkins described nine, primary, affect/responses).

Bowen‘s concept of a “differentiation of self" NEED, for each individual, within a family and society, gave direction to my experiential approach. “A person can have a well functioning intellect but intellect is intimately fused with his emotional system, and a relatively small part of his intellect is operationally differentiated from his emotional system.” (Bowen, 1985) An “intimate fusion,” which these days, neuroscience seems to understand as cortical and sub-cortical processes within the brain? Like Jaak Panksepp's seven "affective" systems SEEKING, RAGE, FEAR, LUST, CARE, PANIC/GRIEF, and PLAY. FEAR, or what Tomkins described as an innate fear-terror response, lies at the heart of my own need of self-differentiation. A need to understand the internal nature of my psychotic experiences, and improve my self-regulation. My hunch was, that my avoidant life-style, was internally motivated by fear, and mania, was an attempt to "affect" by experience, a more appropriate internal motivation. "The attempt to regulate affect - to minimize unpleasant feelings and to maximize pleasant ones - is the driving force in human motivation." (Schore, 2003). My Family Therapy training, which had included two years of group therapy, induced a fascination with the unconscious processes, involved in my own experience and interpersonal relationships. I'd watched experienced therapists gradually affect a more open and playful, emotional atmosphere, within family groups, who began therapy with somewhat closed and defensive responses. Hence, it doesn't surprise me that the world's most successful intervention for first episode psychosis, is Finland's open-dialogue approach. "in the 5-year treatment outcomes. In the ODAP group, 82% did not have any residual psychotic symptoms, 86% had returned to their studies or a full-time job" (Seikkula et al, 2004).

The success of open-dialogue’s, relationship oriented therapy, and the denial of its success by mainstream opinion, (like other successful, non-medication approaches) seems to bring a non-obvious, emotional projection process into view. Take the current controversy over the release of DSM-5, amid fears of an increasing medicalization of natural emotional experiences, for example. “Essential funds are used in the ongoing futile search for genetic markers instead of addressing the societal issues we know lead to mental health problems.” (Dillon, 2013) Making Murray Bowen’s decades earlier statement seem rather prophetic; “Society is creating more “patients” of people with dysfunctions whose dysfunctions are a product of the projection process.

Consider the sub-heading in Murray Bowen's book, from which much of the above excerpts are taken: Societal problems from an emotional systems view:
This feels like Plato's Cave to me?

The challenge of understanding my psychoses, from the inside out, has involved coming to terms with the emotional foundations of my true motivation and sense of self. In particular, this has involved "feeling" the e-motive projections which underpin my psychological sense of who I am. An ongoing experience of exploring "what I am." Exploring the reality of my evolved human nature, in accordance with the wise and ancient advice to, "know thyself." I suspect that such advice comes to us, from much further back in time than recorded history, with its long oral tradition lost in our ubiquitous tendency, for either an objectification or mystification of the human condition? Here in 2013, are we becoming rather robotic in our relationship with computers and their rather "parental" expertise? And where does the inspiration for music and verse come from, in songs like Pink Floyd's
"Welcome to the Machine."

Consider a comment exchange in my efforts to suggest how un-self-aware, we are;
OTHER: I find that all these labels and models and the separation of emotions and thoughts only over complicates things. Also, on a side note, Wikipedia is a very unreliable source of information. Sorry that I find all this far to long to read. I cannot take wikipedia as a reliable source of information (nor do many others) and would prefer you to link me to academic literature to illustrate your point. Any tom dick and harry can write a wikipedia article. They are often riddled with misinformation.

ME: Imo Your self-soothing, in your need to feel secure by way of projecting a sense of superiority onto tom dick & harry. Do you really believe that a University education fits you to be any more self-aware than the average citizen? Your judging without knowing how we do this "unconsciously," how we function with "neuroception" more so than conscious perception. The comments about "far to long" sum up this unconscious need for an at first glance perception, unconsciously stimulated? "Know Thyself" is not an academic inquiry, its about knowing yourself within, beneath our simulated pretense of a "psychological" knowing?

