Thursday, February 25, 2021

Comments by l_e_cox

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  • For me, an important part in all this is the recognition of the existence of “spiritually destroyed” individuals. They have so turned away from their own spiritual identity that they become disgusted with the subject and violently fight against it. One of the big challenges in returning to a love-centered society is learning how to deal with these spiritually “dead” individuals in a loving way but also in a way that protects society from their irrational destructive impulses.

  • Realize, though, Steve, that pushing the problem away from us and talking instead about “systems” also tends to push the solutions away from us.

    If we can understand that societal systems are composed of individuals, and that through the action of individuals systems can be changed (such as the outlawing of slavery), this gives us a path to change that starts with individuals and goes towards new agreements about what is acceptable and valuable in a society.

    We have seen various systems set up with the best of intentions fail in the hands of people whose awareness had not been elevated enough to operate those systems with honesty and real compassion. (The “mental health system” being perhaps one example.) So, the way I see it, the real work needs to be done at the level of individuals, and as their awareness shifts, they will adjust their systems to align better with the new-found awareness.

  • What a valuable essay! Written with much passion and clarity.
    And yet it begs the question: How do we correct this deficit of love in modern society?
    I can only say that if I did not know what I learned during my lifetime, I would be in despair on this subject.
    We find ourselves in a very tight spot. The criminals of the planet seem poised like vultures, waiting for their prey to buckle and fall under the unbearable pressures of life. Though you may not believe me, I am quite certain we have lived through this sort of situation before. And every previous time, love lost. We only have a chance this time because we have become more certain of some basic truths about ourselves which give us the capacity to rehabilitate our ability to love. Now it is only a question of how quickly we can work to rehabilitate this in people, while the enemies of love work in the opposite direction. I was warned that the road back would not be easy to travel. This is certainly proving to be the case.

  • It is wonderful to hear of your experience!

    I can only suggest that you work to clarify your understanding of Spirit so that you may benefit more from your awareness of it.

    YOU are Spirit! The flow you speak of is something that comes from your interaction with the physical. A harmonious interaction produces a flow of pleasure. A “dissonant” interaction can produce pain.

    You, as Spirit, have the capability of improving your control over your life, so that the flows (emotions) you experience are more balanced and feel right to you. It all depends on what you are willing to learn, what skills you are most interested in developing.

  • This article touches me. I have been involved in many of the forms of music mentioned here.

    It is interesting that it ends with a nod to the importance of Spirit. You know this word in English also has the same root meaning: breath!

    But that brings up the concepts covered in the introductory paragraphs. It refers to our supposed “evolution” from ape-like creatures. To me, that whole narrative was an attempt to demean Spirit and reduce us to animals. It is a false narrative, but today if you are “educated” then you have to believe it! I see our reach for music as a Spiritual yearning for the beauty and harmony of earlier times, now lost. Music, well-made, lends beauty to anything it accompanies, words in particular.

    I was most involved with music in my mid-20s. And those were happy years for me! These days many in that age group are suffering. They should spend more time playing music together!

    For a year I was involved in Gamelan Sekar Jaya. It is a musical non-profit devoted to Balinese music. And indeed I played the gong! And I experienced that “spiritual strength” of the sound first hand.

    I also learned Afro-Cuban dance, which is indeed dominated by clave, which I became very familiar with. And I learned Greek folk dance, which is another community or group participation type of musical experience.

    I have also experienced how group play tends to socialize individuals and to identify those who are having a rougher time. In one work group we had “team games” where we tossed a ball around to each other as we stood in a circle. The ones having a harder time being group members liked to slam the ball high into the air, instead of throwing it to someone else with the intention that they would catch it!

    I studied African music when I was a young teenager and continued to be interested in it. Dance is an important part of the African experience and is traditionally done in large groups. The drumming is important, but if you don’t move to it, it gets boring.

    In our (Western) culture, music as a group experience – and group experience in general – has been devalued in favor of individual experience and personal mastery. There is something to be said for both approaches. The Western approach has its political benefits. The community approach found in so many places has greater emotional and mental benefits. We still need to find a better balance between these. The realization that we are a manifestation of Spirit could, I think, lead us to this better balance.

  • Exiting a decayed body after death normally restores
    any lost ability to remember.

    If you are having an hallucination, that records into memory as an experience. It probably came from a real screw up of the normal mental mechanisms. But whatever earlier incidents might have been involved are still intact, and the hallucination experience is intact, too. Probably just hard to reach.

  • OK, needless to say, you see it as a fairly complex system with recordings scattered all over across numerous physical parts of the body. With that understanding, my concepts won’t make very much sense to you.

