According to American psychologist Martin Seligman, depression in humans is similar to learned helplessness in laboratory animals, who remain in unpleasant situations when they are able to escape, but do not because they initially learned they had no control.– anomynous
From the standpoint of evolution, depression may be a good thing as it enforces "the body" to rest while healing functions kick in and as well signals empathetic others to come to your aid, lest you wither away in your pining isolation. Of course, were this true, we would have to expect some degree of compassion would as well have been selected among social animals. Darwin in fact hinted at this "sympathy" (as he called it in his Descent of Man) as the very principle of sociality. Kropotkin literaly ran with the idea, perhaps endowed with a bit more of this principle than the good Mr. Darwin.
Except for its usual absence of fever, depression is also indistinguishable from "sickness behaviour" in other mammals, a syndrome well known to sympathetic veterinarians. Of course, many other animals also exhibit non-febrile grief, where-in a loss appears to us similarly indicative of abandonment or isolation. While we witness grief-like behaviour, we cannot, of course, be sure of its subjective phenomenology. But it appears in much of the animal kingdom that one cannot get through grief in isolation, not without strong doses of amnesiastic substances or events. And as any stress can compromise one's immune system, feverish flu-like symptoms may follow. With a generalized loss of homeostasis, answering the question of the causal or sequential primacy of "imbalanced brain-chemistry" comes to resemble the chicken 'n egg argument. We turn to the the authority of the experts working for pharmaceutical companies and their insurance stooges for final judgement, those who announce, should sales of psycho-pharmaceuticals drop, a new mutated strain of flu-virus for which they themselves are working feverishly to counter. Help is just around the corner!
ASD (autistic spectrum disorders, a current favorite among diagnosticians and insurance salesmen since anxiety and depression have become so passé – everyone not feverishly engaged with their cell phone or ipod is already medicated!) is another syndrome, like depression and even polio, confused with a specific ailment, and through magical thinking in the guise of 'guilt by association', considered to have a specific, universal or primary cause. In fact, it is a syndrome of syndromes, yet medication only targets one of it's possible effects (again, "imbalanced brain chemistry" assumed in most cases a result of damaged or defective genes). Determining a 'cause' in specific instances is not impossible, but generalizing from one situation explained to apply to all situations found to be similar is itself a magical thinking disorder.
How many diagnosticians themselves suffer from an undiagnosed or Subclinical Aristotelean Disorder? A good case could be made for childhood or developmental trauma as a cause for much ASD. The trauma may be in the form of a viral-induced (or so-called "spontaneous") genetic mutation, a toxic reaction with identical effects (cases have been built implicative of mercury used as a preservative in vaccines accounting for cases of both polio and autism), family trauma or institutional abuse such as an over-enthusiastic taser weapon (In my day, it was a yard-stick repeatedly applied to the back of the head of grade-school children in an attempt to determine which would break first). In some situations, the identical logic Stanley Diamond expressed linking schizophrenia (the most famous "thought disorder") with the civilising or double-binding process could be made regarding ASD, particularly one of its more common sub-syndromes, Asberger's. We are speaking of learning our culture too well, or "hypercivilisation".
Wikipedia has something like this to say:
Hypercivilised People often display behavior, interests, and activities that are restricted and repetitive and are sometimes abnormally intense or focused. They may stick to inflexible routines, move in stereotyped and repetitive ways, or preoccupy themselves with parts of objects.
Pursuit of specific and narrow areas of interest is one of the most striking features of the Hypercivilised. Individuals with hypercivilisation may collect volumes of detailed information on a relatively narrow topic such as weather data or star names, without necessarily having genuine understanding of the broader topic. For example, a child might memorize camera model numbers while caring little about photography. This behavior is usually apparent by grade school, typically age 5 or 6 in the United States. Although these special interests may change from time to time, they typically become more unusual and narrowly focused, and often dominate social interaction so much that the entire family may become immersed. Because narrow topics often capture the interest of children, this symptom may go unrecognized.
Stereotyped and repetitive motor behaviors are a core part of the diagnosis of hypercivilisation and related civic disorders. They include hand movements such as flapping or twisting, and complex whole-body movements such as dumpster-diving. These are typically repeated in longer bursts and look more voluntary or ritualistic than tics, which are usually faster, less rhythmical and less often symmetrical.
Regarding treatment, we find elsewhere:
Occupational therapy and behaviour modification identify such exagerated gestures with appropriate job or career descriptions such as modern dance, mime, olympic swimming, photography or guillotine operation. If an appropriate occupation cannot be found, diagnosis of asperger's syndrome or other autistic spectrum disorder is indicated and further treatment may be a problematic, if not futile undertaking. Efforts should be redirected to the identification of genetic dysfunction, pharmaceutical suppression of offensive brain activity and quarantine in "group homes".
In many ways, much so-called mental illness could be equally said to be expressions of the hypercivilised condition (see Bleu Marin), and therefore, signs of success. This is poetic irony, itself often diagnosed as a sign of madness. In the case of literal toxic shock, when biocidal toxins are noted as the chief resultant of capitalist production, whether in the form of ionizing radiation, chemical pollution, toxic waste resynthesized into food additives or crop treatments, microwave attacks on cellular nuclei (aka, "cellular technology" and its high-speed processing), reduced atmospheric oxygen content in relation to hydrocarbons aggravated by the aviation industry and deforestation, for the organism to come out a bit crooked is to be expected. To focus on genetic predisposition for "disorder" is to render invisible the multivariate, perhaps infinite factors produced by the avant garde civil (aka, capitalist) relation operating within an environment which could do quite well on its own (without our continual meddlement and manipulation).
