• Posty McPostface
    5.1k
    I've lived for a good portion of my life as a recluse from society. My idealized dream is to live alone in some forest away from people and their enviousness, deceit, lack of trustworthiness, two-facedness, and whatever you can insert here. Yet, I have many issues that I have tried addressing and have a hard time coping. Put plain and simple, I don't like people. They are entitled complainers. Everyone has a mask that they put on. Perhaps, the Stoics were the masters of this social masquerade in being able to put on an iron mask of indifference and not show any complaint or ill-will towards other people. Yet, I don't really know how to put on such a mask. My face shows without artificial make-up or masks of indifference, anger, hostility, or dominance.

    My psychologist once told me that the ego is a dominating force that compels us to act on our behalf. Yet, I am not dominant by nature. I find it hard to find reasons why I would want to feel dominative towards other people. Furthermore, there's nothing about me that wants to manipulate other people, and there's nothing in me that is prone to manipulation, because I have a keen mind in sensing such things, and I don't value anything apart from my peace of mind.

    I have read and indulge in a fair share of philosophical pessimism and Schopenhauer. Reading Schopenhauer has relieved me in my loneliness, to understand that there were other people like me in life, and somehow made it through it. Another one of my favorites was Walden, by Henry David Thoreau. Having read it a while ago, I appreciated the fact that he chose to live in nature away from people and their misfortune. Now, not to give the impression that I am a complete misanthrope, I do value children, and honestly believe that they are our hope to a better future. They are caring, sincere, friendly, playful, and honest souls. I don't quite understand what happens in the psyche of a child that makes them become deceitful, treacherous, and mean-spirited; and think this is a tragedy worth addressing. Is it sex?

    What do you say to the misanthrope, that I am? Cheer up, take some MDMA? Seek psychotherapy? I've tried many of these things; but, the misanthropy feels like it's getting more and more debilitating or increasing in magnitude in my ability to interact with other people.
  • Wayfarer
    6.6k
    maybe, find a new hobby.
  • Posty McPostface
    5.1k
    maybe, find a new hobby.Wayfarer

    Like what? Philosophy has become a part of my being. It would be like cutting a piece of myself off. You know, I have noticed your distaste for these kinds of topics posted by me and others like @schopenhauer1; but, you do have to understand that philosophical pessimism is also a respectable field of study into human nature. I don't quite get your gripe with it though. Maybe it doesn't conform to how you view philosophy?
  • Jake
    518
    My idealized dream is to live alone in some forest away from peoplePosty McPostface

    Ok, I can relate to the forest dream. There's a wonderful state park only 4 miles away from our house, a 7 minute drive. I spend a LOT of time in the park when weather permits, and am enthusiastically awaiting the imminent arrival of the winter hiking season.

    I can relate to the hermit thing too, though I'd put it somewhat differently.

    What do you say to the misanthrope, that I am?Posty McPostface

    1) As you know by now, what I could really relate to is some kind of specific action plan which moves you closer towards reaching your dream. Modest movement is ok, so long as it is actual movement.

    2) Your post seems to suggest you are running away from people. I agree that many people merit running away from. However, I would suggest a shift of focus. Instead of a negative motivation, aim for a positive motivation. Make it less about what you are running away from, and more about what you are running towards. Which brings us to...

    3) Do you spend time in the forest or other nature environments now? Whatever your current relationship with nature is, it would likely be worth your time to focus on enhancing it. This could easily be a thread of it's own, but a good place to start is simply to spend more time in whatever nature is available to you.

    I have read and indulge in a fair share of philosophical pessimism and Schopenhauer.Posty McPostface

    So for instance, this could be the first thing on the chopping block. Way less time with Schopenhauer, and way more time with chipmunks. Way less time with pessimism, way more time falling in love with reality. Way less of reading books, way more of watching clouds. Way less abstraction, way more of the real world.

    but, the misanthropy feels like it's getting more and more debilitating or increasing in magnitude in my ability to interact with other people.Posty McPostface

    We all need to bond with something, but it doesn't have to be people. If bonding with people isn't working out, we can become expert at bonding with something else.
  • Jake
    518
    you do have to understand that philosophical pessimism is also a respectable field of study into human nature. I don't quite get your gripe with it though.Posty McPostface

    Is philosophical pessimism working for you? Is it taking you towards the day when you won't bother posting on this topic any more because you've solved the problem and moved on to greener pastures?
  • Posty McPostface
    5.1k
    Just to give a note, that I feel stuck in my ways here, and don't feel an urge to change it. Just so you don't feel frustrated if you see me posting misanthropic rants a week from now.

