• Posty McPostface
    1.5k
    I'm almost saying that individuality is madness...unenlightened

    Yes, I can't help but feel that as being true in light of intersubjective therapy.
  • Metaphysician Undercover
    2.4k
    Part of the dialogical approach is that ideas rarely happen in an 'inner world' but rather in the inter-world.mcdoodle

    I don't think that this is correct to say that ideas rarely happen in the inner-world. We spend some time talking and we spend some time thinking, but for many of us, we're not doing too much thinking when we're talking. We're all different with respect to our thinking habits, and some are constantly thinking over problems, working out one's own plan, and saying very little. This is the inner-world. There are people, whom for one reason or another, have difficulty in the inter-world, they become shy and retracted, spending much time in the inner-world. It would not be fair to classify these people as mentally ill, just because they produce a vast imaginary world for themselves, some may turn out to be geniuses.

    I need to read some more, so this is a directed random fragment of fragments. Let me just remark that there seems to be a foundational, unreflective immediacy of intersubjectivity that is prior to language that can be exemplified by mother and child relations that are non-verbal in the first instance. And this bodily immediacy persists in dialogue generally as 'body language', and is only eliminated as a major factor in virtual worlds such as this.unenlightened

    I like mcdoodle's terms of "inner" and "inter". We could oppose inner-subjectivity with inter-subjectivity, and see how these two are really entwined, and that the way we each approach them varies immensely from person to person. Suppose my mother was spending too much time talking to my older siblings, and I disdained this, feeling a lack of attention. I could shy away from this inter-subjective world, realizing that I could hide things from the others within my inner-subjective world. Knowing things which others do not, holding secrets, gives one a certain position of power. Being younger than the others, I'd enjoy this taste of power. For those who have come to love and cultivate this power, the unity of "one-mindedness" has a completely different role. The appearance of one-mindedness coming from these people is an illusion, created with the motive of deception. Look, we think alike, you can trust me on this (but I'll screw you when the time is right).

    Holding secrets from one another is a form of dishonesty. We all do it, some more so then others. After all, there is no moral code which dictates that we must tell each other everything. Some talk more than others, but if it's just blab the talkers could be holding more secrets than the non-talkers.

    My traumatic initiation into the solitary cerebral self.unenlightened

    We do not know exactly what drives a young child away from the inter-subjective toward the inner-subjective, the reasons for this I think can be infinite. The fact is that it does happen to us all, to an extend, some more than others. I do not think that we can say whether it is something good or bad, moderation is the goal I suppose. But like many aspects of our personalities, we can develop the same trait in a good way or a bad way. I think Plato said something about this, a person's potential can go either way, toward bad or good. An individual's perspective toward the inter-subjective and the inner-subjective, is developed at a very young age, as you say. When we grow through childhood and adolescence, we must learn to cope with what is already there. The coping determines the good, the bad, and the ugly.
  • unenlightened
    1.4k
    We do not know exactly what drives a young child away from the inter-subjective toward the inner-subjective, the reasons for this I think can be infinite. The fact is that it does happen to us all, to an extend, some more than others. I do not think that we can say whether it is something good or bad,Metaphysician Undercover

    What I was hoping to illustrate with my anecdote was that intersubjective communication is - in the beginning at least - nonverbal. And I wanted to ask you because you asked,
    Where does honesty lie in this approach?Metaphysician Undercover
    , whether the notion of honesty could apply to my mother's nonverbal communication, and if so, whether it was honest or dishonest?

    I'm inclined to think that she did not any more want the intimacy I presumed, and conveyed it by subtly ridiculing me for wanting it, without actually denying me by pushing me away. And I cannot say in this situation, and in so many others, whether this is honest or dishonest, because it is the relationship transforming itself, and in the transformation, both my and my mother's identities are transformed (mine more so). I suppose one could translate this into English as the instruction, "Grow up." where being grown up has a particular social meaning, of physical separation with attendant implications of emotional independence.

    I think such emotional independence is an aspiration of modernity at least; Facebook is full of exhortations not to let the bastards grind you down, but to be happy in you private enlightened bubble. And yet one sees even on this most cerebral and disembodied of sites, that the emotional tone of posts communicate themselves such that some threads become frivolous, some fractious, some fairly serious some fairly congenial. As if in each thread one is participating in and contributing to an intersubjective emotional being. Whether it is good or bad to be influenced or uninfluenced by the emotions of others rather depends what those emotions are, and what they are about, but moreover, our agreement or disagreement about goodness and badness is itself a matter of intersubjective emotion.
  • mcdoodle
    859
    whether the notion of honesty could apply to my mother's nonverbal communication, and if so, whether it was honest or dishonest?