    All I can say about my concept of memory is that it is workable from a therapeutic viewpoint. It also explains some of the vagaries of “inherited behaviors” and things like “child geniuses” and similar phenomena.

    I see it as an energetic structure into which experience is recorded more or less automatically. Sort of like an energetic CD. (DVD?). This is maintained by a being, not by a body. When the being leaves the body, so do its memories. The whole process of therapy, and life in this physical world, revolves around how the being uses this energy structure.

    To complicate things a little, there seems to be entities that follow bodies around and maintain their own memories at a physiological level. And a “higher” being that flirts around a bit more who deals with the more conceptual aspects of experience.

    So our difficulties stem largely, I suspect, from how different our models are. Remembering, hypnosis, forgetting, confusions about what really happened, those are all part of a process in my model, not part of memory.

  • Only problem is, memory is not a brain function. I believe what most drugs do is distract or aggravate the being in various different ways, producing emotional reactions and affecting his ability to control his own attention (recall process). To the extent that a drug could “switch on” some sort of neurological or physiological “alarm,” the condition could become permanent.

    But yes, we do know that all sorts of drugs affect ability to remember and many other cognitive functions.

  • oldhead, I know the mind as something actually physical. But it is made out of energy that is not visible to the eye. The being, though, can “see” it (perceive it). That’s a common way we remember things. Experience is stored in the mind as “pictures” and the being can locate pictures he wants and “view” them. So in that sense, I can agree that the mind is as “real as my hand.”

  • Reading through this was painful for me; I didn’t make it all the way to the end.

    Here is one of many areas of psychology (or what I might term the study of human experience), that is in great need of a reevaluation. We need to begin to take the work of parapsychologists such as Ian Stevenson more seriously.

    Once you consider even the possibility that past life experience could have some bearing on this life outcomes, the current version of the “nature versus nurture” debate must be thrown away.

    I am totally persuaded that the “blank slate” idea is a fallacy. Furthermore, genetics are only one factor in what a newborn starts with. On top of this, “environmental factors” (nurture) begin to influence child development at conception, not birth.

    Thus, if we actually want to DO something to improve intelligence in children and adults, we might as well assume that it can be influenced by nurture. Otherwise, why bother with all these studies? And the data I have indicate that nurture can play an important role in intelligence. But so can nature!

    If society weren’t nearing a serious tipping point, perhaps I would be more restrained in my comments. My judgement is that we only have about a year to turn things around and start getting things right. Otherwise, A slick, modern, and covert tyranny will engulf us, and our discussions here will make very little difference. Do we value our freedoms and our human rights enough to defend them in the face of a pompous academia and a corrupt governing structure? If we don’t we will surely lose them.

  • Oldhead, you may remain “unaware” if you so desire!

    Of course, Hubbard’s techniques were never reputably studied in academia, because if they had been they would have found to be workable, and then what???

    Many many people have used these techniques. I have personally met people who have benefited from them or had their lives changed.

    A certain number will sit back in their arm chairs and wait until they see “proof.” When the society falls around them in ruins, they will wish they had acted sooner, “proof” or not!

  • You have skin in this game! Well, so do the rest of us!

    That real incidents can sink totally below conscious awareness should be obvious! I hope we are not questioning this obvious fact here.

    The only question, then, is how to recover them faithfully. Such recovery WILL be therapeutic, or at least of a neutral result. Why aren’t more clamoring for the best way to do this instead of gaslighting those who have such memories? The mentioned “false” incidents are often quite real! To deny this is to deny the reality of living on Earth!

  • This is a sad chronology.

    But, to be complete, it should start earlier.
    In 1950 Hubbard wrote that all significant mental problems are caused by indents that really happened but are not available to normal waking memory. He wrote about discovering many attempted abortions by uncovering dissociated prenatal incidents and then confirming them with the mothers.
    For this work he was soundly roasted by the psychiatric “profession.”
    In fact, he was definitely onto something!

    There has never been any attempt, as far as I know, to duplicate Hubbard’s work in an academic setting. But as the article points out, many studies have been done that demonstrate the validity of the basic mechanism.

    It should be noted, however, that Hubbard found that these dissociated incidents included not just abuse, but incidents all the way down to and including times when the subject had been totally unconscious (such as a severe injury or a surgery). Such incidents can be discovered, and then recovered into conscious memory. This takes very skilled work, however.

    The “puzzle” of memory is one key area that psychology must get right before the subject will be of any great value to the general public. We know damn well that things occur to people that they absolutely cannot remember (because they were unconscious at the time)! Are we really ready to believe that such incidents will have no subsequent effect on a person? What do you think “triggers” is really all about?