Erich Fromm insisted that madness is in fact a normal reaction to a mad world. At the time, the term colloquially referred to a specialisation psychologists labeled "abnormal psychology" – a statistical deviation from the central tendency. Adjustment to society was a big concern. Fitting in. It still is. Fromm was not alone in thinking this itself was a form of madness, considering the world we were supposed to adjust to, a world which seemed intent on blowing itself up. Today, we no longer have to fear a global mushroom cloud. The "well-adjusted" have successfully despoiled the planet such that it is no longer a fit place to live, and it seems there's no stopping them. So many agree, yet to go against the grain is still considered madness.
In a "pro-revolutionary" discussion forum, one poster seems to have taken this to heart: the world itself is mad and our reaction is merely a resultant of our biology.
Fetishism is the product of an interaction between emergent consciousness and the hard programmed congnitive/perceptive capacity to recognise patterns...the derangement of cognitive functioning.
...we may infer that in pre-psychiatrically aware societies an increased sensitivity to pattern (i.e madness) would introduce an ability for identifying (or projecting onto) symbolic meanings in events, objects and relations which, and this most importantly, would operate problematically with regard to the pragmatic productive relations of the community.
...Acute sensitisation to hidden meanings (fetishism) would have introduced into human relations those attributes that we now recognise as separating us from animals (i.e. consciousness). Consciousness is a by-product of madness and without that fetishism which is derived from mental derangement it is is unlikely that the symbolic order, social values, meaning, awareness of time, empathy and so on would have entered productive relations.
Our reaction is a necessary "fetishism", an increased sensitivity to pattern', aka 'madness', emergent from the hardware? I'm not so certain. I particularly disagree in the sense that are we now involved in a diagnosis of the world (the current manifestation of productive relations that it is, yes this is true, if there is any "truth" at all) but no longer of ourselves, stuck as we are in our despicably "accumulative" species-being, victims of our own biology. It's suggestive of a program of global helplessness (it's in your genes, get over it) where all transgression is, a priori, futile. Social Critique itself has become, in a manner of speaking, "counterrevolutionary".
The contributor goes on to say:
I was not quite saying that. I think different societies have taken a more community based approach to madness as opposed to the individualised approach in this society. Under present conditions the mad are perceived as not achieving the capacities of the ideal rational individual. My interpretation of other approaches is that they do not see a damaged individual so much as the embodiment of a significant resource for the community (a blessing). Thus the mad person becomes elevated to role of shaman or equivalent, he is the one who sees relations as they ‘really are’, that is he invents such intense meanings that others are capable of seeing them. Of course the increasing rate of production of such ‘blessings’ in mass society tends to relieve those so defined of their special status.
Very good. But these other, "community-based" approaches would not see the world itself as mad, but as well full of blessings (read "possibilities"). Yes, the dissemination of novel inventions prevents the shaman from becoming a priest, our standard view of the sequence of things moving from "not-mad other" (archaic) to "mad us" (modern) – it's a religion-and-opium sort of thing. But the "mad-shaman" does not lose his "job" once new ideas/interpretations are tolerated. S/he is to a degree still isolated because some of these ideas are dangerous or full of portent. It may not be safe for one not used to them to engage. There is also the matter of potential conflict between the new inventions and commuinity traditions, so the distance between "shaman" and the rest of the community, despite the many blessings, resists the continual change (positive feedback system) which the universal endorsement of "mad invention" might stimulate. At the same time, hierarchy (our colloquial interpretation of "shamanism"/"avant gardism") is denied. Not too ironically, the shaman is also the protector of community tradition.
Madness here only approaches the novel interpretations coming from the other, the potential for traditions to be deflected or resisted. Madness becomes the condition of possibility and individuality. The "mad-shaman" is is not elevated, but separated as the broker between the unique and the social. Madness in this regard becomes necessary for society to function. This madness might not emerge from the hardware, but from the software – cultures are different. The conflation of difference with madness (psychosocial damage) is itself a cultural artifact. Madness itself is an illusional or artificial (plastic) container-form; anguish, despair, shell shock, terror are not. Damage is the appropriate gloss – there is nothing irrational about these "damaged" states. When the community agrees with a certain "madness", they call it "creativity". The modern condition interprets any "radical" divergence from its traditions of "rational normality and its capacities" (read "storage containers", "volume measurements", "values", "constrained possibilities") a threat. Constrain or cure madness ("irrationality") and the whole tent-show collapses: "society" and the entire world takes on the appearance of madness which must be manipulated and controlled.
This should all be taken as metaphorically as possible. One thing is certain: psycho-social damage is not a genetic proclivity, a necessary emergent of consciousness. We are told the subjective state exists on a continuum such as to suggest the "stiff upper lip" is the normal genetic expression and breakdown must be the the result of weak genes for "self-control" in the face of adversity.
But could it be that there is as well a genetic predisposition for life and health and well-being? Or is it really true that there are no good genes? In this day and age, more and more people are experiencing tantrums, hearing voices, calling bullshit, and this can only mean that reality itself is beginning to escape from our grabby little clutches.
The current disaster (ecological, epidemiological, social) and the "dominant ideas" concerning it are identically produced by the "logic of the commodity" and (its) fundamental accomplices. ..."Dominant ideas" can only be received and internalized at the price of psychic disturbance -- which the psychiatrists call alexithymia -- and the physiological and behavioral effects of which are precisely those that led to the current disaster. Alexithymia is thus the terrain on which the dominant ideas seed themselves so as to produce the evils that they claim to name. In such a movement, the function of the media obviously appears under a somewhat new light.– Michel Bounan
Alexithymia means literally "without words for emotions" – it is a state of deficiency in understanding, processing, or describing emotions and considered to be a personality trait defined by:
Alexithymia frequently co-occurs with other disorders, with a representative prevalence of 85% in autism spectrum disorders, 40% in posttraumatic stress disorder, 63% in anorexia nervosa, 56% in bulimia, 45% in major depressive disorder, 34% in panic disorder, and 50% in substance abusers...and overlaps with Asperger syndrome. The failure to regulate emotions cognitively...an inability to modulate emotions...would classify them as severely impaired...explaining why some alexithymics are prone to discharge tension arising from unpleasant emotional states.
