Tag Archives: Science

Creative coculus

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Creative coculus

This post is a comment from a Norwegian man, who has suffered from severe depressions through life. He is also intellectually gifted, but describes it in no such terms himself. For him, depression has been the flip coin of his gift, and I think is important to realize that no matter what abilities or Resources we have, mental illness can still have a devastating effect on us all.

The following excerpt, focus on “coculus” thoughts on creativity.

cuculus canorus
cuculus.koko@gmail.com

Creative people are like me..

This is not said lightly; it is an insight that hurts a great deal. In a way, I see the world not as it is, but as it can or should be. And I have for 30 years thought that everybody did this. Discovering that this is not so; have left me floating on a thin ice-sheet far out in an exsistential, deeply depressed sea with no land in sight.

Anyway. There are massive problems with the words used to describe creative people, and creativity: the connotations, the percieved social and cultural acceptability for “being a little off”.

“Creative” in the worst sense of the word conjures up images of slightly loopy ladies with flowing, purple togas and buckets of paint in primary colours. Or worse still: the image of my primary school “drawing teachers”. I shudder to think: how my creativity survived the lashings of those ignorant dimwits. It boggles the mind. It was a brutal fight, I can tell you that much.

To splash a little colour around is not not creative in itself. The way I see it, and much research agrees, is that creativity is essentialy to take two seemingly unconnected things and combine it in new ways. Very very often nothing happens. But sometimes there is a little magic insight … An article in the Time magazine called The hidden secrets of the creative mind points out that creativity is a numbers game. Creative people fail more. Because they try more (Therefore, creative people can easily feel like failures. Massive egos are not the norm).

I wish to stress that creativity is something equally needed in art, litterature and – and this is extremely important: science. This seems to be left out quite often, unfortunately. In science and arts you will find many of the same abilities. Or, if you like, similar eccentrics. I think Einstein said something like “If at first, the idea is not absurd, then there is no hope for it”.

At the risk of overstepping my role as commentator, I will here bring a buch of quotes by various artists, architects, scientists and other nosey, curious creators.

creativity: 1+1=3

Creativity is:

Any mental occurence simultaneously associated with two habitually incompatible contexts.

Arthur Koestler

That moment of insight becomes the creative act as a joining of two previously incompatible ideas.

Lyall Watson
The association of two, or more, apparently alien elements on a plane alien to both is the most potent ignition of poetry.

Comte de Lautrémont

Perceiving analogies and other relations between aparently incongruous ideas or forming unexpected, striking or ludicrous combinations of them.

Rem Koolhaas

Invention or discovery takes place by combining ideas.

Jacques Hadamard

The unlike is joined together, and from differences results the most beautiful harmony.

Heraclitus
 

The how of creativity is in most respects a complete mystery, but someone worded it thus:
how such connections spring to mind are guesswork but they seem to favour those who have a promiscuous curiosity and chronic attraction to problems.

Yeah. Promiscuous curiosity and chronic attraction to problems. That is me.

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Malcolm Gladwell Is America’s Best-Paid Fairy-Tale Writer

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John N. Gray

 

 “Pretending to present daringly counterintuitive views to his readers, he actually strengthens the hold on them of a view of things that they have long taken for granted. This is, perhaps, the essence of the genre that Gladwell has pioneered: while reinforcing beliefs that everyone avows, he evokes in the reader a satisfying sensation of intellectual non-conformity.”

  Fascinatingly critical account of Gladwell’s writings…and the manner in which Gladwell uses academic science for support….

http://www.newrepublic.com/article/115467/malcolm-gladwells-david-and-goliath-fairy-tales 

Looking Schizophrenia in the Eye

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Garden of the Mind

272994276_3c83654e97_bMore than a century ago, scientists discovered something usual about how people with schizophrenia move their eyes. The men, psychologist and inventor Raymond Dodge and psychiatrist Allen Diefendorf, were trying out one of Dodge’s inventions: an early incarnation of the modern eye tracker. When they used it on psychiatric patients, they found that most of their subjects with schizophrenia had a funny way of following a moving object with their eyes.

When a healthy person watches a smoothly moving object (say, an airplane crossing the sky), she tracks the plane with a smooth, continuous eye movement to match its displacement. This action is called smooth pursuit. But smooth pursuit isn’t smooth for most patients with schizophrenia. Their eyes often fall behind and they make a series of quick, tiny jerks to catch up or even dart ahead of their target. For the better part of a century, this…

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Time To Pretend

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“All the great empires of the future will be empires of the mind.” ~Winston Churchill

Digital Art by Jeanne MasarWhat I mean by hard-wiring caused by years and generations of socialization is that genetically humans are now predisposed to suffering. Suffering, in the social environment, has become normalized, and anyone who should deviate too far from this standard is considered “crazy” or abnormal.

