Listen, Little Man!, Willhelm Reich

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God is primal cosmic energy, the love in your body, your integrity, and your perception of the nature in you and outside of you.

Twenty-two years, twenty-two long, eventful, anguished years have passed since I began to teach you that what matters is not individual therapy but the prevention of psychic disorders. And again you’re behaving as you’ve behaved for thousands of years. For twenty-two long fearful years I taught you that people succumb to madness of one kind or another or live in misery of one kind or another because they have become rigid in body and soul and because they are capable neither of enjoying love nor of giving it, because their bodies cannot, like those of all other animals, convulse in the act of love.

Instead of flocking to executions and shouting hurrah, hurrah, make a law for the protection of human life and its blessings. Such a law will be a part of the granite foundation your house rests on. Protect your small children’s love against the assaults of lascivious, frustrated men and women. Stop the mouth of the malignant old maid; expose her publicly or send her to a reform school instead of young people who are longing for love. Don’t try to outdo your exploiter in exploitation if you have a chance to become a boss. Throw away your swallowtails and top hat, and stop applying for a license to embrace your woman. Join forces with your kind in all countries; they are like you, for better or worse. Let your child grow up as nature (or ‘God’) intended. Don’t try to improve on nature. Learn to understand it and protect it. Go to the library instead of the prize fight, go to foreign countries rather than to Coney Island. And first and foremost, think straight, trust the quiet inner voice that tells you what to do. You hold your life in your hands, don’t entrust it to anyone else, least of all to your chosen leaders. BE YOURSELF! Any number of great men have told you that.”

But you’re built like a tub, you’re awkward and physically repulsive. That alone is enough to give you a bitter, deep-seated hatred for every attractive, living body. Naturally I don’t blame you for being built like a tub, or for never having experienced love (no healthy man could have loved you), or for failing to understand love in children. But I do blame you for making a virtue of your affliction, of your wrecked, tublike body, of your lack of beauty and grace and your incapacity for love, and for stifling love in children. That, you ugly little woman, is a crime.
Your existence is harmful because you turn healthy children against their healthy fathers, because you treat healthy childlike love as a symptom of disease, because, ugly little woman, not content with looking like a tub, you think and teach like a tub; because instead of withdrawing modestly into a quiet corner of life, you do your best to imprint all life with your ugliness, your tublike ungainliness, your hypocrisy, and with the bitter hatred that you hide behind your phony smile.

 

 

 

Before Willhelm Reich mysteriously died of a heart attack at the age of 60, while in the care of the American government, he practiced and wrote about psychology. His bend on the issue of mental health was a bit different than normal, he believed that most of our issues have to do with supressed sexuality and desire. Which is actually pretty close to Freud, who he was trained by but he’s different because he encouraged open sexuality and presence in the human body. He encouraged teenagers to be sexual and was a strong advocate of birth control.

An interesting theory of his was “character armour” in the sense that you can tell what a person’s psychological issues by the way they hold themselves. He believed in a universal energy, which he called orgone…humans wall themselves off in certain ways to protect themselves in a maladaptive way from the world around them. So an overly-aggresive person will hold themselves one way, a passive person another way, and all of this is done unconciously.

He was a socialist, openly, and leaned heavily toward libertarianism, with this tendency getting heavier over the years due to government persecution. He advocated free love, equality, and love and trust between individuals. Clearly, the man was a psychopath.

This book is less psychological theory, but a screed of a frustrated man toward the end of his life. He had his own issues, certainly, but knew that his life, which he dedicated to helping humanity as a whole had brought him mostly frustration and failure. One last try at trying to get people to awaken to their true natures and potential.

Wise Mind

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“Wise Mind” is a concept from DBT, Dialectical Behavior Therapy. DBT is a skills training course that is primarily used to treat borderline personality disorder, but helps with anyone, really, that has intense emotions, anxiety or has a bit of issue with what their brain wants//tells them versus what is objectively true.

DBT itself is based off the concept of mindfulness, which was brought into therapy by John Kabat-Zinn, for the reduction of stress and anxiety. (Read Full Catastrophe Living!), fun discovery – handling your stress and emotions better leads to better physical health.

One of the best lessons from DBT, personally, is the truism that emotions do not last and are not reality. They aren’t bad, necessarily, but decisions should not be based on them, and disengaging from intense and conflicting emotions is generally a good plan.

So let’s see how we’re supposed to do this correctly, eh?

Let’s explore the DBT brain map.

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Reasonable Mind: The part of your brain that deals more with numbers, what is factual about the situation, history of the relationship, probable outcomes, planning out behavior. It’s a cool, calm, collected state of mind. You know the phrase “play that tape through” – meaning think of the results of your behavior before you engage? That’s rational mind.

Emotional Mind: Here’s where all the fun and agony lies. This is the “part” of your brain that is excited by impulsive behavior, how people make you feel, sudden changes, puppies, love, and risk. This is the zone of bad ideas, lol. Really, being human is having emotions, really, sure they work out well for a lot of folk. :p

Wise Mind: This state of mind combines the objective reality of the situation- is this a good risk? what are the likely outcomes? is the time/energy/risk associated with the thing worth it? is it constructive? How does it play into your long term goals?

So now with this information gathered, we get to move to the fun part- actually doing the thing and communicating with others. When you do this correctly, you feel as if you are acting on intution, and is a feeling of calmness rather than cool detachment or emotional heat. It seeks to bring the right and the left brain together.

Used to be on the other end of this, now my issue is that by the time I bring things up, I am done, or 80% of the way there, and I think I can come off as completely emotionless.

I’m fun. :p

DBT skills are like a lot of things in life – you need to use them consistently and brush up on your technique at times…

 

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L is for Learned Helplessness and Locus of Control

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Learned helplessness is a psychological state that is brought about by an external locus of control and trauma. If you’ve not watched the videos (bad reader!), a person with a internal locus of control believes that they are largely in control of their circumstances and actions, a person with an external locus of control believes more in fate and allows themselves to be controlled by others.

Learned helplessness, then is a result of being in a situation where one has little to no control of the outcome. Even after resolutions are possible, the person has developed a reduced problem-solving capability and a sense of hopelessness. It’s believed that learned helplessness may be a contributing factor in depression, and is often behind a victim mentality.

So I will  raise my hand and admit that learned helplessness is a thing for me. While I could totally go into why, the end result is that actually being in control of my life is deeply, deeply dysphoric and I tend to traditionally seek out situations and people that just remove the burden of choice from me, generally to an unhealthy degree, and ADDITIONALLY I BEGIN TO RESENT THIS.

Or I guess I could just eternally seek the person/thing/chemical/idea that controls me in the right way, hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahapleaseendme.

Oy.

Life right now is really about enhancing my comfort in making my own decisions and being independent without running to some source of control.

Oh! The horse. That horse, as a colt, was tethered to an unmovable object. It has learned that when it is tethered, there is no escape. This is why we see a thousand lb animal stymied by a lawn chair.

Don’t be the lawn chair horse.