- difficulty identifying feelings and distinguishing between feelings and the bodily sensations of emotional arousal
- difficulty describing feelings to other people
- constricted imaginal processes, as evidenced by a paucity of fantasies
- a stimulus-bound, externally oriented cognitive style.– wikimedia
And as Irwin Corey once said, "However..." Holy shit, Batman!!!
It seems to me emotions are for feeling and moving, not analizing and then articulating. Does the person unable to discuss an emotional state not feel it? (Of course the concern is for emotion's suppression.) When they ask "What color is your rainbow today?" I tell them to go take a flying fuck through a hole in a rolling doughnut! They've just killed whatever vibe was present and now the gesture they are apt to see if they persist in their inanity is a coffee table flying through the window, with the caption: "Stick your head up your own anal-isis and you might get a clue!" Yes indeed, a definite deficiency of personality here. Who is having difficulty identifying feelings and distinguishing between feelings and the bodily sensations of emotional arousal??? Is there a distinction "between feelings and the bodily sensations of emotional arousal?" Another example of identity before and after the predicate: A = A. See the difference now? And they think I need medication!
It seems to me alexithymia is more literally "feeling (-thymia)" + "dumb, mute, speechless (alexic-)" or "barbaric dyslogia". This is really just wanton aphasia dancing with gusto. It is readiness, with interest. It is as well, AWE (the suffixes, '-some' and '-ful' are merely directional pointers confusing extensity with quantity, recapitulating the distinction between purse-string and puppet-string). A literal state of speechless awe is the precondition of inspiration, impregnation, learning, and is a prelude to all exploratory movement, revolt or withdrawal. There may be (or maybe not) many glandular excretions. You may as well change your name to Igor, the mindless but faithful servant of Count Dracula (or any other monster who comes your way) should the gates to this realm be shut.
As Artaud said, "the number and order of possible suppositions in this realm is precisely infinity!" That is the distance between exploration and revolution, yet it can be traversed in a nanosecond (300 miliseconds, to be precise – this is the average time for humours to circulate through the body). It is precisely equal to the distance between "smitten" and "bitten". Its passage only resembles a rupture or "discharge of tension".
However, ... repetition, repetition, repetition instills (which is a state without movement) knowledge without consciousness. Media memes and dominant ideas. However, ... repetition, repetition, repetition combined with psychic disturbance endemic to the dominant ideas (actually, "bound up" or "constipated" – even Hegel understood that contradiction needed bound tightly with material or ideological string lest it cease to exist in an explosive burst) maintains a self fulfilling and prophetic placebiastic motion of stillness mimicing time travel but without duration (or is it vice versa?) and this "fulfillment" is said to be the complete lack of mental deficiency necessary to maintain the status' quote. Mental health is serious business and always a matter of hypochondriasis (a condition originating below the sternum, ie. the gut – the first recorded belly ache was only an excuse to skip school in reaction to the ingestion of too much bullshit!).
When I read emotion words like "incredulous", "joy", "horror", I must turn to others' gestures witnessed or remembered rather than the dictionary (usually a great source for skeptical or cynical mockery) for exemplification. The alternative words expressed there-in only redirect me to the associated gestures (a thesaurasus is much handier), and pantomime, not frozen image nor petroglyph, gives me instant recognition. Yes, of course! Bodies are extracted from time and space, and begin to resonate. Meaning is in sync, a synchronicity, time travel, invisibility and divination.
On J. Alfred Prufrock: there's all these vague connections in it for me, yet there is nevertheless something singularily magical about it... what bothers me is that I can't really pinpoint what that is, so I become suspicious. I do at least find it interesting that Eliot is famed for saying something along the lines of "poetry should not attempt to express emotion, it should be the escape from emotion".Let us go then, you and I, When the evening is spread out against the sky Like a patient etherized upon a table;– anonymous
T.S. Eliot also said, on the topic of imagery, "Poetry consists in so rendering concrete objects that the emotions produced by the objects shall arise in the reader…."
Ezra Pound responds: "do you agree that the great poet is never emotional?"
"… One must be capable of reacting to stimuli for a moment, as a real, live person, even in face of as much of one's own powers as are arrayed against one;… The virile complaint, the revolt of the poet, all which shows his emotion – that is poetry."– M. Jean de Bosschère
Speak against unconscious oppression, Speak against the tyranny of the unimaginative, Speak against bonds. Be against all forms of oppression, Go out and defy opinion. This is the old cry of the poet, but more precise, as an expression of frank disgust: Go to the adolescent who are smothered in family. O, how hideous it is To see three generations of one house gathered together! It is like an old tree without shoots, And with some branches rotted and falling. Each poem holds out these cries of revolt or disgust, but they are the result of his still hoping and feeling– Ezra Pound
The meaning of emotions is disseminated by gesture. It is the body which feels. It is not a matter of para-linguistics expressed by a para-body. There is the panto-mimic and the observer, and their simultaneous mutual interchangeability (or resonance) results in what has been described as "intimacy", well illustrating a pair of bodies!. Increased meaning entropy produces increased caricaturization often resulting in an abrupt "discharge of tension", whereupon there can be no confusion by detached observers as to the semantic content. We may have called them "grotesque", but we really meant "scary"
"Phewff! How many times have we traced these arguments out?" The capitalist relation is not a social relation. It is a relation between things, mediated by people whose social instincts, intuitions and passions are suppressed or repressed such that meaning itself becomes impossible if not specifically referring to a one or a zero. It is a conversation between inert objects built by corpses in the interest of the continued circulation of invisible currency traveling from the future. This is true madness!