I include this typical exchange to illustrate the double-bind in our human nature? The instinctual underpinning of our intellect and the psychological need for a sense of certainty, fueled by an unconscious e-motive need for security? In my opinion, there is an "attachment" issue involved in all our, still emotionally immature adult functioning, which reflects the core foundational need, to feel secure? In counseling circles, it is posited that the superior ego, often encountered in therapy is driven "unconsciously" by its emotional opposite. Deep feelings of inferiority, far too painful to be held in conscious awareness. A resistance to facing reality as it is, which affects a hiding within a psychological shell. Which in Murray Bowen's terms, involves the construction of a false-self, while in Silvan Tomkins view, we learn to simulate our innate nature, in a psychological stimulation of grades of e-motive energy. Blended mixtures of nine innate affects, with some of us forced by circumstantial experience, to suffer affective disorders. I remember well, my first episode of manic psychosis, and how the energies of excitement brought me out from hiding, within my psychological shell.
Please consider more muse in the music, & the creative symbolization of existential meaning?

Hide in your shell cos the world is out to bleed you for a ride
What will you gain, making your life a little longer?
Heaven or Hell, was the journey cold that gave you eyes of steel?
Shelter behind, painting your mind and playing joker
Too frightening to listen to a stranger
Too beautiful to put your pride in danger
You're waiting for someone to understand you
But you've got demons in your closet (You've got demons in your closet)
And you're screaming out to stop it (And you're screaming out to stop it)
Saying life's begun to cheat you
Friends are out to beat you
Grab on to what you can scramble for
Don't let the tears linger on inside now
Cos it's sure time you gained control
If I can help you, if I can help you
If I can help you, just let me know
Well let me show you the nearest signpost
To get your heart back and on the road
If I can help you, if I can help you
If I can help you, just let me know

All through the night as you lie awake and hold yourself so tight
What do you need, a second-hand-movie-star to tend you?
I, as a boy, I believed the saying the cure for pain was love
How would it be if you could see the world through my eyes?
Too frightening, the fire's getting colder
Too beautiful to think you're getting older
You're looking for someone to give an answer
But what you see is just illusion (What you see is just illusion)
You're surrounded by confusion (You're surrounded by confusion)
Saying, life's begun to cheat you
Friends are out to beat you
Grab on to what you can scramble for
Don't let the tears linger on inside now
Cos it's sure time you gained control
If I can help you, if I can help you
If I can help you, just let me know
Well let me show you the nearest signpost
To get your heart back and on the road
If I can help you, if I can help you
If I can help you, just let me know

I wanna know, I wanna know, I wanna know, I've got to know
I wanna know you, I wanna know you, well let me know you
I wanna feel you, I wanna touch you, please let me near you, let me near you
Can you hear what I'm saying?
Well I'm hoping, I'm dreamin', I'm prayin'
I know what you're thinkin'
See what you're seein'
Never ever let yourself go
Hold yourself down, hold yourself down
Why d'ya hold yourself down?
Why don't you listen, you can trust me
(So what, you're gonna take it to?) There's a place I know the way to
(So what, you're gonna make it do?) A place there is need (So what's he gonna...) to feel you (So what's he gonna...)

Feel that you're all alone (So what's he gonna do?)
Oh won't you hear me (So what, you're gonna take it to?)
I know exactly what you're feelin' (So what, you're gonna make it do?)
Cos all your troubles are within you (So what's he gonna...)
So begin to (So what's he gonna...) see that I'm just bleeding to (So what's he gonna do?)
Love me, love you (So what, you're gonna take it to?)
Loving is the way to help me, help you (So what, you're gonna make it do?)
Why must we be so cool (So what's he gonna...), oh so cool? (So what's he gonna...)
Oh, we're such damn fools (So what's he gonna do?)
(So what, you're gonna take it to?) (So what, you're gonna make it do?)
(So what's he gonna...) (So what's he gonna...) (So what's he gonna do?)


Just last night I attended another of the regular group meetings of my fellow travelers, in this journey of learning to live with and recovery from the debilitating and cognitively confusing experience, we label as mental illness. We began to speak about trauma, last night and its post trauma experience. "Yeah, life in the fridge," one member remarked as we discussed that sense of being "shut down," which we had all experienced in varying degrees of depressed state. It reminded me of Peter Levine's unique understanding of trauma, and at the very same time, Supertramp's famous song, Hide in Your Shell.