    I can relate to the hermit thing too, though I'd put it somewhat differently.Jake

    How so?

    3) Do you spend time in the forest or other nature environments now? Whatever your current relationship with nature is, it would likely be worth your time to focus on enhancing it. This could easily be a thread of it's own, but a good place to start is simply to spend more time in whatever nature is available to you.Jake

    Admittedly, I don't. Perhaps, I should work on that.

    So for instance, this could be the first thing on the chopping block. Way less time with Schopenhauer, and way more time with chipmunks. Way less time with pessimism, way more time falling in love with reality. Way less of reading books, way more of watching clouds. Way less abstraction, way more of the real world.Jake

    Well, I just ordered Schopenhauer's Will and Representation and his aphorisms, so I'm afraid that's a negative.

    We all need to bond with something, but it doesn't have to be people. If bonding with people isn't working out, we can become expert at bonding with something else.Jake

    I don't know about the bonding part. I do like the aspects of simple living; yet, I'm still unwilling to commit.
  • Posty McPostface
    5.1k
    Is philosophical pessimism working for you? Is it taking you towards the day when you won't bother posting on this topic any more because you've solved the problem and moved on to greener pastures?Jake

    I've somewhat grown accustomed to my predicament. My life is one of misery at my misfortune for being disabled. The psychodynamics of my situation is only coping with my distress now, which isn't appealing to me.
  • Wayfarer
    6.6k
    Maybe it doesn't conform to how you view philosophy?Posty McPostface

    Forums are too often a hall of mirrors; they lack the experiential dimension of philosophy. Even though there are many different voices, it is all mediated through the same format. Whereas philosophy is therapy, in an important sense. Actually there was a Jewish sect, called the Therapeutae, who regarded the contemplative life as way of healing - not from a particular disease, but from the existential angst of life; I believe it is even the origin of the term 'therapy', although disability might detract the ability to pursue those kinds of practices.

    Jules Evans, 'Philosophy for Life', is one contemporary philosopher who works on the therapeutic aspects of philosophy.
  • Posty McPostface
    5.1k
    I believe it is even the origin of the term 'therapy', although disability might detract the ability to pursue those kinds of practices.Wayfarer

    Yeah, I am disabled for having undifferentiated schizophrenia or a psychotic disorder. So, there's that aspect of my being. No fun in Posty's world.
  • Posty McPostface
    5.1k
    Even though there are many different voices, it is all mediated through the same format. Whereas philosophy is therapy, in an important sense.Wayfarer

    I'm on the fence as of recent in regards to treating philosophy as therapy. I do agree with everything Wittgenstein has to say about treating philosophy as therapy; but, I'm not sure about the remission rates or outcome of treating it as such. Great, another idea I want to endlessly post about.
  • Jake
    518
    Great, another idea I want to endlessly post about.Posty McPostface

    It's ok to endlessly post. Just keep in my mind that you're trying to engage readers in a story which has no arc, a strategy which is likely to lead to having no readers. That said, the Internet is a big place.
  • Posty McPostface
    5.1k
    It's ok to endlessly post. Just keep in my mind that you're trying to engage readers in a story which has no arc, a strategy which is likely to lead to having no readers. That said, the Internet is a big place.Jake

    Yeah; but, I have you to cheer me up with some Skinnerian behaviorism. *smiles*
  • Jake
    518
    Yeah; but, I have you to cheer me up with some Skinnerian behaviorism.Posty McPostface

    You did have that, past tense.
  • Posty McPostface
    5.1k
    You did have that, past tense.Jake

    :halo:
  • Nils Loc
    317
    Had suicidal panic at the beginning of this year. Have ongoing insomnia and my digestion is pretty poor, likely due to autoimmune problems. Thought about constructing a Debreather (single chamber carbon dioxide scrubber) as a sort of comfort that I'd have the option of a painless exit.