Imagine if the body moved as freely (more often than not) as language, as freely as our limitless ability to swiftly configure a sentence, or as freely as a free jazz solo. It seems that there is nothing more tragically and violently dominated by capital than everyday pantomime. When are you not nailed to the cross as you're walking down the street in a fairly busy public space, as if awkwardly using it as a pogo stick when walking. You look around yourself and everyone else seems to be in a similar predicament.– anonymous
If body movement is expressive, surely it is language. Lyrics themselves merely add to the general impression given by the dance.
But polysemy polysemy polysemy polysemy, that is the thing.
are drawn just before the discoveries through which all traditional authority is called into question and which shake the basis of existence of those who feel safe and secure in the authority of the existing order... the terrible distortions and degradations of impulses and emotions, which, pent up behind the borders of consciousness, sabotage all psychic events, are the normal aberrations and fits of despair of a psyche that is already broken and alienated by external constraints and inducements. The repression of its own power of orientation, its innate value system, is the prerequisite for this condition of the psyche.
The time itself provides the immeasurable inner force which, as spirit and destruction, desire and rage, presses chaotically forward ,towards change or downfall. The greatest part of this force is dissipated by internal conflict with the accepted norms and is pent up in the unconscious. Whatever stands ready in this area of the repressed--the innate, eternal values as well as the regenerating forces of this transitional period--we are in a position today to make available to resolute utilization... And it must be carried through without restraints, by accepting all consequences, and with the full awareness of the absolute, irreconcilable opposition to everything and anything that today in the name of authority, institution, power and custom, stands in the way of the fulfiIlment of mankind.– Otto Gross. Protest and Morality in the Unconscious 1919
You know, in 1492, when the settlers came to this continent, they killed the Indians and took their land. Then they brought black people to this land and made slaves out of them. And then George Washington, who was the first president of the United States, had 250 slaves – which is a felony. At that time – and I use that expression "at that time", for the simple reason that you cannot say, "it was okay to kill the Jews at that time". You know? A felony does not lose its dimension by the passing of time...
And I always say, if God wanted the Jews to have Palestine, why’d he give the Chinese a whole continent? Understand that? The fact is, East Prussia was part of Germany. By 1914, there was a thing called the Polish Corridor, which allowed Poland access to the Baltic – it was a land-locked country. After World War II, they gave them East Prussia. They gave the Poles East Prussia – they could’ve given the Jews the Rhineland, and the world couldn’t’ve said anything. After all, they took the lives and the property of 600,000 German Jews. What happened to that property? Who has it now?
Israel says that God gave them the land that now belongs to Palestine. That little piece of land. We are part of a solar system. Nine planets revolving around the sun. There are billions and billions of planets throughout the universe, in billions and billions of galaxies. How did God even find this planet, let alone that little tiny piece of land to give them?– Prof Irwin Corey, ca '60's
The thing with the bullshit detector is that it can't be said to be consciously rational. It is intuitive, from the gut. This is not to suggest it is irrational. I'm sure were one to dissect the gray matter into ever finer articulations, one would discover a grand rationality of synaptic patterning. Were sufficient computational power employed, the graphic output might resemble a butterfly suddenly taken to fluttering. But for the most part, rationality is engaged to justify a decision to go with the gut feeling or not. This can occur before the "fact" (reasoned choice) or after the fact (excuse). More often than not, reason is engaged in order to do nothing at all or to justify what has already been done.
"His mind so set on the problems afoot, the sudden fluttering of white flakes did not churn him into movement; yet still, ever-preserved in amber was the form of that moment; the insect died of over-contemplation!"– Atka Mip
Game theory and other "rational" epistemic systems only posit the other, less-used strategy: the cost-benefit ratio underlying informed consent (or dissent) which ultimately means "there is no choice but the right one", and that is no choice at all. It suggests all adversity is in the end, co-opted by the universe. Of course, we know this to be a load of Kidney's dingles, even outside of the university. Things do, after all, move, and not always in predictable directions:
"I don't know whether to shit or wind my watch. I guess I'll shit on my watch."– George Carlin, Shit
By the same token, the bullshit detector is not constrained by analystic or holystic thinking. We can just as easily posit "The whole ball of wax stinks!" as "This part just doesn't seem to fit". But gut action tends to perform dissolving rather than differentiating functions. Unlike the goat, we have but one gut. The bullshit detector is merely an aesthetic disturbance, more generally suspicious than auspicious, signalling a possible turning point. This disturbance in the force is not necessarily a crisis. It may have only been a farting fly, not an exploding planet.
Whether we turn toward further exploration or away from a rotten smell, we have made a choice. We do this many times each day. Whether it is a conscious or unconscious choice is neither here nor there. The former expresses agency, the latter, habit. Not all habits have bad consequences (think "breathing") and not all intent, rational or not, brings on the "good" – to wit: "the best laid plans of mice..."
The thing with a well-functioning bullshit detector is that it tends to bring us to consciousness. It is always possible to go against the democratic grain and refuse the vaccination. If your choice incurrs dire consequences, like the state absconds with your children, perhaps this only means you made a worse choice in trying to engage with the institution in the first place. Next time, you will do things differently. But first, you must get your kids back.
... Or not.