Now, before I continue, let us come to an agreement about what constitutes suffering? Not a definition of suffering but what can be called suffering in the human condition (as we exist in a societal environment). In what form does suffering come? Suffering can be called an intangible state of being, that is, one’s being exists in a state of suffering. Suffering, once had a definite and easily determined cause, i.e., racism (but let us not veer off into efforts of indoctrination or further observations at this movement through sociology’s eyes just yet), womanizing, immigration (and by immigration, I mean, in the early days of Europeans arriving in America and their efforts at rising out of poverty), etc. [NOTE: I purposefully chose social movements, that is large acts of deliberate oppression enacted upon other groups of humans by other humans within a society. I could not go to an indigenous culture for several reasons, but mainly, because I don’t consider myself well-versed enough in indigenous culture to do so and I think much of human suffering that we are talking about stems from western culture and western society constructs. Further note: I am looking at human suffering solely from an anthropological perspective]. Okay, these kinds of mass suffering no longer effects western society as deeply, save only in a mass destructive way, i.e. Hurricane Sandy or 9/11, and human suffering suddenly comes to the forefront.

Sociology says that natural disasters are usually the times in which human beings will come together and forget about all the differences that the day before loomed so important as to cause neighbor to fight with neighbor and realize that “We are all human beings” that we bleed the same blood, etc. etc. Well, why is that? Why is it that humans only understand suffering following a natural disaster (there is a whole other element about this that disturbs me when I think upon it. In what I have been reading of late (anthropology, molecular biology, organic chemistry, which are naturally intermarried and naturally lead to consciousness) it seems as if humans do not unite because suddenly they caught a glimpse of what is really important, but out of fear and a unity in loss. Everybody understands loss)? It is as if humans require a disaster, some cataclysmic event, in order to set aside our petty differences. I think this is part of the reason why these unified acts of kindness are only temporary. Once enough time has passed, or that the event is forgotten or that some other kind of remedy has occurred, that time of bonding falls away, and we return to our “normally” suffering selves. This is a fundamental problem, I think.

I reason that there must be some deeper cause for humans’ [current] inability to understand human suffering or the suffering of others. I mean, if you believe in Kohlberg’s scale of Moral Development, there is more than one dimension, more than one scale of existence, and some humans exist on different scales. We are not all equal, in other words. Now, here is an element of reality that some are reluctant to discuss or even entertain the notion that it is true. We are not all equal. Equality can only be an extrinsic quality offered to humans in society; meaning, equal protection from police, equal representation in court, equal opportunity at law, you know, this kind of philosophy. However, it is not true biologically, psychologically, physiologically, culturally, or genetically, you know? I think we don’t fully understand this, as humans. There is a distinction in some things. It is only so on a certain level. It’s like humans try to create a unified theory of everything in everything. This would create a homogenous existence, what could be learnt from this? What use is a homogenous existence? That would be like playing the game not to lose. Risk is not necessarily a negating property, nor is chance, and I think that playing the game not to lose is to surrender risk and chance.

But, don’t get me wrong, I acknowledge that there is potential and probability that the world can be different. I think fear is a powerful obstacle. But, this too, will end. As in chaos theory and entropy, randomness slows down to order, and order slowly breaks down [entropy] and then transforms to something else, some other unrecognized pattern (what we then call chaos). We, as a race of humans, are learning that the once archetypal ways of living are outdated and obsolete. We are realizing that the acts we have and are committing upon ourselves, upon our consciences, upon our environment, upon the planet; we are now comprehending that every act has an equal and [sometimes] opposite reaction. We are learning to love what we are and then live that way. The times are changing and the time to pretend ends like a clock slowly winding down until it stops on high noon.

*Digital Art by Jeanne Masar.

Complex States At Being

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Emotions can be incredibly complex states of being/mind.

I just want to be happyPeople (particularly in this western culture) are afraid to experience emotion due to heavy amounts of socialization and conditioning, especially in school. You know, we’re taught to sit still, to be quiet, to “use our inside voices”, to line up, to avoid disorder and be orderly, to obey, to submit, to share. To share, but not to cooperate. There is a difference. Sharing does not necessarily imply or guarantee cooperation. In school, sharing is a behavioral technique; used as a means to control the behavior of a room full of pinging (that is, naturally rambunctious and curious-minded) short beings.

