• Tom Storm
    967
    I'd add "and those who can do neither, post.csalisbury

    I thought it went: 'and those who can't teach, take gym...'

    Sounds like things are a bit tough for you. I'm sorry to hear that. I value your contributions here - you have a nimble mind and use language beautifully.

    But meanwhile, do meditation, help friends and family when they need, cook good meals, so forth. And maybe sometimes be the grumpy person when doing it?)csalisbury

    I like this advice. I can be grumpy sometimes and it is my least useful and most unattractive attribute.
  • unenlightened
    5.6k
    We know of all these people that they were difficult in their own lives - their own relationships fell ever apart - but razor-sharp and charming while appraising the situations of others. Why is that?csalisbury

    Since you are generalising the personal here, I'll respond personally {arrogantly putting myself on a par with these heroes}. In my dotage, I have become more sensitive both to myself and to others. To the extent that I cannot abide for very long a superficial relationship any more, which is almost every relationship. Even at the great distance of the internet, too many people even on this site are not serious, but concerned with winning an argument or looking clever. I can't be bothered; life's too short.


    Being an admin back in the day taught me to accept the need to be unpleasant to people at times - bans and deletes etc. And to be tolerant of the flames that tend to result. At first I was shocked and upset at being called a fascist or worse, but the support of the staff helped me get used to it.

    And that's it really I think. Where does a therapist go for therapy? There is no individual entirely immune to the environment, and the more one deals in the day job with other people's shit, the more one needs a shit-free relationship at home. And a good man these days sure is hard to find.
  • fdrake
    4.7k
    Isn't there something violent in this whole schema of needs and tactics, and the rest? Who talks about people in terms of needs and tactics, like this? The R D Laing of Knots, the Eric Berne of Games People Play, the Gregory Bateson of Many Books, the Alan Watts of Many Lectures.csalisbury

    Yes. Heuristics regarding people quickly become idealisations. Applies as much to mysticism as therapy as psychology.

    But then that's not the trauma we're talking about is it?unenlightened

    I don't think the boundary is that clear. To the extent you can displace/distract to preserve your ego/self defend, your needs and tactics have a fungibility. If I need to beat you because I can't bear my own shame... What distinguishes a need from a strongly held desire which is critical in maintaining one's self concept?
  • unenlightened
    5.6k
    But then that's not the trauma we're talking about is it?
    — unenlightened

    I don't think the boundary is that clear.
    fdrake

    In the end, I don't think it's that important.

    If I need to beat you because I can't bear my own shame...fdrake

    I didn't know you cared! Of course you can beat me if it is important to you. But wait; is it important to you that you beat me against my will? In that case, of course I will resist you.

    Ok. When we are in this sado-masochistic relationship, it cannot be a non-violent one, and more people are in such a confused state than can admit it even to themselves. This is the situation of our society as a whole, that we take joy in punishment and retribution. It might even be hard wired - it has been suggested.

    But did you misunderstand me? All I meant was that when we talk about the effects of trauma, we are talking about past trauma, not present trauma.
  • fdrake
    4.7k
    But did you misunderstand me? All I meant was that when we talk about the effects of trauma, we are talking about past trauma, not present trauma.unenlightened

    I think trauma blurs the distinction between the past and the future. The past has a frustrated need in it, the future is lived to compensate. Perhaps that's where we're talking past each other.
  • csalisbury
    2.8k
    Since you are generalising the personal here,unenlightened

    Right, this is the dialectical maneuver in a nutshell. So, to take that tactics lens: You're I know-you-are-ing the but-what-am-I. If we both nakedly did the dialectical maneuvers to one another it would be two mirrors facing one another and it would reflect infinitely out a glitchy emptiness. The dialectic is an engine that needs fuel, and another dialectic can't fuel it.

    I think we both, in different ways, stumbled, at some point upon the insight - oh! you can 'zoom-out' a level and take others statements about stuff as the content for a 'higher-level' (zoomed-out) discussion.

    I think we also both, in different ways, stumbled upon people who we ingenuously believed were pointing a way out of it.

    And I think we both, in different ways, believe that pointing - the pointing of those we admired - to be genuinely pointing to something real. But while we soak up their vibes, and points, we nevertheless remain gummily-stuck to the security of the dialectically-able anchor point.

    And - this is my main feeling - I think this is all wrapped up somehow in good/bad stuff. It's bad to post to look clever - but we both do it. At the same time - to get more personal - we both post stuff, occasionally, that attempts to create and sustain a shared-vibe. As when you post a youtube video with a song - trying to get closer to a shared feeling. I admire that because the end-point, telos, whatever, is to feel some shared attunement with others - a shared attunement where the person saying 'shared attunement' is missing the point. But what happens invariably is something disrupts that.