    Have taken up Yoga and I'm pretty amazed at how effective it is when I'm stressed out. Great way to focus attention on what you are doing rather than constructing narratives in head from an underlying mood. Heat shock effects are suppose to be great for mood to, so thinking hot yoga is next. Wish I had a sauna.
  • Posty McPostface
    5.1k
    Had suicidal panic at the beginning of this year.Nils Loc

    Damm. What makes you want to commit suicide?

    Thought about constructing a Debreather (single chamber carbon dioxide scrubber) as a sort of comfort that I'd have the option of a painless exit.Nils Loc

    That's scary, but I'd use benzos with alcohol. Dreamless sleep.

    Have taken up Yoga and I'm pretty amazed at how effective it is when I'm stressed out.Nils Loc

    Check out something called Silexan on Amazon. It's great for anxiety and dirt cheap. I'm considering switching my antidepressant to Viibryd due to its potent action on 5-HT1A receptors. Try it at least. It won't hurt you.

    Best regards!
  • Nils Loc
    317
    Damm. What makes you want to commit suicide?Posty McPostface

    Acid reflux, gastroparesis-like symptoms (food not passing out of stomach at normal rate) and insomnia, all going on for months, while having to do my job (light to moderate physical labor). I'm not sure there is much point to living if one can't sleep or eat enough.

    I'll check out Silexan. Usually find that supplements don't do much but I'll try anything.

    Yoga on the other hand is potent calming fix and mood regulator so far.
  • praxis
    813
    What do you say to the misanthrope, that I am?Posty McPostface

    Volunteer work. It’ll create a cognitive dissonance in your mind and force you to like people.

    Heat shock effects are suppose to be great for mood to, so thinking hot yoga is next.Nils Loc

    I tried cryotherapy a while back. Stimulating and calming at the same time.

    Weed high in CBD is good for insomnia, btw.
  • Michael Ossipoff
    1.4k


    I don't know what you think is wrong with your attitude about the societal-world. It sounds right to me.

    The societal-world? Write it off.

    We're here to live this life as well as possible, during its duration. ...because we like to.

    Period.

    We don't really have needs. We just have likes.

    I say that some anxiety and insecurity is perfectly natural and inevitable. In general, but especially in a bad societal-world such as ours. I experience that inevitable anxiety and insecurity too.

    I, too, tend to avoid people. I practically never talk to anyone other than my girlfriend, other than the necessary minimal business-speech. To me, that's perfectly reasonable.

    But where I disagree with Schopenhauer1 is, I don't share his pessimism about Reality. I feel and believe that Reality is good. ...that there is reason (including, but not limited to, "outward-sign") that to that effect.

    All the "structural-badness" that he speaks of is societal.

    Michael Ossipoff
  • Posty McPostface
    5.1k
    I'm not sure there is much point to living if one can't sleep or eat enough.Nils Loc

    I hear you. I can't fathom not sleeping well. Sleep is the only thing that entertains me sufficiently enough in life. Again, back to my post on the profoundness of dreams.

    But, there are remedies for that. As I mentioned lavender extract is one option, another is Ativan or some benzo to quell the mind for a period of time, Xanax comes to mind. But, those are drugs that are prone to habitualization. I guess Magnolia extract can be of use here also. Melatonin is another one for better sleep. I don't entirely know how to adjust your circadian rhythm. Some other options are available; but, not really practical. Lyrica helps me get through the day sometimes.