Let me tell you a story: a sad story about a little girl who cried.

cry, baby, cryTo get to City Island one can walk across a 2,800 foot long truss bridge, which was exactly what I was doing when I spotted a brief exchange between a little girl and her father. The little girl’s father, pushing another child in a stroller, told the little girl to look around as well as look at all the fish visible in the River below. The little girl was throwing bread over the side of the bridge to the fish, and seemed very happy.

Later, having crossed the bridge, I was sat under a pavilion and saw the little girl and her family again as they were passing by. The little girl tripped over a rise in the structure of the sidewalk and fell very hard. So hard that I winced when I heard the sound. She immediately bawled, as I’m sure that hurt her terribly. Probably terrified at the pain, you know, she ran to her father for solace. . . and he admonished her. He yelled at her as he brushed the dirt from her clothes, “You gotta watch where you’re walking. You can’t be looking around while you’re walking!” He seemed actually angry with her that she tripped, an accident on her part, no intent to spoil his day whatsoever. She only cried harder asking then for her mommy. At this, her father really became angry and shouted, “That’s it! You’re going back to the car you can’t act right!”

Did you see the contradiction?

Just moments ago, on the bridge he was telling her to LOOK around, then minutes later punished her for doing exactly that. These are the kinds of happenings that disturb me in the world. What did that do to the mind of that little girl? How could she possible understand that kind of contradicting information from such a trusted and authoritative figure as her father? What was the impact upon her consciousness? What did she just unconsciously learn? How did that affect her ego? Her sense of self in the world she knows and how will that affect her sense of self in subsequent years?

Which brings me back to emotions and the horrors some humans have undergone. That suffering. What I think not many humans grok is that suffering can be soft, horror is not always large, it can be very subtle. . . like entropy, changing and developing small vibrations over time that then result in the current personality/identity of that child in the form of an adult.

The Girl Who Cried WolfWhat happened to that little girl is a subtle terror, an event that will accompany who knows how many more and will shape her as a human being. It’s systematic, to get children all to sit still or to behave as one being so it could be easier (or more efficient) for the teacher to educate them. A good idea, sure, but in actuality what happens is that the children become standardized. The spark, the inspiration for creativity and innovation and imagination breaks down because the channels created have no room for them, no means to categorize something as unpredictable as a room full of children all having ideas simultaneously.

This is one way that fear of emotion is installed in the collective consciousness. That fear to really let go and be fully in the space. . .

“. . . and I’m free, free falling.” ~Tom Petty, ‘Free Falling’

*Image credits (used with permission through CC license)–
“I just want to be happy” by bravelittlebird
“cry, baby, cry” by Barbara Pellizzon
“The Girl Who Cried Wolf” by GaelForce Photography

The Machine

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The Machine

Forget for a moment about consciousness—the conscious and the unconscious. For the moment, it does not apply.

 

 

 

 

 

GearsElements of The Machine – Imagine instead a machine, otherwise known as Labor Machine, an Economy. Imagine an assembly line: the parts, every person behind an ergonomically correct desk (ergonomically correct since it is important to keep the machinery operating as long as possible for the most value, the highest appreciation, even as it depreciates from the first day of service. The same way you oil your car, defrag your computer, or upgrade your cellphone). Every product, the papers shuffled and chased, faxed and scanned, keystroke logged and date transmitted across the aether. The fuel, every illusion in the guise of ambition, promotion, education, salary increase and wage increase, health care benefit, and credit of disposable income (and all income is disposable). The cling and clang, every depressed Enter key, every E-mail sent successfully, and every business call. The oil, every complaint lodged around the bottled water vending machine, every gossip, every rumor, and every Facebook status. The gears, every doctor’s office visit, every pill taken as prescribed, every weekend all-nighter, every vacation, every affair, every therapy visit, every porn film viewed in secret, every alcohol binge, every drug abused, every party, every fight over finances, and every spousal argument. Take a step back now and conceive The Machine, look at it moving, it resembles a pogrom, a laboring camp, intent upon operating unto final extermination.

Wicked LondonThe Production of the Machine – There is much this Machine produces and not all of it tangible. One of which is the so-called Underground Economy. How does this work? As drug deals performed with government supplied money, alcohol purchased with currency-exchanged food stamps, paperless jobs with federal money unreported as transacted, shoplifting and reselling outside of store walls, loans with unapproved, non-LIBOR based rates of interest, unacknowledged police forces, undocumented education, unlicensed practices of lawyering, doctoring, and surgery, unmarked graves and unreported deaths, unconsented fornication, crime never called and violations no law has touched or judged imagined, prisons without statistics, and new humans without names or birthdays. . .endless deception. A machine within The Machine; an inception. On certain levels, there are those who never notice or hear about the underground machine, but profit from its existence. Oh, its shallowed ills are certainly spectacularized by media, but even this arm of the pogrom does not have full access. Its vantage point is too contrived. Nevertheless, within the depths, in limbo of the machine only the workers (Worker Bs) know. Only those marked within the walls, incarcerated by its mentality, suffer sheep-like, the effects. Just wandering blank-eyed zombies with scientifically managed jingles on perpetual play in their heads. Does The Machine disgust no one? Does no one spy its black blood?