  • In my book, the problem with any study that looks at the effects of an “intervention” on the brain is that it is looking in the wrong place! If you want a good indicator of how a person is feeling, just LOOK at him and ask him a few questions! Who cares exactly what the brain is doing if the person is feeling better, getting more competent, or is obviously in better control of himself?

  • I have a young friend who rather carelessly informed me recently that she had once been diagnosed as “borderline.” She knew I was a Scientologist and didn’t believe in those labels. And I ignored the communication for that reason. (I didn’t know what “borderline” meant.) But I didn’t forget it!

    Now this subject comes up in the context of “mental health awareness.”

    What??

    So I looked it up. I read part of the definition of what “borderline” is at PsychCentral then double-checked it at NIMH. While these descriptions describe this young woman quite well, what a trip to lay on a person!

    I can imagine how easy it would be to convince someone that all their reactions and emotions were because they were “borderline,” and so send them on a trajectory of endless self-doubt and basically despair. I can imagine how seriously this woman (being a former psych student) takes this information! I can only imagine how it could make her worry, wonder if she will ever “get better” and impede her from taking the risks we all have to take in life in order to stay alive and fulfill our basic obligations.

    She desperately wants to heal or “get better” without any drugs or other interventions. But if she takes this diagnosis seriously she could find herself back on meds, in endless and costly “therapy” and with her relationships with her children and with me possibly ruined (she has already suffered through a divorce).

    This gives me more reality on what these labels, especially in the absence of fast and effective ways to get rid of them, can do to ruin a life and offload all the responsibility for a person’s upset and suffering onto their own personal world, when only a fraction of that responsibility belongs there. I am glad I stayed away from all that. I am very concerned for my young friend, as she was not able to stay away from it, and she now lives in a world where almost everyone around her thinks that psychologists actually know what they are talking about.

  • Well, I hope this system works for some people.

    But I am still waiting to see a system (besides the one I am trained in) that actually sees people as immortal spiritual beings, which is, after all, the actual truth of our situation.

    RAP, WARS, “dance” are bizarre expressions for a system that is supposed to help families come to peace with each other and with themselves. On top of that, the world is not that peaceful a place, and in recent times in particular, has been at war with families, with parents and with their children. (In short, at war with all of us!) This needs to be taken into account, too, and I don’t see that here. The ENTIRE PROBLEM a family could be running into could be coming from some antagonistic (criminal) element outside the family but lurking in the workplace, the school, or even in the media. These influences on childhood “bad behavior” and parent stress should not be overlooked!

  • That’s right, Steve. This is a marketing campaign. It’s done in the context of other “awareness” campaigns that are a bit more honorable in their purpose and intent. So it takes advantage of that sheen of moral meaning. But it is clear from the careful work of many that the current “mental health” system is a scam designed to make money for certain groups and worse.

  • Yes, this is the same Peter Sterling that stood up against ECT (shock therapy) all those years ago!

    But evolution is a very faulty model. I no longer subscribe to it to any great degree. It only covers the body, for one thing, leaving Spirit entirely out of the equation.

    And what we have learned from Spirit seems to stand most ideas about evolution on their heads. Evolution has been very soundly brought into doubt on its own merits, as well. To me, it’s as old fashioned as a flat Earth.

  • Thank you so much for your story!

    Much like any “fad,” everyone who has benefited from mindfulness techniques thinks everyone should do it. They aren’t really aware of the fact that people are different and some might not be ready for it, or it might just not be the thing for them. Such practices will always be voluntary, so they will never get tested on a wide variety of different people, like drugs are supposed to be.

    Those techniques are not the only non-drug route to emotional healing. All such routes should be discussed and evaluated, not just the ones the mainstream thinks are “cool.”

  • When a “new idea” does not address corruption in the system, or even the potential for corruption, but just assumes that we need “better technology” I get suspicious. That approach fuels the fires of industry without doing anything to protect people for abuses. We are slipping into an age where the “great new technologies” of 20 or 30 or 40 years ago are now being used to enslave us. We need to address that problem first.

  • Anyone except a sociopath should agree with his point of being courteous.

    “The way we treat each other IS the therapy.”
    In most cases, this is absolutely true. Respectful, kind, caring, even loving treatment of one another is a basic of human interaction and some of the best “therapy” that anyone should be able to provide to another. Without this basic in, you can’t make it any farther with another person, if your goal is to help them.

  • A progressive take on the “problem of mental health.”

    Progressives don’t see a huge problem with psychiatry. Except that it costs too much and doesn’t have enough social justice activists in its ranks.

