Tuesday, November 29, 2022

Comments by normie

Showing 3 of 3 comments.

  • What you were saying elsewhere about just writing, not necessarily knowing what was generating the words…

    Anybody who [really] writes much is going to approach that mode from time to time. It’s “you”, making the words and thinking the thoughts as you go along… and it’s also (at least on the edges of) something sacred at work beyond the horizon of your ‘normal’ state. People live between Heaven & Earth; we don’t do well if we lose touch with either.

    Try poetry (if you haven’t.) That’s about metaphor & connections, understanding things by the networks of analogy & relation between them. The better you can do that consciously — or at least, consciously negotiate matters between ‘you’ and the processes at work — the less chance of them whacking you unexpectedly.

  • You said in your first book on this that the brain is a self-correcting feedback system, which can be sent into unstable oscillations by a strong chemical push.

    That’s consistent with your recovery-vs-disability statistics here — but there are contextual factors that would also make anyone psychiatrically medicated more likely to continue taking them, more likely to consider himself disabled. Doesn’t he know he’s been prescribed meds? Hasn’t he been taking them? Wouldn’t he have felt worse without them? Won’t he feel worse if he stops? Doesn’t his doctor think he’s likely to need them indefinitely?

    Aside from long-term double-blind placebo tests, the relative impact of various causes might be impossible to sort out! (I couldn’t say, whether it’s harder to recover from toxic pills than from toxic social expectations — or whether both together would be that much worse. But going by various friends afflicted with the “I am Mentally Ill” belief system, it seems both intractable & likely to lead to further drugging.)

  • Virtually everyone goes literally bonkers every night: visualizes themselves in surroundings that physically aren’t there, constructs and plays out intricate fictional scenarios, becomes more or less oblivious to logical inconsistencies in plot, setting, and character.

    Shrinks used to conjecture about the pattern-recognition-enhancing drugs some of us took back in the 60’s, that these were ‘a model’ of what was called ‘mental illness.’ Of course the (usually temporary) sheer overwhelm we’d experience was nothing like whatever ‘mental patients’ appeared to be going through, but that was no barrier to theorizing.

    And there do seem to be common elements to these states of mind. My best guess (matching something I’ve found among the dogmas of a minor psychiatric sect) is that they feature parts of the mind/brain operating independently of one another. Most of the time, what’s working best is the ‘right-hemisphere’ functions: loosely-fitting metaphoric associations, the sense of emotional meanings, wide-angle views with fuzzy detail. Then there are also dreams in which the ‘left-hemisphere’ elements run off & play by themselves: tightly-structured verbal metaphors that unfortunately leave out the whole larger context. Working independently, these functions can achieve results they’d never reach together (and perhaps never should have) — but making sense of these would require a more flexible focus, a merging of viewpoints.

    Which state of mind is optimal… may depend on the kind of situation you’re faced with. For ‘normal life’, conventional ‘waking’ settings. For emergency conditions, full fuzzy functioning! But can you learn to move freely from one to the other?