UntitledAugmented Reality as Deception in The Machine – Let us now return to consciousness. For it is only consciousness that can conceive of the aspects of the unconscionable; therefore, perceive the products of its creatures. But why deception (as mentioned in preceding paragraph)? Augmented reality:  “More Real Than Real Life” [NOTE: this phrase surmises the definition of augmented reality, which enhances reality by modifying the view of real life using computer-generated input]. Think about that statement. If reality were not merely “real” but also ultimately realized, a reciprocal relationship between subject and object becomes clear. A kind of seamlessness of Heisenberg’s Principle, which, I think, is fundamentally the [philosophical] idea that the external world is as much a component of the internal world as the internal world is as much a component of the external, or the symbiotic synthesis of inner space and outer space. Analogous to if the extrinsic and intrinsic were mother and child, or womb and offspring. As such, sharing molecular structure and genes, atoms of womb remain with offspring. Essentially, transcending the barrier (however, the barrier could also be said to be an illusion, that there really isn’t a between at all; this idea will be explored in subsequent posts, but is not altogether necessary or relevant to current post) of form; i.e., skin and skein, thusly applied to the idea of inception, a machine within The Machine. The Machine as womb, and the Underground Machine as offspring. Now, augmented reality supposes supernaturalism over real and realized, the real world. A kind of divinity, a god; i.e., more than itself than image of itself, like reducing the holy trinity to a hyper-coupling. Mathematically, three equals three plus two, or 3=5. In other words, inception of The Machine creates exponentially (much like the Fibonacci sequence relates to exponential grown) other machines. Not necessarily lesser or greater machines as to use smaller, lesser, or similar description would not adequately describe as size does not matter, only that there is reproduction, another level or subsequent dimension, i.e., the analogy of womb and offspring, with “genetic” structure like the mother, yet dissimilar enough to operate independent of the mother. Ergo, any inception of The Machine resembles The Machine (interdependency) yet operates under its own volition (independency). Exponential because The Machines fractalizes which creates an Underground Machine.

How is reality realized? One way is through sensation, the medium of the senses: eyes, ears, nose, tongue, and skin. Imagining “real life” using this perspective begets a question: what senses, if any, are involved in the realization of Augmented Reality? Augmented Reality by formula conveys by way of transmission through the eyes and ears, subsequently realized in the brain (signal processing). However, Augmented Reality (and essentially the internet and current Digital Era) is actually an illusion. Simply data created about the external world, not information directly processed from or of the external world (the real world, reality). That data, therefore, as sole substance of the extrinsic. Does this not, ergo, effect and affect the intrinsic? Augmented Reality’s apparent boast (“More Real Than Real Life”) does not augment reality, but transforms realization and metamorphoses real life (that is a style of life based on what is realized). Essentially, Augmented Reality would actually purport to possess control over real life. As the senses become obsolete in reality augmented to such an extent, supplanted by steady streams of data. This is the deception.

Mechanical Rose HipThe Ghost from The Machine – The Worker Bs incorporating The Machine constitute a biological organism in the first degree. A biological organism as god, created in god’s (The Machine) image (inception). The manifestation of the trinity (the hyper-coupling mentioned above), more than the realization, quite a difference between manifestation and realization. Augmented Reality as data stream downloaded into the brains (the hive consciousness) of the Worker Bs and the Worker Bs employed, occupied, functioning as an organized body is the manifestation of the trinity; i.e., phasmatis ex apparatus (“ghost from the machine”). Worker Bs (or people, the inhabitants of the Machine as an environment) construct the “consciousness” of the Machine, that consciousness (consciousness in the sense of wisdom of the crowd, or cloud computing) composes the ghost.