    I'm inclined to think that she did not any more want the intimacy I presumed, and conveyed it by subtly ridiculing me for wanting it, without actually denying me by pushing me away. And I cannot say in this situation, and in so many others, whether this is honest or dishonest, because it is the relationship transforming itself, and in the transformation, both my and my mother's identities are transformed (mine more so). I suppose one could translate this into English as the instruction, "Grow up." where being grown up has a particular social meaning, of physical separation with attendant implications of emotional independence.
    unenlightened

    'Honesty' is interesting, MacIntyre for instance sets much store by it as a virtue, and its virtue is not something I understand.

    My equivalent moment to yours about your Mum was when I was being bullied at school at the age of 9 and my Dad found me crying late at night. But he couldn't bring himself to be comforting, and he told me I had to learn to fight back and be a man. Even now, all these years on, this appals me, for I think he was saying, this is who I am, I'm not going to comfort you, I'm going to Tell You The Truth As I See It. (and he knew more about bullying than being bullied)

    It's a lack of good emotional education that brought them to this. It seems to me part of the very culture that values propositional knowledge and honesty over-highly, and I speak as one who greatly values propositional knowledge.
  • unenlightened
    1.4k
    But he couldn't bring himself to be comforting, and he told me I had to learn to fight back and be a man. Even now, all these years on, this appals me, for I think he was saying, this is who I am, I'm not going to comfort you, I'm going to Tell You The Truth As I See It.mcdoodle

    Interestingly, its another case where there seems to be no application for 'truth' or 'honesty', because it is a command - 'Be a man' = 'Stop snivelling and learn to fight'. And the same kind of command is hidden in every external declaration of one's nature. Here is a simple slipknot that will suffice to hang any dog with its bad name:

    " You're always defiant and argumentative."
    "No I'm not."
    "See? You're doing it again."

    I'm not sure what the Catch number of that is, but there is a hidden command, or at least an unhidden provocation, to be the thing that is being complained of, to the extent that the opposite response, "Yes, I suppose I am." is equally, if not more so, argumentative and defiant.
  • Metaphysician Undercover
    2.4k
    What I was hoping to illustrate with my anecdote was that intersubjective communication is - in the beginning at least - nonverbal. And I wanted to ask you because you asked,Where does honesty lie in this approach? — Metaphysician Undercover, whether the notion of honesty could apply to my mother's nonverbal communication, and if so, whether it was honest or dishonest?unenlightened

    I think there are too many subtleties and unknown factors to judge the honesty of your mother in that particular situation. As I said, I think that even to hold a secret is most likely to be dishonest. So if she thought that your days of being a baby were through, it would be dishonest for her to hide this from you, and her actions were an honest expression. But we cannot even say that keeping a secret is always being dishonest, because sometimes the situation in which the secret needs to be disclosed does not ever arise. When this is the case, then how can keeping a secret be dishonesty? If the secret is irrelevant to everyone else then there cannot be dishonesty. But if the situation does arise, and the person does not disclose the secret, there is dishonesty. Sometimes, I find that in my shyness I do not say what I should say. Later, I may feel discomfort, a sort of guilt, for not saying what I should have said when the time was right. So I can only interpret this feeling of guilt as being derived from a type of dishonesty which I see in myself.

    I believe honesty and deception go far deeper than verbal communication. You can sometimes witness dogs being dishonest with each other, and these actions are probably pervasive in the animal kingdom, perhaps in the actions of hiding food from each other. Dishonesty, I believe, is easier to identify than honesty because it mostly involves hiding something from others. When the hidden thing is disclosed the dishonesty is exposed, and the evidence is often conclusive. But where is the evidence of honesty? How can we know that the other person is not hiding something, when the hider may be just very good at it?
  • unenlightened
    1.4k
    I believe honesty and deception go far deeper than verbal communication.Metaphysician Undercover

    Right. I might have recourse to my stick insect example. The poor stick insect is genetically condemned to, all unknowing, pretend to be s stick. Or a cat is instinctively programmed to stand sideways, raise its hackles, and arch its back under threat in a pretence of being bigger than it is. I remember a schoolfellow who, whenever he was frightened by 'the authorities' broke into a placatory smile, and got into lots of trouble because it was often (mis)interpreted as 'dumb insolence'.

    In my mother's case, I never talked to her about the incident, and I very much doubt she was aware of what she did, attached any significance to it, or even remembered it. so my story is all there is of it. But in all these cases, my own feeling is that honesty/dishonesty is not even applicable. Cats, stick insects, the schoolboys, my mother, seem to be 'doing what come naturally'; there is deception perhaps, but no intention to deceive.