    Anyway, keep on living until you find some temporary solution. Suicide is too much for me to fathom.
  • Posty McPostface
    5.1k
    Weed high in CBD is good for insomnia, btw.praxis

    This. CBD has helped me in the past. And anything cannabinoid seems to help with Chrones disease or gastrointestinal issues.
  • Posty McPostface
    5.1k
    Volunteer work. It’ll create a cognitive dissonance in your mind and force you to like people.praxis

    I'm not sure, I'm ready for that. But, seems logical. But, then I don't know how to deal with negative motivations as in wanting to stay at home and do nothing or such. Part of it is depression and some other maladies.
  • Posty McPostface
    5.1k
    We don't really have needs. We just have likes.Michael Ossipoff

    How is that possible?
  • Bitter Crank
    6.5k
    Everyone has a mask that they put on.Posty McPostface

    Many people wear masks; they have a cabinet of masks. But not everyone does. To a large extent, I do not. I tend to be a "what you see is what you get" kind of guy. I'm not the only one. It's not a great virtue in itself to go out in public without a mask. Some of us are just too stupid to know how to fake it properly.

    Schopenhauer has relieved me in my loneliness, to understand that there were other people like me in life, and somehow made it through it.Posty McPostface

    In fiction I have also found that sort of comfort, that there are other people like me in the world. And in life, too, I have found that comforting insight. My biased view of the world is that there are billions of people who breeze through life with rare difficulties. They are well adjusted achievers. I stumble around, never accomplishing that which I would accomplish, and am something of the bumpkin

    OK, so I'm exaggerating, but the ego can take a beating, as well as dominate. One must always be on guard against one's own self-defeating prophecies, as well as the self-fulfilling ones.

    "wallowing is what I do."

    Yeah, I am disabled for having undifferentiated schizophrenia or a psychotic disorder. So, there's that aspect of my being. No fun in Posty's world.Posty McPostface

    So, you were dealt a bad hand. Sorry about that. Your diagnosis is explanatory, in part. I can understand better how your immobilization might happen. On the other hand, you are tending to the condition with which you must live. That is no small thing. Tending or not tending will have dramatically different outcomes. So keep up the good work of taking care of yourself.

    My psychologist once told me that the ego is a dominating force that compels us to act on our behalf. Yet, I am not dominant by nature.Posty McPostface

    At least the ego dominates the individual. What else could dominate? Simple physical need could dominate; our basest drives could dominate. "Ego" in Freud's conception is a moderator, as well as being dominant. The ego moderates the crude drives of the id and the fussy requirements of the socially dictated superego.

    "dominant ego" doesn't mean that you feel the need to dominate others.

    I don't like people.Posty McPostface

    The king: "The people are revolting."

    The Queen: "Yes, I find them very revolting."
  • Posty McPostface
    5.1k
    I tend to be a "what you see is what you get" kind of guy.Bitter Crank

    You're a 'dude' then. Sorry, had to say that.

    In fiction I have also found that sort of comfort, that there are other people like me in the world. And in life, too, I have found that comforting insight.Bitter Crank

    Sadly, or happily (depends which generation you are of, as I'm a millennial) you can only find them open and uninhibited online (or in college, if you're willing to do that sort of thing).

    So, you were dealt a bad hand. Sorry about that. Your diagnosis is explanatory, in part. I can understand better how your immobilization might happen. On the other hand, you are tending to the condition with which you must live. That is no small thing. Tending or not tending will have dramatically different outcomes. So keep up the good work of taking care of yourself.Bitter Crank

    Ehh, C'est La Vie. Life goes on. I'm high on it as of recently.

    At least the ego dominates the individual. What else could dominate?Bitter Crank

    It seems like a knot though, the need to dominate at least. Why be dominative? For more things? Here's the cynic in me voicing its concerns.

    The king: "The people are revolting."