Unfortunate EventsThe Machine as a Realized Environment – How does this apply to The Machine? What if The Machine were a realized reality? In other words, not real, only realized? If a biological organism were inhabitant of that machine, in what way does that environment (ex., the operation of The Machine as an environment) affect that organism? Wouldn’t the outcome result in an inception? Quite the inversion of its promises (reality augmented), perhaps a diminished reality (counting as an inception, recall that size or direction does not apply, only that a fractalization results). A dying under the auspices of vitality, a dulling disguised as quickness, a boredom masquerading as invigoration (ex., bureaucracy, employment, and schooling). That is how I see the underground machine, as an inversion. A 90° turn, a twist, a displaced and tangential realm. Clone of the “original” economy (The Machine), only the copy is not quite as astute so degenerates further into depravity (as a whole). The Augmented Reality as perverted, not as superior of nature, but as infranatural or a hyporeality. Not even a parallel universe (the fractalization does not occur linearly) but one tangential; therefore, an electronic homunculus, a monstrosity; albeit, unlike Frankenstein’s for it lacks awareness of its existence.

This originally appeared on my other blog I share with my boyfriend, EXPLORINGtheLATERAL as “Machine: Part One” (I am the original author of the post on that blog).

*Image Credits (all artwork used with permission through CC license)–
“Gears” by tim_d
“Mechanical Rose Hip” by rore
“Steampunk Beholder Miniature robot sculpture – Daniel Proulx – Canada . : Steampunk Exhibition at The Museum of the History of Science, The University of Oxford, U.K.” by Daniel Proulx 
“Wicked London” by Trey Ratcliff
“Untitled” by Jose Maria Perez Nunez
“Unfortunate Events” by ToNToN CoPT

 

 

Test your attention

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Test your ability to keep your attention.

You will watch a brief video clip, and your chal­lenge is to count the total num­ber of times that the bas­ket­balls change hands

You can read about the fas­ci­nat­ing results here.

What is narcissistic personality disorder

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Reblogged from: http://anupturnedsoul.wordpress.com/

The other parts will be reblogged later!

 

July 20, 2013

Please Note: You can skip whatever part you are not interested in – I’m assuming you’re interested in a part of this as you’re reading it – and go straight to whichever part you are looking for. PART ONE indulges my need to understand NPD due to my being the only child of two Narcissists

I read a blog post the other day written by a woman who became alarmed that her propensity to attract Narcissists was a sign that she herself could be one. She had applied the relationship rule that we attract others who express who we are subconsciously, our shadow self, our unclaimed parts. That we project ourselves onto those with whom we have relationships and they reflect us back at ourselves.

PART ONE

I understand her alarm at the possibility that attracting Narcissists means she may be one. If you do a search for information on Narcissistic Personality Disorder the results are ugly. Whether the information comes from a mental health professional or a victim Danger narcissistof a Narcissist, the picture portrayed of the disorder is The Picture of Dorian Gray. If in a moment of clarity, and they do have them, a Narcissist were to suspect that they had NPD, what they would read would be too awful to accept and they would retreat back into their disorder to protect themselves from the very wound they became a Narcissist to escape.

It doesn’t help that many people confuse Sociopathy with Narcissism. The two conditions have similarities, but they are not the same. Narcissists are mostly unaware of what they are doing. Sociopaths always know exactly what they are doing. Narcissists manipulate others because they need to control their reality, and others are part of their constructed reality, it is partly conscious, they do think that they are very clever, but it is largely subconscious. A Sociopath is always conscious. Narcissists do have feelings, much of their behaviour stems from a need to not feel what they are feeling because their emotions are those of a young child, frightening, huge, uncontrollable, and they never learned how to process and deal with their emotions because the Narcissistic wound occurs during the phase when children learn to do so. Sociopaths do not feel, their wound occurred before the emotional nature developed.

Sociopathy occurs before the Narcissistic phase of development, and is usually the result of an infant undergoing abuse the likes of which most of us do not want to imagine. It has also been linked to early brain damage. The trauma which creates a Narcissist is very different from the trauma which creates a Sociopath.

A large percentage of Narcissists are created by one or both parents invading the fragile boundaries of a young child and pushing the emerging identity out of the body and replacing it with their own. They project themselves into the child and the child becomes them, losing touch with themselves and their real identity, which is why a Narcissist can change their identity easily, discarding one for another, because they have no fixed identity of their own. This kind of abuse is often unseen by others, as to the outside world the parent or parents of a Narcissist appear to be very loving, perhaps too loving, over-protective, sacrificing everything for the child. Parents who think that their very young child is a genius and who do everything in their power to nurture that genius, pushing the child to fulfill its potential often at the expense of the child having a childhood, run the risk of creating a Narcissist.