    Handled these problems, and the world will be a better place. Right?

  • The modern work was started by Wilder Penfield. That work is summarized in books like I’m OK You’re OK. It has been continued along one line by hypnotherapists. On a different line, Hubbard used Dianetics techniques to find such recordings around 1950 and subsequently. He later used a meter to separate “real” memories from “dub-in.” Meditators have discovered past life memories using sheer mental focus. The recordings are definitely there, and there are many ways to dig them up in addition to conscious recall.

  • Dr. Sterling returns!

    And though his criticism of our current orientation is incisive, and his recommendations for change fair minded, I am troubled by the introductory sentence indicating that what we are walking into is a “new world order.”

    And I am even more troubled by his reliance on evolutionary psychology as his theoretical basis. It is a false construct.

    While what he says and recommends may be true enough for the human animal, we humans are far more than mere animals! And NO theory based on the idea that we are just animals will open our eyes wide enough to find a positive direction forward.

    If our bodies need regular bursts of dopamine to live well, I am sure the New World Order Technocracy can figure out a way to provide that … to those who survive its vagaries.

    What of freedom? What of higher purpose? What of God or Creator or The Infinite? Are not these, too, real needs? YES! Of animals? Of course not. But that is not what we are; never were, never will be. We are beings, and that has been amply demonstrated, though not amply reported on. And we will seek the future of beings, not of animals. I really hope we do not have to sacrifice another planet to get this right. But if we do, so be it. There will be, perhaps, other chances to get it right. I don’t see the point of waiting, though. The basics of a way forward are clear enough. They are to me, anyway.

  • For many reasons beyond the sphere of “mental health” it is important to get memory right. If it does constitute something along the lines of a “library” of all experience, then that opens up a new way to learn more about our past – our history. Initial results of this are already a part of the materials I am studying, and a different form of the “data recovery” process has been used by remote viewers with very promising (surprising? – not to me) results.

    Developing reliable ways to retrieve memories with the least amount of alteration due to language and other cultural limitations is a whole other subject. But if psychology can’t agree on what memory is, then they can never find ways to use it successfully in therapy (assuming they really want to.)

    A much more perverse, if possibly more accurate, interpretation of what psychology wants to do with memory is find new and better ways to kill it, destroy it, or invalidate it so that we can’t use it to discover their past crimes.

  • Well, there we go. That’s the argument, then.

    My information is that the recording process is entirely below the conscious level, whereas to remember usually takes some amount of conscious effort. They could not possibly operate by similar processes, as various techniques can be used to recover memories of events that the being was never even consciously aware of.

  • I thought I’d read through this, as suggested by the number of comments (zero) no one else has yet. But I can see why.

    I am probably not even an appropriate person to comment on the DSM, or any suggested replacement, as I am of the conviction that the whole system should be jettisoned, and psychologists be encouraged to return to studying rats. The subject has so far been relatively useless to the human race. Maybe they can figure out how to make rats happier.

    I might mention, though, the major “dimension” I have been trained to look for in anybody: Emotional tone, or you might say, “degree of happiness.” It is possible to look at 29 different observable behaviors, plus several more that are observable in therapy, that all correlate to this single dimension.

    If the person improves in this dimension (“gets happier”) then you know you have a workable therapy (at least for that person).

    Psychology has been in its rut for a long time now. As far as I can tell they have gone seriously subterranean! If it weren’t for a few dear people in the field who have helped me, I would be inclined to totally disregard it.

  • This piece is thick with life!

    I believe many more people would write like this if they could find the words and the voice.

    My young friend who has been trying to sort through issues like this is more than ten years younger than Bojana. She knows there is something wrong, but everywhere around her there is agreement that it is she who is wrong, and everybody else is just fine. That it makes perfect sense to take a pill whenever you “feel bad.”

    The social pressure brought to bear on a person who is a bit more perceptive, a bit more sensitive, a bit more creative (a bit more alive?) can be anything from moderate to openly threatening depending on how close one is to the nearest sociopath. In the worst cases the sociopath will try to kill (or bring to death) their target and often succeeds. And so it is that I fear for my young friend, and for so many others like her in similar situations.

    I wish Bojana well, and hope she continues to learn what is most useful to living a full and happy life and manages to do so.

  • Again, you’re talking about the remembering process, not the recording process. I am confident in describing memory itself as simply a huge array of “pictures.” The “pictures” store ALL perceptics, not just sight, including emotions and thoughts.

    The remembering process, on the other hand, is very problematic and can be injured, modified, disabled, and so forth.