    Where I find a more agonising grey area, is the notion of self-deception. I can wonder, for example if @McDoodle's father might have been deceiving himself that he was 'doing the right thing' and 'helping his son to grow up' and so on, when in fact he was recoiling from the expression by his son of his own feelings of hurt.

    Sometimes, I find that in my shyness I do not say what I should say. Later, I may feel discomfort, a sort of guilt, for not saying what I should have said when the time was right. So I can only interpret this feeling of guilt as being derived from a type of dishonesty which I see in myself.Metaphysician Undercover

    I do understand that shyness can inhibit honest expression, but one could also say that forced expression can cover up honest shyness. So basically you're fucked either way. :D There was this thing a few years ago 'assertiveness training'. It was aimed at women mainly. One of my sisters was into it for a while, and it would have been great if she had actually had anything to assert, but as it was, it became selfish bitch training, I'm afraid.

    Anyway, honesty - vitally important but I don't really know what it is. Perhaps we have to say that it is your best effort to respond fully in the moment, in the condition that you're in, as far as you know. And then your second-guesses afterwards are perhaps self insights, or perhaps deceptive self-flagellation, and it will take your best third guess to decide which.
  • Wosret
    2.3k
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gMddEbMwsPM

    Everyone needs some selfish bitch training. People are deeply mistaken about what is moral, in my view. Or to put it bluntly, their morality is ridiculously egocentric. You should be unthreatening, kind, and helpful. That's what's being moral. Bleed, bite your lip, and don't challenge me, or take care of yourself leaving useless fucking me high and dry!

    You must give what it is possible for you to give, and there to be no mention of the means by which one acquires things to help with. So that as long as I am unthreatening, and full of shit kind all the time, I can be the most useless, leech about, and how I take care of myself, and by implication my entire community is never to be brought into question.

    These views, vantage points on the issue are clearly seen only from certain real world positions. People that are helping are subject to the demands of kindness, tongue biting, and more and more help. Those being helped are subject of the demands to look at themselves, tell the truth, grow a thick skin, conform to the stereotypes they bemoan and hate because they don't already represent them, as if the people that gain from the social mobility of their possession put not effort in, and were just born that way...

    Unfortunately, I don't even think that both sides have a point, I think that one side is just wrong, and harming everyone around them.
  • Cavacava
    1.6k
    Got power back on thank you FP&L.

    I thought about Interventions when I read MU's post. How people who got sucked into a cult, were then abducted, restrained, by those concerned, and set upon by the conscious deconstruction of their belief patterns. A brainwashing or a kind of spiritual gang rape.

    The Lapland study suggests that they use drugs as necessary, which was in the minority (30% ?) of the cases. There is a difference between a functional disorder which may be treatable and a physiological disorder which may be only treatable by some regime of medication. Apparently small physiological disorders are not the uncommon, but our brain is plastic enough to wire around them.

    Approximately 1 in 5 adults in the U.S.—43.8 million, or 18.5%—experiences mental illness in a given year.
    Approximately 1 in 25 adults in the U.S.—9.8 million, or 4.0%—experiences a serious mental illness in a given year that substantially interferes with or limits one or more major life activities.
    Approximately 1 in 5 youth aged 13–18 (21.4%) experiences a severe mental disorder at some point during their life. For children aged 8–15, the estimate is 13%.

    The doctors in Lapland have established procedures, which are meant to sort things out from the start. They attempt to position the patient for the best outcome, whether that is in a hospital or not, and they have 30 years experience doing this with apparently very good results. Their methods suggest that people have a strong inclination to participate in solving their own mental problems in cooperation with a group which is not hierarchical structured, but gives them say in their treatment, a group they can trust.

    A child identifies with its mother (or surrogate) until approximately 1 year old or perhaps even earlier. I think that the child's physical separation from the mother (she has to get back to work or something similar) generally coincides with the child's separation of itself from the world and its obtainment of self awareness. Where self awareness is thought of as a functional process of consciousness. The child also picks up language around this period, which enable it to identify and differentiate internal and external perceptions. The child learns to associate words with what they signify, and eventually they learn the arbitrary nature of words. I think this learning becomes the basis of a child's value system, where the child's immediate context, the inter subjective roles they learn have a direct impact on the meanings the child associates with its experiences, a process which evolves as the child develops. Perhaps the Laplanders are able to tap into a similar process, in the development of their patients.