To co-opt the discussion of bullshit into a collective versus individual dialectic is only a diversion with a long history. It is a "fact" that there are both even (shared) and oddball aesthetic sensibilities. Just look around. Rembrant? Salvadore Dali? In art, the avant garde expresses difference. In politics, it is the same old shit in a shinier package, say, a hotel room full of fat glow-worms smoking cuban cigars or dull anarchists building bombs in the basement.
If the individual cannot move against the flow, culture would never change and a salmon could not spawn. If there were no collective or sociable "instincts", there would be no cultural flow against which the individual ("oddball"?) could transgress, and no sperm to entertain the salmon's reproductive facility, and thus, no reason to swim upstream. The individual-collective dialectic itself needs to dissolve in a vat of strong stomach acid.
The point is that very often, it is too much cost-benefit rationality (aka, functional teleology) which strips us of choice, producing perhaps an undesirable inertia toward a brick wall or oncoming windshield. One has certain ends in mind, sure. But there are always optional routes to get there, routes along which we might even change our minds concerning ends in general.
If you want a certain level of income and you want to get high from time to time, best not seek employment within drug-testing institutions. But again, most reason is engaged teleologically, 'in order to' make no choice at all. This always seems to entail sacrifice or immolation. The very best rationalism of all is the stand that says "choice" itself is an irrelevant artifact of a bourgeois historical environment. I generally choose to ignore such sentiments.
"Everything that’s known is pretty much wrong"– Phil Austin
"The intimate order cannot truly destroy the order of things (just as the order of things has never completely destroyed the intimate order). But this real world having reached the apex of its development can be destroyed, in the sense that it can be reduced to intimacy. Strictly speaking, consciousness cannot make intimacy reducible to it, but it can reclaim its own operations, recapitulating them in reverse, so that they ultimately cancel out and consciousness itself is strictly reduced to intimacy"– Bataille
Would infinitely ordered complexity not be the same thing as chaos? Would that, a priori, be nonrepresentable and nondiscursive, rendering the entire dichotomy between order and chaos absurd?
I think the whole idea of a body without organs repeats a critique of reductionism, specificism, dialectics (dualism), trialectics (trialism), over-and-under generalisation, reification and lastly, deification – all matters of dissection ("splitting"), extraction and fusion-reaction ("compression") which force-fits the entire universe (or at least the exclusive parts of it) into a single container-form in the search for freedom, a free energy with the potential to destroy the whole fucking ball of wax in a big bang. Sort of makes a fella hungry for electroshock, eh? But was that freedom of movement or freedom from movement? Blow your own mind!
The organ, as the container form for atoms, genes, memes and other corpuscles, is the kingdom of god-the-usurper: King Bada Dada (Ubu Roi, "who personified all the ugliness in the world" – Alfred Jarry). The god particle, evil seed or "noxious microbe" is thus only the most miniscule "resident" of "Man", though not native to it. Artaud's argument, that Man himself must be annihilated, emasculated, stripped of the "animalcule" and turned "wrongside out", is said to be his madness, but didn't Max Stirner also say "Man is just a Spook"? And who doesn't say "It's a topsy-turvy world"?
Deleuze says the body without organs is experience: experimental, not interpretative. This is the function of skin – the interface with the world – intimacy, intimate, communicate. The dialating or constricting holes in our skin point simultaneously in and out in accord with variably passing gas or other absurdity, all things being equal (parts nutrient and excrement). Aesthetics and upbringing (in our reality, the marriage of choice and vomit or shit and time) make the difference. (But sometimes they don't!)
Ha! No possibility of madness distributing itself into the future?I am not raving. I am not mad. I tell you that they have reinvented microbes in order to impose a new idea of god. They have found a new way to bring out god and to capture him in his microbic noxiousness... I have found the way to put an end to this ape once and for all and that although nobody believes in god any more everybody believes more and more in man. So it is man whom we must now make up our minds to emasculate. How's that? By placing him again, for the last time, on the autopsy table to remake his anatomy. I say, to remake his anatomy. Man is sick because he is badly constructed. We must make up our minds to strip him bare in order to scrape off that animalcule that itches him mortally, god, and with god his organs. For you can tie me up if you wish, but there is nothing more useless than an organ. When you will have made him a body without organs, then you will have delivered him from all his automatic reactions and restored him to his true freedom. Then you will teach him again to dance wrong side out as in the frenzy of dance halls and this wrong side out will be his real place.
They have found a new way to bring out god and to capture him in his computational noxiousness... I have found the way to put an end to this puppet-parrot once and for all and that although nobody believes in man any more everybody believes more and more in machine. "Man" is sick because it has constructed itself, and badly! There is nothing more useless than a prosthetic cash register Ca ching, Ca ching, Ca ching. Da ding, Da ding, Da ding– me
If a work were merely directional, like genre fiction, it would be too predictable and conventional to be considered art. If, however, a work were completely original, like a dream, eschewing the use of any (or any known) pre-existing structures, it would be unintelligible. Therefore, art must be both directional and original if it is to be perceived as communicating a new message, having an intention.– Victoria N. Alexander 
Just a clarification. There is no psychosis without poetry. Psychosis is defined as a thought disorder. Disordered thinking is measured, evaluating comprehension and reproduction of logic games where there is an objective, one-to-one correspondent or at least a best fitting referent for any word and a similarly appropriate answer to any question – "concrete operations".
Abstract thinking is measured by learned repetition of democratic (clichéd) responses (platitudes) to quandaries such as 1) "why should you not throw stones in a glass house", and 2) "what does 'the early bird catches the worm' mean to you?". If your answer is a literal match, such as 'stones break windows' or 'worms come to the surface in the morning', or even 'you will avoid the later-ensuing competition', you are considered concrete and limited, but not psychotic -- perhaps engineering, perhaps even cop potential. If your response illustrates any creativity, the kind which seems 'strange' to the interviewer, especially if it leaves the semantic territory bounded by the question, it is evidence of either a thought disorder or arrested development.