In some ways you could equate the Narcissistic wound to a country which has been invaded, the original inhabitants, the natives, are rounded up by the invaders and exterminated or exiled to an inhospitable, uninhabitable, part of the country. The invaders call themselves settlers and proceed to build a home in this new land, yet without any visceral connection to it all they see is the potential therein, the fertile fields which can be farmed until every nutrient is removed from the ground, the abundant wildlife which is hunted to extinction, the resources, the ore, the gold, the oil, removed from the earth, every inch exploited without thought for the consequences of the exploitation, because it doesn’t matter, once this country is empty of value, the settlers will unsettle themselves and move to new territory, repeat the cycle, because they have no real roots in this land. They have a homeland, but they choose for whatever reason not to live there, perhaps because they are unwelcome there and don’t feel a sense of belonging anywhere. The Earth is a temporary home.

Those who inflict the Narcissistic wound which creates a Narcissist never claim responsibility for what they have done. They did their very best, obviously the child was a bad seed and a bad egg. Either that or they never see the bad side of the Narcissist and tell their child that the world just isn’t prepared to accept such a superhuman being.

Narcissistic Parents - Words from Their Children - NARCISSISTIC PERSONALITY DISORDERThey do what they do to their child because they can and because they think it is good for them, and they tell themselves that they do it for the good of the Narcissist. They know better. Because those who create Narcissists are always in a position of power over the person, the child, who is made into a Narcissist, and they abuse that power, consciously sometimes, but often unconsciously. They often believe they are doing what is best for the child, and for themselves, but they often think they are sacrificing their good for the future of the child. They are noble in their quest. They often feel that they are harnessing the potential of the child, which the child will spend years wasting while being a child, while having a childhood, and which the child might waste as an adult too.

The Narcissist creator wants control of another’s life because they could live it better than the person to whom it belongs, because they feel that they have wasted their own life in some way and are angry about it. They need redemption, a second chance… and they take it, because they believe that you can make your own dreams come true by seizing whatever opportunity is available, even if it means kicking someone else, a child, out of their own body, and taking that body and mind over. The sacrifice will be worth it.

If you’re going to hate a Narcissist, spare some hate for those who created the Narcissist. Those who wounded a child so deeply that the child grew up to spread that wound around, and inflict the pain of the wound onto others. They did not do this to themselves. They did not wound themselves. Why would anyone do that to themselves, especially not a child. Human beings are designed by nature to avoid pain. We only hurt ourselves and others when we are already hurting.

narcissistThere are a lot of Narcissists in our world, psychologists have come to the conclusion that we are living in a Narcissistic society. So the chances are that all of us will attract a Narcissist, maybe more, at some point and have a relationship with someone with NPD. This could be a boss, a colleague, a friend, a lover or a partner.

There are some traits which are particularly attractive to Narcissists, and if you display these traits you will be more prone to being a magnet for Narcissists. Many of the traits which Narcissists find attractive are the same ones we are encouraged to develop to be socially acceptable. They vary slightly with gender.

There is a myth that those with NPD are predominantly male. In my personal experience I have met more female Narcissists than male ones. I think the reason that there seems to be fewer female Narcissists than male ones can be explained by society’s behavioural excuse system – stereotypes. All women are crazy. Thus a female Narcissist is less likely to be seen as having NPD and more likely to be labeled as a woman being stereotypically crazy, prone to irrational emotional outbursts, and emotionally manipulative, in other words, hormonally challenged. Female Narcissists also tend to be very sexually aware, often displaying what is known as sexually inappropriate behaviour, and will do things which will turn a man’s brain to mush. Thus men are less likely to realise that a woman has NPD. Other women will label such a woman with names which will be put down to envy and jealousy. A female Narcissist will often have few if any female friends, and she will be rather proud of this often stating boldly that she prefers men to women. A female Narcissist also makes very little distinction between seducing a male and seducing a female. Seduction is a very useful tool, people who are no longer thinking with their minds are easier to manipulate, and less likely to notice what you are doing. If they come to their senses, their embarrassment will protect the Narcissist. They will blame their own weakness, be ashamed of their own desire, and not blame and shame the Narcissist. The Narcissist will be gone before that penny drops, if it ever does.

Humanistic theory and therapy, applied to the psychotic individual

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Humanistic Theory and Therapy, Applied to the Psychotic Individual

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Green Rorschach test

Sometimes people understand psychosis or schizophrenia to be unrelenting, even with the intervention of psychotherapy. It is contended herein that therapy, and humanistic therapy in particular, can be helpful to the psychotic individual, but, perhaps, the therapist may have difficulty understanding how this approach can be applied to the problems of psychosis. Although it is a prevalent opinion in our society that schizophrenics are not responsive to psychotherapy, it is asserted herein that any therapist can relate in a psychotic individual, and, if therapy is unsuccessful, this failure may stem from the therapist’s qualities instead of those of the psychotic individual.