Traumatized people are too “suppressed,” too stuck in “primal defenses” more appropriate to our amphibian or reptilian evolutionary predecessors. So what is a therapist to do with human beings hurt and beaten down by past trauma? Help people listen to the unspoken voice of their own bodies and to enable them to feel their “survival emotions,” of rage and terror without being overwhelmed by these powerful states.

In what ethologist’s call “tonic immobility,” helplessness, we are “scared stiff.” In human beings, unlike animals, the “state” of temporary freezing becomes a long term “trait.” A paralysis of will, shame, depression and self loathing following in the wake of such imposed helplessness.

The mental states associated with trauma are important, but they are secondary. The body initiates and the mind follows. Hence “talking cures” that engage the intellect or even the emotions, do not reach deep enough. Trauma is not a disease, but rather a human experience rooted in survival instincts. (Levine, 2010)

All through the night as you lie awake and hold yourself so tight
What do you need, a second-hand-movie-star to tend you?
I, as a boy, I believed the saying the cure for pain was love
How would it be if you could see the world through my eyes?
Too frightening, the fire's getting colder
Too beautiful to think you're getting older
You're looking for someone to give an answer
But what you see is just illusion (What you see is just illusion)
You're surrounded by confusion (You're surrounded by confusion)
Saying, life's begun to cheat you
Friends are out to beat you
Grab on to what you can scramble for
Don't let the tears linger on inside now
Cos it's sure time you gained control
If I can help you, if I can help you
If I can help you, just let me know
Well let me show you the nearest signpost
To get your heart back and on the road
If I can help you, if I can help you
If I can help you, just let me know

Of course we talked a lot, yet didn't really get past the mind's need for control and the self-deceiving illusions inherent in our normal adult, sense of reason. Don't be whimsical, don't speak in meanless rhyme without reason, be rational, be objective and help maintain the individual and group homeostasis, we label our comfort-zone. And of course we all just wanna be like everyone else, we wanna be normal. Don't we? Although, as Eckhart Tolle points out in his wonderful book; A NEW EARTH Awakening to
Your Life's Purpose:

The collective manifestations of the insanity that lies at the heart of the human condition constitute the greater part of human history. It is to a large extent a history of madness. If the history of humanity were the clinical case history of a single human being, the diagnosis would have to be: chronic paranoid delusions, a pathological propensity to commit murder and acts of extreme violence and cruelty against his perceived “enemies” – his own unconsciousness projected outward. Criminally insane, with a few brief lucid intervals. 
Fear, greed, and the desire for power are the psychological motivating forces not only behind warfare and violence between nations, tribes, religions, and ideologies, but also the cause of incessant conflict in personal relationships. They bring about a distortion in your perception of other people and yourself. Through them, you misinterpret every situation, leading to misguided action designed to rid you of fear and satisfy your need for more, a bottomless hole that can never be filled. (Tolle, 2006)

So what's normal, anyway? And what's the point of our normal tendency to "rationalize" our motivations? Our hidden metabolic energies and those pesky irrational urges, we label emotions. In my own journey within, and my need to resolve three decades of spontaneous psychoses. Experienced whether on or off, antipsychotic medications. I have needed to enter that cave we normally fear to enter, (Plato's Cave) and develop a sensate awareness of my hidden nature. My human nature, beneath my mind's normal need to remain cool, calm and collected, by dampening my internal e-motive reactivity, with rationalizations.

Lastly, in relation to my opening comment;

'Look, its a computer program, it does not posses self-reflection, it doesn't know when its wrong, only you can sense that, because your a sentient human being, not a machine.'

Please take the time to watch and listen to Stephen Porges describe what's happening to our children, as we encourage them to engage in a relationship with computer logic, rather than all those non-conscious cues involved in our real-life, face to face, human relationships. No wonder our mental health care professionals are getting the sense that mental illness, is on the rise, in our youth.

Does our common-sense, of being normal, really understand the nature of psychosis?

“The cave you fear to enter holds the treasure you seek.” _Joseph Campbell.

Are Plato's shadows, our denied instinctual nature?

Is there an elephant in the room of our mental health debate?

'I'm not an animal!'

Then what does the word "evolution" actually mean? Is it just a label? Never to be "embodied?"

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