These are, in fact the correct answers to the two questions, but will land you in the clink every time with, not only red flags, but roman candles going off in every corridor.
Suffering is not sufficient to warrant a diagnosis of mental illness. Everyone suffers. If you complain, it shows you have a rational mind. If you don't complain, you cannot be diagnosed. Any one who doesn't suffer must be crazy in this crazy world we've made. Mental illness can only be diagnosed where suffering interferes with one's work. Others can complain for you in case you really are crazy and can't see the problem (that suffering and our culture are a priori concomitant). Employment is the cure for those who suffer and do not work. Pushing carts at Walmart is thought to give one a hightened sense of self-importance and consequent relief from melancholy and other "personal deficencies".
When I tried to explain the synopsis of the book, Catch 22 to the shrinks and added that living and working for a living was for me an impossible contradiction which could only lead to suicide (this being my fifth work-related suicide attempt in as many years) and added "we need a revolution", my diagnosis was changed from "major depression" to "unspecified psychosis with depressive features and homicidal ideation".
This whole bag is more important than it appears. Psychosis often refers to a private joke, an unshared meaning which may or may not feel personally troublesome – that doesn't really matter. It doesn't even matter if there is an intent to share it, although unless shared, who would know? It possibly refers to an avant garde joke, where meaning is shared only by a select few (certainly "shady" characters), exclusive of the analyst. The clincher is when an internal dialogue, something we all experience, takes on auditory qualities. If we externalise their source, paranoia is added to the diagnosis.
The one state of exception occurs if there is pre-existing drug use, as criminality takes precedence over psychology. Criminals are sane by definition, and drug-induced psychosis is a criminal, not psychological diagnosis, "cured" by incarceration, abstinence and/or the payment of tribute. Either way, all psychotic rambling is poetry if it is sold, particularly when book sellers can buy a new cadilac every year off the proceeds of long dead poets, psychotic or not, straight-edge or not. If it is written, you can sell it. There are always specialty markets, and if even these should fail, there is the tax write-off. Publishing is a win-win scenario recapitulating the priority of form over content.
If the standardised dictionary is the source par excellént for technical exposition, and technical exposition is the model for language, if communication is reduced to objective cartography, if there is a deep structure of generative grammar, the like on which our computers are built, then poetry and psychosis are synonyms. Frankly, I don't buy the list of premises, but I still generally adhere to the conclusion. The relativity of meaning is the basis of the Jain epistemology of "perhaps". I understand the common reaction against the word "relativity" and its disasterous "anything-goes" connotations in some quarters. If you are so offended, please substitute the word, "contingency". But this is just another illustration contra to objective technical exposition and why authentific scientific treatises are resplendent with operational definitions, useful only for matters at hand.
Consider the singular affirmation shouted into a crowd of spectators at the football game, "Men rape!":
'Men rape', so funny. No but do you get it? It's so funny. No, not funny, so true. Do you get it, what it really means I mean?
I see a young, man-on-the-street Diogenes holding up a mirror to any who might look. Really, too young to have such smarts, perhaps not practiced enough to see himself in the same mirror, but just facetious enough to say "If thy right eye offends thee, pluck it out!". Perhaps we know what men are and what rape is. The combination is sufficiently poetic. As an absolute truth in the cartographic sense, it is nonsensequiter – perhaps we know women who rape too or men who do not. In the poetic sense, it is true, false or indeterminant and any combination there-of according to the context within which it is distributed (that being the speech environment or its facsimiles or simulations). The literal, objective or unqualified sense is by comparison false every time. That is the extracted, isolated sense, where even the sentence itself must be dissected and mutilated, in a word, raped and analized like the scientist in Swift's Gulliver's Travels attempting to extract sunlight from cucumbers pushed through a meat grinder.
It is well documented by historical biographers that Jonathin Swift suffered and in fact died from melancholic bouts of AAS (Antonin Artaud Syndrome). Sometimes even commodification of language offers no state of exception for a diagnosis of deficiency, especially when that language is critical of social tradition itself. And Artaud had the balls to suggest van Gogh was suicided by society! The only reason news media exists beyond mere literary publishing is to discredit possibly uncomfortable meanings with accusations of insanity, crime or paedophilia – the ad hominem attack. We used to call them gossip rags. They are not so much purveyors of lies as vendors of psychological defense mechanism, good for sweeping inconvenience under the rug.
There is no psychosis without poetry. Paranoid features merely illustrate the amnesia regarding the equality of absurdities. We forget the humour and are sucked into a vacuum cleaner attempting to map poetry onto the absolute truth of rigid forms, tolerant of travel along possibly metaphoric lines but avoiding altogether the pataphoric space between them, the space of possibility itself. This is ultimately distressful, this taking the universe so seriously that our lives are endangered at every turn and laughter becomes maniacal or disapears into an abysmal black void.
Freud's reality principle posits that there are frustrations and punishments quite as often as pleasant encounters, and this cognitive victory of reality over the instinctual drive toward pleasure is said to bring forth consciousness and in fact, agency. But isn't it a matured consciousness that constructs the notions, reality and pleasure as oppositions in the first place? Freud well-noted that civilisation undermines the pleasure principle, but posited that this is the invariant nature of "healthy" maturation within society. Are we then to view maturation as the increasing tendency toward sacrifice, making neurosis or neurotic desire as natural as progressive reform movements, mothers and apple pie? At any rate, it seems clear that a game was constructed which only considers the immediate or "objective" social environment, and it is this "social reality" (aka "superego") which claims itself winner in a conflict with pleasure. Neurosis is said to be the denial of defeat; denial itself is a common "defense mechanism".