Carl Rogers created a theory and therapy indicated by the terms “umanistic theory” and “person-centered therapy”. This theoretical perspective postulates many important ideas, and several of these ideas are pertinent to this discussion. The first of these is the idea of “conditions of worth”, and the idea of “the actualizing tendency.” Rogers asserts that our society applies to us “conditions of worth”. This means that we must behave in certain ways in order to receive rewards, and receipt of these rewards imply that we are worthy if we behave in ways that are acceptable. As an example, in our society, we are rewarded with money when we do work that is represented by employment.

In terms of the life of a schizophrenic, these conditions of worth are that from which stigmatization proceeds. The psychotic individuals in our society, without intentionality, do not behave in ways that produce rewards. Perhaps some people believe that schizophrenics are parasites in relation to our society. This estimation of the worth of these individuals serves only to compound their suffering. The mentally ill and psychotic individuals, in particular, are destitute in social, personal and financial spheres.

rogersCarl Roger’s disapproved of conditions of worth, and, in fact, he believed that human beings and other organisms strive to fulfill their potential. This striving represents what Roger’s termed “the actualizing tendency” and the “force of life.” This growth enhancing aspect of life motivates all life forms to develop fully their own potential. Rogers believed that mental illness reflects distortions of the actualizing tendency, based upon faulty conditions of worth. It is clear that psychotic people deal with negatively skewed conditions of worth.

It is an evident reality that the mentally ill could more successfully exist in the world if stigmas were not applied to them. The mentally ill engage in self-denigration and self-laceration that culminate in the destruction of selfhood. This psychological violence toward the mentally ill is supported by non-mentally ill others. The type of self-abuse by psychotic individuals would certainly abate if the normative dismissal of the mentally ill as worthless is not perpetuated.

In spite of a prevalent view that psychotic individuals are unsuccessful in the context of psychotherapy, Roger’s theory and therapy of compassion cannot be assumed to be unhelpful to the mentally ill. The key components of Rogers’ approach to psychotherapy include unconditional positive regard, accurate empathy and genuineness. Unconditional positive regard, accurate empathy and genuineness are considered to be qualities of the therapist enacted in relation to the client in terms of humanistic therapy. These qualities are essential to the process of humanistic therapy.

In terms of these qualities, unconditional positive regard is a view of a person or client that is accepting and warm, no matter what that person in therapy reveals in terms of his or her emotional problems or experiences. This means that an individual in the context of humanistic psychotherapy, or in therapy with a humanistic psychologist or therapist, should expect the therapist to be accepting of whatever that individual reveals to the therapist. In this context, the therapist will be accepting and understanding regardless of what one tells the therapist.

Accurate empathy is represented as understanding a client from that person’s own perspective. This means that the humanistic psychologist or therapist will be able to perceive you as you perceive yourself, and that he will feel sympathy for you on the basis of the knowledge of your reality. He will know you in terms of knowing your thoughts and feelings toward yourself, and he will feel empathy and compassion for you based on that fact. .

As another quality enacted by the humanistic therapist, genuineness is truthfulness in one’s presentation toward the client; it is integrity or a self-representation that is real. To be genuine with a client reflects qualities in a therapist that entail more than simply being a therapist. It has to do with being an authentic person with one’s client. Carl Rogers believed that, as a therapist, one could be authentic and deliberate simultaneously. This means that the therapist can be a “real” person, even while he is intentionally saying and doing what is required to help you.

The goal of therapy from the humanistic orientation is to allow the client to achieve congruence in term of his real self and his ideal self. This means that what a person is and what he wants to be should become the same as therapy progresses. Self-esteem that is achieved in therapy will allow the client to elevate his sense of what he is, and self-esteem will also lessen his need to be better than what he is. Essentially, as the real self is more accepted by the client, and his raised self-esteem will allow him to be less than some kind of “ideal” self that he feels he is compelled to be. It is the qualities of unconditional positive regard, accurate empathy and genuineness in the humanistic therapist that allow the therapist to assist the client in cultivating congruence between the real self and the ideal self from that client’s perspective.

<a href=”schizophrenia” title=””>What the schizophrenic experiences can be confusing. It is clear that most therapists, psychiatrists and clinicians cannot understand the perspectives of the chronically mentally ill. Perhaps if they could understand what it is to feel oneself to be in a solitary prison of one’s skin and a visceral isolation within one’s mind, with hallucinations clamoring, then the clinicians who treat mental illness would be able to better empathize with the mentally ill. The problem with clinicians’ empathy for the mentally ill is that the views of mentally ill people are remote and unthinkable to them. Perhaps the solitariness within the minds of schizophrenics is the most painful aspect of being schizophrenics, even while auditory hallucinations can form what seems to be a mental populace.