    The doctors in Lapland are skilled at handling patients who have lost their way mentally, they work with the patient as part of team, in which the patient particulates in the outcome. My guess is that the doctors are able to help their patients by tapping into the power of their combined group effort. They indicate that they have had setbacks, but their 5 year stats were pretty good.

    Unlike the cult prisoner, the Laplander's patients either asked for help or a family member of the patient asked for them, Unlike the reasoned arguments of the deprogrammer, the therapists in Lapland seem to be able to bring the patient into their process as an equal participant to create pragmatic new meanings that enable the patient to live a normal life.
  • mcdoodle
    859
    Just to note that people might be interested in this long article by the Cockburns - father a journalist, son now an artist living with schizophrenia. It's an interesting study in itself of how to report such an issue from all points of view.

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/long_reads/schizophrenia-henry-cockburn-mental-illness-father-son-patrick-art-folkestone-triennial-art-festival-a7940126.html
  • Metaphysician Undercover
    2.4k
    But in all these cases, my own feeling is that honesty/dishonesty is not even applicable. Cats, stick insects, the schoolboys, my mother, seem to be 'doing what come naturally'; there is deception perhaps, but no intention to deceive.unenlightened

    Maybe this is why deception is easier to identify than honesty, because acting deceptively is often what comes naturally. It is a selfish behaviour which we might be naturally inclined toward. But if honesty is what is conducive to inter-subjectivity, then inter-subjectivity might not really be natural, it might be created artificially. If so, then it is something which could only come into existence through intentional effort.

    Where I find a more agonising grey area, is the notion of self-deception. I can wonder, for example if McDoodle's father might have been deceiving himself that he was 'doing the right thing' and 'helping his son to grow up' and so on, when in fact he was recoiling from the expression by his son of his own feelings of hurt.unenlightened

    Such a self-deception would be one step beyond the intentional act of honesty. If one convinces oneself that X is correct, when it is not, this is self deception. So when the intent is to act honestly in the inter-subjective environment, but the individual is mistaken, then we have this odd sort of self-deceptive situation. The person is not acting deceptively in the natural selfish way, but is trying to act in an honest (inter-subjective) way, without knowing the proper etiquette. The result is this odd form of deception. It is self-deception because one freely chooses to act this way, believing it is the socially acceptable way.

    What I think is important here is that inter-subjectivity, which is derived from honesty, must be learned, it does not come naturally. So it will always involve a certain amount of suppressing one's own natural feelings. Mcdoodle's father was suppressing his own natural feelings of sympathy (being natural feelings, they are different from the artificialness of inter-subjectivity), in order to say what he thought was the proper thing to say in the situation (honest inter-subjectivity), but he may have been mistaken in that decision. Notice the different levels. We must always suppress our natural tendencies in order to choose what is right, because the natural tendency may at any time be wrong. But sometimes the natural tendency might already be what is right. So if in the conscious decision making, we are inclined to believe that the natural tendency is always wrong, this would sometimes mislead us into making the wrong choice. Therefore we must respect at least three levels, the natural tendency, the chosen action, and the action which is correct in the inter-subjective environment.

    Anyway, honesty - vitally important but I don't really know what it is. Perhaps we have to say that it is your best effort to respond fully in the moment, in the condition that you're in, as far as you know. And then your second-guesses afterwards are perhaps self insights, or perhaps deceptive self-flagellation, and it will take your best third guess to decide which.unenlightened

    I agree it is very difficult to say what honesty is, and that was the point in my first post. If staying true to one's natural tendencies was honesty, then quite often acting deceptively would be honesty. So we normally define honesty in relation to how others would want us to act. Honesty is defined by the inter-subjective realm, such that we must make an effort to suppress some natural tendencies in order to be honest. Then what does it mean to be honest in therapy? Should we follow the inter-subjective definition which requires that we suppress some natural feelings, or ought we allow natural feelings to flow freely in therapy? Each would be a somewhat opposing sense of "honesty".
  • unenlightened
    1.4k
    Should we follow the inter-subjective definition which requires that we suppress some natural feelings, or ought we allow natural feelings to flow freely in therapy? Each would be a somewhat opposing sense of "honesty".Metaphysician Undercover

    Do you know of Client centred therapy (Rogers) at all?

    Client-centered therapy operates according to three basic principles that reflect the attitude of the therapist to the client:

    The therapist is congruent with the client.

    The therapist provides the client with unconditional positive regard.

    The therapist shows empathetic understanding to the client.