    The Queen: "Yes, I find them very revolting."
    Bitter Crank

    Cool. :cool:
  • Michael Ossipoff
    1.4k


    ”We don't really have needs. We just have likes.” — Michael Ossipoff
    .
    How is that possible?
    .
    Yes, it is easier to say than to explain. But I think it’s true, so I’ll try to say why.
    .
    (I heard it from Kentucky Buddhist Ken Keyes, in the ‘70s.)
    .
    What’s the disadvantage of someone’s life ending? It’s that that person won’t be able to do or have, or continue doing or having, some things that s/he likes. So, survival-needs really come down to preserving the availability of things that we like. Likes are the basis of it all.
    .
    Hence the Hindus’ reference to life as play (“Lila”).
    .
    There are various ways of saying that. Here’s another way of saying it:
    .
    Though I’m not a Materialist (I’m an Ontic Structural Subjective Idealist), the Materialists are right about one thing: We’re all animals, and animals are physical, biologically-originated, purposefully-responsive devices. At basis, we’re purposefully-responsive devices, like a mousetrap, a refrigerator lightswitch, a thermostat, or a Roomba.
    .
    A Roomba or a computer doesn’t care if you turn it off or unplug it. It merely is designed to act to achieve a built-in purpose in response to conditions. That’s it.
    .
    Isn’t there something that we can learn from it?
    .
    Likewise, a biological purposefully-responsive device is designed, by natural selection, to achieve certain goals.
    .
    …based, at least ultimately, on built-in purposes. …like those of the abovementioned purposefully-responsive devices.
    .
    Like those devices, we aren’t made for things to happen to. Like them, we’re designed to respond to conditions, which, in our subjective-language, we can call “doing our best”. A Chinese Buddhist pointed out that, when you’ve acted on a circumstance, or maybe even just when you’ve merely decided what to do about it, then you’ve nullified it. What decision remains then? And what other role do we have other than choosing what to do? If you’re doing your best, what else matters to you?
    .
    We’re about our choice—based on preference—at (obviously only) the time when there’s a choice to be made. Like the abovementioned devices, we’re not about the outcome.
    .
    Incidentally, since I spoke of choices, let me comment on what they amount to: Any choice that we make is determined by 1) our preferences; and 2) our surroundings. For “preferences”, substitute “programming”, and the same can be said of the Roomba.
    .
    Isn’t it true that our choices really only amount to making a good try at an estimate of which course of action best fits our preferences and the surroundings?
    .
    With our choices determined by preferences and surroundings, it can be said that, in a meaningful sense, our choices are pre-made for us. …unburdening us from the weight of those choices.
    .
    Michael Ossipoff
  • tmb
    4
    No doubt, most humans have some degrees of conflict with other humans, we have many dependencies on others and often positive needs.

    A social mask is necessary, we use clothes for this reason, we deny sexual and bodily functions or wrap them up in acceptable ways. In fact anything we hold private is part of social masking. We use the mechanism of joke making to allow us to address some of these no go areas in a mostly well managed process of comedy, but even here we violate the boundaries on multiple subjects. It reduces to the truth and fictions we create to protect ourselves and others from these truths. Some people are quite comfortable with two or more faces, politicians are used as good examples but anyone who wears clothes is just hiding facts that we all observe for ourselves but not able to tolerate for most others. Since you struggle to put on various social faces, imagine that we also fart in company, but silently so as to conform, and clothes give a semi permanent social face, hiding our bodies, bodily habits, thoughts etc. Even acquiring a language and accent from our early years becomes a social face and identity, while it’s a conforming mechanism its also a social mask that we show to rest of the world. Imagine if we developed personal language expressions? Aside from the communication issues, it would prevent us from forming tribes and groups that are important parts of our social masks.

    My psychologist once told me that the ego is a dominating force that compels us to act on our behalf. Yet, I am not dominant by nature. I find it hard to find reasons why I would want to feel dominative towards other people. Furthermore, there's nothing about me that wants to manipulate other people, and there's nothing in me that is prone to manipulation, because I have a keen mind in sensing such things, and I don't value anything apart from my peace of mind.
    Most people want fulfillment, some get it by dominating, or being dominated. Ultimately social interaction requires a tradeoff with our individuality and its needs. Hierarchies in social groups appear universal across all species. Individuals rarely win this with taking a beating at many stages of life or compromising individual needs.


    I think we tend to idealise children, partly because it’s a biological imperative, and also because we see their lives as simpler and less challenging as ours, because they have no idea the consequences of being adult, of growing old, and in some cases of our mortality. (I say some cases because youth does not protect you from accident or death, just ageing).