Based upon standards that make them feel inadequate, the mentally ill respond to stigma by internalizing it. If the mentally ill person can achieve the goal of congruence between the real self and the ideal self, their expectations regarding who “they should be” may be reconciled with an acceptance of “who they are”. As they lower their high standards regarding who they should be, their acceptance of their real selves may follow naturally.

Carl Rogers said, “As I accept myself as I am, only then can I change.” In humanistic therapy, the therapist can help even a schizophrenic accept who they are by reflecting acceptance of the psychotic individual. This may culminate in curativeness, although perhaps not a complete cure. However, when the schizophrenic becomes more able to accept who they are, they can then change. Social acceptance is crucial for coping with schizophrenia, and social acceptance leads to self-acceptance by the schizophrenic. The accepting therapist can be a key component in reducing the negative consequences of stigma as it has affected the mental ill patient client.

This, then, relates to conditions of worth and the actualizing tendency. “Conditions of worth” affect the mentally ill more severely than other people. Simple acceptance and empathy by a clinician may be curative to some extent, even for the chronically mentally ill. If the schizophrenic individual is released from conditions of worth that are entailed by stigmatization, then perhaps the actualizing tendency would assert itself in them in a positive way, lacking distortion.

In the tradition of person-centered therapy, the client is allowed to lead the conversation or the dialogue of the therapy sessions. This is ideal for the psychotic individual, provided he believes he is being heard by his therapist. Clearly, the therapist’s mind will have to stretch as they seek to understand the client’s subjective perspective. In terms of humanistic therapy, this theory would seem to apply to all individuals, as it is based upon the psychology of all human beings, each uniquely able to benefit from this approach by through the growth potential that is inherent in them. In terms of the amelioration of psychosis by means of this therapy, Rogers offers hope.

Image via Kheng Guan Toh / Shutterstock.

Ann Reitan, PsyD, is a clinical psychologist and well published essayist of fiction and creative nonfiction. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from University of Washington, Master of Arts in Psychology from Pepperdine University, and Doctorate of Clinical Psychology from Alliant International University. Her post-doctoral research at Washington University in St. Louis, MO, involved personality theory, idiodynamics and creativity in literature.

Double Blind studies: Is it really flawless testing?

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A ‘double blind’ is a term used to describe a decision process whereby parties involved avoid knowing crucialinformation to avoid generating biased results. (Sampson, 2007)  For example, a drug researcher may give participants a set of tablets hidden in foil casing; one set of a certain colour will have a real chemical drug, and the other foiled set will be a placebo.  Neither the drug researcher nor participants will know whether or not the medication was the real thing until the experiment has been completed. (Margraf, 1991)
Double blind testing is a common process for testing placebo effects with drugs.  A placebo effect describes the phoenomenon in which self-soothing occurs; symptoms can be aleviated by an otherwise ineffective treatment; a psychosomatic self-assurance process.  This placebo effect is a common phoenomenon amongst many drug trials.

Petracca et. al (1996) created a double blind study to test the effects of anti-depressant drugs on patients with Alzheimers who were suffering with depression.  21 Alz patients recieved a 6-week treatment; the results showed a dramatic increase in all participants who had recieved the placebo and the anti-depressant drugs.  However, Patrecca claimed that the placebo patients began to show depression symptoms during the washout period, slowly worsening over time until their moods were the same as before, but the anti-depressant candidates did not suffer during the washout period and instead maintained their moods.

But can we say that this study is flawless?

The main advantages of a double-blind study of rely on its confidence.  If neither the researcher nor the participant knows the effect of their drug then this prevents bias from both the researcher and participant; whether the decision is made consciously or subsconsciously.  But Liebert (2010) believes that many skeptics still see double-blind studies as near-to-flawless and this it has proven a problem in some analysing of studies.

Margraf, 1991 believes the main issue of double-blind studies is that they can be prone to fraud; it is possible for researchers to fabricate data without easily being caught. In these sorts of cases, only further replication of the test and a wider range of studies can detect any fraud.

False positives and false negatives can also have a harmful effect on the studies; if results are not given out (which they are often not with double blind trials) a false score can go a miss.  This is known as publication bias. (Matthews et. al. 1991)

In conclusion, double-blind testing is not flawless, but it does have it’s advantages!  If all results were published from every study, it would avoid publication bias as well as allow for further interpretation and finding fraud within studies. The moral of the story is: don’t be skeptical about a study just because it’s double-blind; it’s not always flawless!