That no other social species or social form exhibits such a pervasive degree of admitted neurosis than the civil relation, particularly in its capitalist form, we must say the entire debate concerning "reality" is ethnocentric (a matter of "cultural chauvinism") and has little to do with the more ubiquitous patterns (or archetypes) we ascribe to nature and label "laws" or "principles". This contradiction (or alienation) is maintained by denying consciousness or agency to any but the civilised, performing a marvelous narrative of circular logic called civics, the physics of civilisation. We become compartmentalised like commodities in a warehouse.
Children do not grow up. They are destroyed alongside the pleasure of free-play. Not all at once, mind you, but little by little. And how readily parents and educators comply with the traditional "gifts" of frustration and punishment, sacrificing the child's frivolity and wonder in exchange for dead-serious, harsh "nature". The process is insidious else the child, if s/he survives the ordeal at all, matures into a criminal or reactionary poet, unable to prevent the "return of the repressed".
The Pleasure- and Reality-Principles combining to produce consciousness can be viewed through the aesthetic lens with a slightly different resulting image. Without denying pleasure its fundamental status, we witness situations to approach or avoid. A mentalist teleology, "intention" or "drive", need not even be invoked. The Pleasure Principle is usually interpreted as "the young organism seeks only pleasure". A behaviourist view would read "the young organism reciprocates (or engages with) patterns (contingencies) of reinforcement". There is no pleasure without influence, and a pleasant situation not only draws our attention, we seek to replicate it as often as we might. As a matter of fact, the age qualifier is unnecessary: we witness all organisms respond "positively" to reinforcement, keeping in mind that the idea of reinforcement is something other than reward, ransom or bribery. If the organism itself is thought of as a situation such as a physiologist or functional anatomist might picture it, "self-reinforcement" considers the internal environment. The result is the same: approach is the conditioned response to environmental encouragement giving one directionality.
It is not a simple either/or dialectic. Approach-avoid "choices" or "responses" are also accompanied by the possibility of indifference, often the effect of habituation or stasis – the lack of movement – and even more often, uncertainty. Originality (or "subversion" or "transgression" or "creativity") is not the dialectic opposition to directionality. It could be seen as the result of multivariate influences which make every situation at least slightly unique, or it could be seen as the option not to move at all or postpone movement or try a novel route from the expected. Constraint cancels out the necessity of consciousness. Influence demands it, as Samuel Buttler implied. It is said a falling rock has no choice but to crash onto the ground. When behaviourism or depth psychology ignore the variable aesthetics of a situation and experimental engagement with it ("operant" or "artistic" behaviour), personal and even social agency outright disappears. Modern science has traveled from its original position of exploration and wonder, into the sterile description or invention or modification of machine-works necessarily responding to necessity. The predictable universe it desires contains no awe, no interest, no surprise. It is written and invariant. The goal of modern science is the elimination of all intervening variables. I call that constraint.
Asger Jorn suggested we should approach situations as trialectic rather than dialectic, in that this view does not foster aggression or competitiveness as all alliances or antagonisms become provisional or "situationally variable" and therefore, temporary. I think even that is too much of a simplification, particularly when all situations are viewed as systems of contradiction. A trialectic or even multivariate synthesis of ideas would suggest a polyamourous marriage rather than a struggle between opposing forces we see so often in monogamous relationships and political standpoints. The thinking of contradiction is contradiction itself – merely another language game denying that creativity is a merging or symbiotic eclecticism. This idea in no way denies dialectics, it only points to its situational confinement. Certainly, even "nature" tolerates friction and divorce, the situation Bateson formalised as "schizmogenesis".
Engels' interpretation of Hegel suggests, on the contrary, that bipolar opposition is the source of motion itself. It is an assumption most still take for granted. But there is always at least a third option, a way out. Early naturalists pointed out that nature, meaning here, "the world outside of civilisation", does not tolerate contradiction. This is another way of saying nothing can exist which does not exist and from that, nothing exists isolated from being, nothing exists in isolation. The contradictions we experience must either be artificial and therefore spurious (illegitimate, imagined) or expressions of power over nature and ultimately other/self-destructive. To ultimately seek out contradiction is to destroy the planet in a grand suicidal gesture or an accumulated series of little wounds inflicted over time. Planetary suicide is "nature's" way of destroying the contradiction: "the end of civilisation as we know it". Another way of saying all this is "self-defeating behaviour has no selective advantage", but then, that 'goes without saying' and we reply, "Duh!". The hypertrophic wrist-cutter bleeds to death; the hyperphagic predator exterminates its prey and wains away or bursts in the process of over-eating.
Of course, this is only more sophistry and not just a bit extremist. To think things through to possible ends is extremism. But it seems obvious from ethology and ethnology that we, the epitome of civilisation, are the only social form bent on alienation and destruction rather than association or connection and creation. Theologians called this "free will", proving our singular choice among all other animals (and "childish" heathens) by god – we are free to sin. The furthest our creation takes us is the imagination of dystopias. We are discouraged from discourse on pleasure for fear of the label, "romantic". Well-being itself is barely tolerated for fear we are accused of utopianism. We go on to embrace or approach dystopic contradictions rather than be warned against and then avoid them. Struggle becomes the perpetual condition, the perpetual state. Nihilism becomes the long embrace with nothing, the avoidance of being or indifference to it. By itself, indifference is the lack of consciousness which is also to say "arousal". Pleasure seekers are frowned upon as hedonistic antisocialites (disregarding the possibility that where pleasure is not legislated, freeplay sheds its "reactionary" or "extravagant" appearance, where a true extravagance loses its "barbaric" connotation).