    You did not say what age of children you endow with these attributes. I have four adult daughters and work with kids of various ages. No question they are different in may positive ways to adults but are still selfish and generally thoughtless. Teenagers go through a stage of self centricity, boys differently to girls, and show many negative attributes as well as serious consequences at this stage. I understand their neurons get pruned during puberty to provide resources to sexual maturity, so brains don’t work that well. By 25 the prefrontal cortex is mostly developed and then they realise their parents do know a bit, and they grow up and start learning about life.

    Children receive massive amounts of indoctrination from schools, fashion, parents et al, so they are able to integrate into society and hopefully become productive, obedient, and law abiding citizens.
    Even our idea of individuality is perhaps the most telling and fundamental forms of social indoctrination – that we are free willed, autonomous individuals. Only by this indoctrination can people spend their 3 score and 10 without slashing their wrists or someone else’s. People and there are a visible minority that stand out, Schopenhauer, Nietzsche etc etc some of whom went mad due to the struggle against social indoctrination because they had some degree of awareness. Humans have been social far longer than we have been human, society needs to avoid fractures caused. Its natural to crush any member who risks fracturing the integrity of society

    Difficult question without knowing more about the person or specific circumstances. If you are interested I will give you my perspective on this as it has affected me
  • Posty McPostface
    5.1k
    Difficult question without knowing more about the person or specific circumstances. If you are interested I will give you my perspective on this as it has affected metmb

    Do go on. I am interested. What are your thoughts about children prior to puberty. I don't see the development of the prefrontal cortex by age 25 as that big a deal as long as the individual doesn't deviate from the norms of what you call socialization.

    Your post comes close to what I am trying to understand when an individual goes through socialization while trying to maintain individuality or the socialization vs individualization problem.

    This only seems like a problem that children or teenagers face when confronted with sexual maturity.
  • Posty McPostface
    5.1k


    Just thinking aloud about what you said, the problem seems to be how we educate the young? Is that correct?
  • Posty McPostface
    5.1k
    A social mask is necessary, we use clothes for this reason, we deny sexual and bodily functions or wrap them up in acceptable ways. In fact anything we hold private is part of social masking. We use the mechanism of joke making to allow us to address some of these no go areas in a mostly well managed process of comedy, but even here we violate the boundaries on multiple subjects. It reduces to the truth and fictions we create to protect ourselves and others from these truths. Some people are quite comfortable with two or more faces, politicians are used as good examples but anyone who wears clothes is just hiding facts that we all observe for ourselves but not able to tolerate for most others. Since you struggle to put on various social faces, imagine that we also fart in company, but silently so as to conform, and clothes give a semi permanent social face, hiding our bodies, bodily habits, thoughts etc. Even acquiring a language and accent from our early years becomes a social face and identity, while it’s a conforming mechanism its also a social mask that we show to rest of the world. Imagine if we developed personal language expressions? Aside from the communication issues, it would prevent us from forming tribes and groups that are important parts of our social masks.tmb

    For some reason, the parable of Adam and Eve comes to mind. I tend to agree with this but it leaves out one important fact which I will address in the following paragraphs.

    Most people want fulfillment, some get it by dominating, or being dominated. Ultimately social interaction requires a tradeoff with our individuality and its needs. Hierarchies in social groups appear universal across all species. Individuals rarely win this with taking a beating at many stages of life or compromising individual needs.tmb

    Yes, the issue of crime comes to my mind when I read about this and how unfair and unjust society appears to be to the criminal. Boundless rationalization ensue...

    You did not say what age of children you endow with these attributes. I have four adult daughters and work with kids of various ages. No question they are different in may positive ways to adults but are still selfish and generally thoughtless. Teenagers go through a stage of self centricity, boys differently to girls, and show many negative attributes as well as serious consequences at this stage. I understand their neurons get pruned during puberty to provide resources to sexual maturity, so brains don’t work that well. By 25 the prefrontal cortex is mostly developed and then they realise their parents do know a bit, and they grow up and start learning about life.tmb

    Now, I agree with this; but, it neglects to mention the fact that children are extremely malleable. At that age, a great deal of plasticity is in play. I believe that this is an important factor in professing my 'hope' about children.
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