    Gary Snyder - american poet if you don't know him, but i bet you do - once said that most western buddhism is crypto-protestantism. I thInk I agree. There is something in [all the pysch-systems guys i mentioned ] that is clinically, x-raying sin.* Hypocrisy. The pharisees say this, but they're really aiming to satisfy base urges through the veneer of spirituality. The real spirituality is: x. Not like those other threads.

    I've been reading a lot about Shamanism and Taoism. There is transcendence but there's also a lot of pretty 'vulgar' everything. What comes out in a shamanic ritual? every emotion - a shaman (and the community watching) feel joy, anger, revulsion, happiness, sadness - it builds on itself - it builds and builds. Catharsis means getting all the emotions unstuck to fling them up. One of the worst feelings is being sick and wanting to puke but you can't. You're sick in every part of your body, you are sickness. And then the feeling after puking is great.

    Imo, The greatest trick the ego ever pulled is to focus our attention on 'spiritual' emotions while foreclosing others. The more you foreclose them, the stronger they bubble up underneath, the more you have to resist them, the more appealing the idea of self who has the right emotions and approaches.

    So: you never get to puke. You feel sick and, feeling sick, need a release. (this is why I brought up J Krishnamurti earlier. I imagine you know of his experience with 'the process' - but I found that, when I googled it, it takes some digging to get to it. If you don't know, 'the process' was a thing Krishnamurti experienced as a kind of agonizing nonsensical writhing of the body and emotions that would sometimes last for hours or more. He would undergo it constantly, before appearing on state, stiff and wooden, to talk spiritually of spiritual things.)

    Needs and tactics: The thing with needs is they aren't just in 'the self' and then projected onto others through tactics. Back to Gary Snyder & cryptoprotestantism - & the language of the biblical prophets who are constantly saying that the people of israel have fallen into using tactics to manipulate God, and he won't have it any more (e.g. 'the smoke of your altars is irritating gods nostrils!' etc)

    Babies needs are always other-directed, from the beginning. Needs are always personalized So are ours. We need to live and puke our emotions, personally, in order to live and enjoy them at others. Otherwise we'll oscillate between idealizing non-emotion and puking in the wrong spot - then, guilty, go back to idealizing the right emotions and so forth. This is why Alan watts is such a good example: dialectically right-on-the-money, getting onto the stage and saying it all, then leaving the stage, and his family, to drink.

    -----
    *'sin' in the original sense - a state of being that is off the path. Using tactics because separated from needs.
  • csalisbury
    2.8k
    I like this advice. I can be grumpy sometimes and it is my least useful and most unattractive attribute.Tom Storm

    Same here. I'm trying to find a way to productively channel that grumpy energy. In the meantime, I've found that self-criticizing myself for being grumpy - as you describe, and which is what I usually do too - creates a bad feedback loop that gets me more grumpy. (it's what you see in kids too: if a kid is grumpy and parents make a thing of it, it perpetuates itself.) When I'm able to allow myself to just be grumpy, and unattractive and unuseful, it plays itself out much quicker. The cliche of relating to yourself the way you relate to friends seems true too - when a friend's grumpy, you just give them some space until it dissipates, and don't usually judge it too harshly.
  • unenlightened
    5.6k


    Well yes to all of that, or most of it anyways - I might have a thought about the Process to express one day.

    But actually, I don't think that is what non-violent communication is about. It's not a theory that only special non-violent people can understand, it's something grumpy, traumatised, people can learn to do sometimes, something your everyday relationship counsellor might try and do with their clients, or peace brokers could model and teach in their negotiations, or my wife and I might use to defuse our conflicts. It's a very humdrum revolution for part-time peacemakers, not enlightenment for the unenlightened..

    I think trauma blurs the distinction between the past and the future. The past has a frustrated need in it, the future is lived as a tactic to compensate. Perhaps that's where we're talking past each other.fdrake

    I agree/don't understand.

    You say the distinction is blurred and then characterise it fairly precisely. The traumatised person finds the past intruding into the present. This is not what the traumatised person says though, it is the view from outside, where the distinction between past and present is perfectly clear, and we can talk about "post-traumatic stress". Which is exactly the reappearance of the stress of the past in the present as "inappropriate reactions"
  • fdrake
    4.7k
    Which is exactly the reappearance of the stress of the past in the present as "inappropriate reactions"unenlightened

    I'm quite happy to characterise them as "inappropriate reactions", as it mixes up what counts as a need with the norms they are recognised by, and muddying the waters regarding that concept was my goal here.
  • csalisbury
    2.8k
    But actually, I don't think that is what non-violent communication is about. It's not a theory that only special non-violent people can understand, it's something grumpy, traumatised, people can learn to do sometimes, something your everyday relationship counsellor might try and do with their clients, or peace brokers could model and teach in their negotiations, or my wife and I might use to defuse our conflicts. It's a very humdrum revolution for part-time peacemakers, not enlightenment for the unenlightened..unenlightened

    Well shoot, I can't argue with that
    ----
    (no hidden meaning here, I just straightforwardly get what you're saying and it makes sense.)
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