But we are reduced again to two extreme options: total destroy or acquiescence. "Reality" (Baudrillard's "hyperreality" or Debord's "spectacle") disposes of the pleasure principle to the degree that only what is presented and permitted, or nothing at all is the source of the pleasant. We survive on an interest-free loan, vicarity in which interest is a sacrificial payment, not a poignant perturbation toward movement, a deviation in orbit caused by gravity or other influence. We view perturbation as something that causes disruption, trouble, or disorder, so those things become pleasurable to the radical, particularly where they perturb the "other". Voodoo illness is more prevalent than placebo health. There needn't be a flu bug for an entire population to catch it – only the suggestion by well-placed advertisement. Antonin Artaud's word to describe our situation was "wrong-side-out".
I have no doubt that Freud was a genius and paver of new roads. But he did not take the third option which is "true" revolutionary consciousness. Viewing "that oceanic feeling" of connection within the universe as a pathological delusion of religious thinking, he could not transgress his own patriarchic contradictions, no matter how figuratively they were portrayed. Psychoanalysts who did think the psychoanalytic project was to encourage a break rather than adjustment (such as the anarchist, Otto Gross and socialist, Wilhelm Reich) were themselves diagnosed with madness. One did not diverge too far from Freud without witnessing a temper-tantrum. But then, such is the nature of politics.
Freud disagreed with Beard and, you guessed it, thought it was the result of excessive masturbation, indigestion and gas – not to be confused with authentic anxiety neurosis: the fear of punishment for wanting to off dear old dad and desire to fuck mom. Had Freud understood his own poetry, his might be a compatable explanation: the contradiction of a rejection of isolating patriarchy, The System, and a desire to re-immerse in the context, the 'mother'; in the end able to do neither.Insensitivity: tactlessness, loss of sensibility, sensuality, sensation, concern, conscious attention:
In social systems, the words "bureaucracy", "managerial district", and "ghetto" are preferable. In each case, information (or any other "resource") is either contained or withheld and its movement between boxes inhibited. The processes are identical; the nomenclature is merely a convention such that the difference between the social (artificial) and material (real) is always self-evident. It is unclear whether the fragmentation of whole bodies into isolated groups and the fragmentation of entire psyches and semantic domains reminiscent of tunnel vision (ranging from narrow-mindedness through categorical disassociation and multiple personhood/split personality) represent a primary sequencing or are both secondary emergents or resultants of constraining, sedentary existence.Euthanasia: The removal of unuseful symptoms when euthenic compartmentalisation fails to improve living conditions. The root of the former is from Greek thantos "death" unlike the latter, from Greek euthenein "to thrive" (eu- 'well' + sthenos "strength"). The once meaningful distinction has been lost in the modern condition, thereby adding to the generalised feeling of hypocrisy or paradox. The healthy attitude when facing such contradiction is to call bullshit. More often, because we have been trained to expect a rational explanation for everything, we come away feeling stupid, as if we've missed something important. The self-fulfilling prophecy works in either case and we are led back into akathisic or akinesic states requiring the administration of more opiates or nerve blockers. Placebo effects: A scientific mystery. Their basic mechanism has been investigated since 1978, when it was found that the opioid antagonist naloxone could block placebo painkillers, suggesting that endogenous opioids are involved. What a stroke of fortune that exogenous opiates were chosen early on and still form the basis of modern pain remedies. Motivation, conditioning and expectations also play a role in placebo effect. The effect is variably responsibile for miracle cures as well as voodoo deaths, the latter suggesting that antagonists could themselves be blocked.
While it has been consistently demonstrated to be up to 98% more effective than state-of-the-art pharmaceutical commodities, placebo is still considered an unethical "sham" remedy and a taboo topic. Etymologically derived from the root for "pleasing", placebos were in common usage, taking advantage of the power of nurturing the ill and the self-fulfilling prophecy up until the 20th century with the rise of late-industrial capitalism and syndicated pharmaceutical/chemical cartels such as Dupont, Dow, IG Farben, the American Chemical Council, etc., whose own scientists with advanced (but secretive so as to protect necessary patents) methodologies continue to discredit all tried and true (traditional, formerly "patent") remedies in favour of the toxic and untested.Paranoia: Also known as "poetry" by those comfortably situated in narrow boxes: a backwards thought disorder prone to fetishisation – the fascination and search for patterns in the environment, and attribution of commensurability & agency within it, particularly in the politico-economic "forces" (obviously an unhealthy "mysticism"). Paranoids persist in this stand in the face of overwhelming scientific concensus since the discovery of DNA, statistical tests and parliamentary procedure – proof that subjective impressions and representations are due to certain calculable and therefore modifiable genetic proclivities. The environment itself is thought a useful effect, never a cause! We can make our environment; we can take our environment. Or so they say and so they do.
The obsessive-compulsive, compartmentalised bent may be the result of failure to act. One is helpless. One must obey orders, suggestions, urges, no matter where they originate. One is under control, compelled. Obedience is thereafter translated "freedom and security" and paranoia becomes the normal state.Infection: Curiously, the war on terror and the war on infection exhibit a 97% philosophical overlap. Even more curious, the members of the boards of directors of corporate medicine (an emerged cartel or syndicate of pharmaceutical, chemical and insurance companies) also sit on the boards of military contractors (although obviously in different seating arrangements, else how could we tell them apart?). They are exceedingly hard to spot, being syndicalists ("connected"), anarchist ("above the law") and internally socialist ("the bucks stop there ... all of them!"), hence the designation, "high society". Now if everyone or even "just anyone" were to transcend law, the epidemic of viral contamination would so furiously spread, the high and low ends would outright disappear, leaving society exposed and without adjective.