    Congruence here is equivalent to honesty. So if it is the case that you do not in fact have unconditional positive regard for the client, then there is no point in pretending that you do, or trying to have a therapeutic relationship. The equivalent in traditional psycho analysis is that one has to have been analysed to do psychoanalysis, the presumption being that analysis frees one from such conflicts, at least to the extent of being able to lay them aside for a hour.
  • unenlightened
    1.4k
    Looking at that account through the lens of our current concerns, it is perhaps significant that the account of the crisis involves a dissociation from others - a loss of meaning in human relations on the one hand, and a finding of meaning in relations with nature. Personally, I talk to trees on a regular basis, but I would be annoyed if they started to talk back; if I want that sort of relationship, I'd rather have it with cyberspace. But there is a sense in which their silence speaks acceptance...

    I would say that hearing voices is a very minor problem, though. I could say that my fingers are taking dictation from a voice in my head, and it would hardly raise an eyebrow, but if I make the trivial mistake of locating this voice outside my body, suddenly, I am dangerously deluded, and suffering from an organic disease. Now suppose, instead of getting in a panic when someone hears trees talk, one interests oneself in what the trees say, then one is focussing on the meaning of one's relationship with that person, rather than the trivial argument about the location of the voice. It is as though someone wants to talk through the agency of a sock puppet to distance themselves from the pain of what they are saying, and the psychiatrist's response is to run about in a panic saying 'socks can't talk, socks can't talk'.
  • Metaphysician Undercover
    2.4k

    I'm not really familiar with client centred therapy at all. I don't read much psychology. But the honesty which I am referring to is honesty on the part of the client. This I think would be the top priority, and honesty on the part of the therapist would be for the purpose of inspiring honesty in the client. So for example, in your mother/child analogy, honesty by the mother would be for the purpose of culturing honesty in the child. But I don't think we can say carte blanche, that honesty is always the best policy for the therapist. Sometimes the mother sees reason to be dishonest. Bear in mind that I define dishonesty as being secretive in any way. We often act dishonestly when it's for the good of the other. And when the situation is complex, the individual with a higher degree of intelligence concerning the issue will not always be honest with the other. For example, we have to trick the cat to get it into a cage in order to take it to the vet for its own good. When the individual is not capable of understanding the situation it is pointless to try to explain, so it is necessary to be dishonest. Perhaps this occurs sometimes in the medical field.

    The deeper question though is the one you alluded to when you said "I don't really know what it is", in reference to honesty. If the intent of the therapist, in being congruent, is to inspire honesty in the client, then we should have some idea of what honesty is. What are you looking for from the client? And as I tried to explain, there are two somewhat contradictory interpretations. One can be true to oneself, which means acting according to one's own inner feelings, or one can be true what one thinks is expected of oneself, by others. The former implies that the person, while being true to oneself, would be selfish, and might be dishonest to others, while the latter allows for self-deception. Which type of honesty do you think that the therapist wants to inspire in the client?
  • Wosret
    2.3k
    My definition for honesty is motivatelessness. The kind of thoughts that happen when you aren't trying to affect anything, or generate any kind of outcome. They are regardless of implication, desire, like or dislike. Regardless of whether they implicate you, or those around you. Elevate you or those around you. They are not reasoned out, and there is almost a sense in which you didn't even know yourself until you've said it.

    We're always directed. Affected, and affecting, and for this reason I think that our normal mode of cognition, and speech is inherently deceptive, in that it is always aiming, and trying. Making the world, and ourselves out to be this way or that, because of what those things imply, and the stakes in them. I think that honesty has to always be entirely, one thousand percent, completely irrespective of that.

    It's like a possession, where what comes from it is outside of all of the ideals, perceptions, and affecting modes of being, and is just what appears. What is genuinely felt, perceived, conceived.
  • unenlightened
    1.4k
    One can be true to oneself, which means acting according to one's own inner feelings, or one can be true what one thinks is expected of oneself, by others. The former implies that the person, while being true to oneself, would be selfish, and might be dishonest to others, while the latter allows for self-deception. Which type of honesty do you think that the therapist wants to inspire in the client?Metaphysician Undercover

    Definitely the former. Part of the ethics of therapy is that the therapist should make clear from the outset, the limits of his support. So one might say, if you tell me of any crime you have committed, or give me reason to think that your own life or that of another is in immediate danger from you, then I must tell the authorities. This is an invitation to deceive the therapist where it is advantageous. "If you want to kill yourself, don't tell me because it is my duty to stop you by force if necessary. If you tell me you're buggering your niece, I'll have to call the cops."

    Of course for the competent therapist, being true to oneself is 'congruent' with being true to the client and being dishonest to neither.
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