    Memory is a little like a huge library. Well, how do you find the book you want (or need?). That’s a whole separate process. What if someone blows up your index card system? Or you never bother to create one? Then your ability to remember accurately will suffer greatly.

  • Sure, but how did the researchers know which objects were recognized and which weren’t? By the people being studied saying so, right? So they don’t know for sure how the perception was stored. They just know that the person couldn’t give it back to them. So, are we studying memory or remembering?

  • Well, I’m no anthropologist, but this is what I have seen: First, the more indigenous or nature-attached cultures tend to make music a big part of their lives. And if I can generalize, Africa has embraced music as a public community activity much more than the West has. I know that public performances have also been a big part of life in Bali. There are probably other places that I am less aware of. There is for instance the way street samba infuses life in the favelas of Brazil, particularly in Rio. I have also heard good things about Puerto Rico. In these places. music can be heard almost everywhere at almost any time. It tends to be celebratory rather than overly introverted and almost everyone is involved with it, including may part time or “amateur” musicians that help during festival times.

  • Well, that may well be the case. But since when is someone who visits Mad In America all the time going to rely on psychological research for the definitive data on how the mind works? I don’t, and that’s for sure.

    How does a person know what he/she has experienced? One way is direct knowingness, without relying on mental recordings (memory). And the other way is through consulting one’s “records” (memories). This is similar to how a historian figures our what really happened a long time ago. But we know this way of discovering data (truth?) has problems, whether the records are in a file drawer or in a mind. The records are what they are. Do they amount to a perfect record of what happened? No. Can they be alterered? Yes. Can they be interpreted different ways by different people? Yes. But the records are what they are.

    So I think psychology has the records themselves (memory) all confused with the process of digging up and interpreting those records (remembering).

    It is in the best interests if criminals, I might point out, to invalidate the reliability of memory as much as possible, as this is quite commonly what is used (in places like courts of law) to get them into trouble. So, unfortunately, the profession as it is currently constituted has a certain vested interest in research findings that show memory to be unreliable. I don’t believe memory is that unreliable. Remembering is another story.

  • Now you are talking about communication, not memory. And I think what this study was really about was how people communicate what they remember. Sure that goes through cultural filters. But we know that communicating involves cultural filters. We see that in how people from different cultures describe their NDEs. That just means language is an imperfect method for describing a memory. It doesn’t mean that the actual contents of the memory depend on the culture the person was a part of when he/she acquired the memory.

  • I didn’t say culture was irrelevant. I said is not key. Spirit is key. Why does an old white man love African rhythms so much? Because he’s a spiritual being! I’ve never been anywhere near Africa this lifetime. That’s not “my culture.” But I love it as if it were. Why? Spirit.

  • Another cutting piece of writing by Megan! Her words tend to make me very emotional. Her generation will shape our future, and so few of them have any certainty yet about what direction to go in.

    She recognizes how much of the messaging we are getting amounts to PR and marketing. Manipulative tools of the large corporate interests. The problem I see is that there is almost NO messaging out there right now that is not of this type. In other words, I find the “progressive” messages meant for the young just as disingenuous as the ones that seem to be promoting “the system” being maintained by their parents or grandparents.

    At this point, all really viable alternative viewpoints, or messages, are almost completely suppressed. Many people who decry the “medical model” still think the brain must have a lot to do with mental and emotional functioning!

    So, what I see is that “the system” has provided us with an entire game, complete with opposing views that seem very contentious but that always leads us back inevitably to … the same system. Megan recognizes that we seem to be confronted with a choice between changing (“reforming”) the existing system and creating a new system. She sees that the need for a brand new approach to almost every aspect of life is required, yet most of us are too embedded in the current system to think in those terms.

    I have my own vision of how things could play out.

    It starts with the realization that we have all participated in creating the current system, that it is an insane system, and that we therefore all must have some degree of a sanity problem, need to take responsibility for that, and stop shopping around for an Oppressor that we can blame for everything that goes wrong.

    Next, a relatively small group of people who realize the above will get together and learn what needs to be done and what has to be done to create a new system, and will quietly go about creating one. The system, when it notices this, will dismiss this work or its people as having its own characteristics – dishonest and criminal. Therefore, recruiting new members into this smaller group will be very difficult to do.

    But, assuming they can get enough people and keep their show on the road, their creations will begin to become more noticeable. Probably at first this will be most apparent as attempts to “clean up” the system, or for calls to restore basic rights and freedoms. Revelations of long-standing systemic wrongdoing may occur. And it will start to become more obvious that this group has a “leg up” for some reason. Popular support will begin to shift to the point that it cannot be hidden by false or wild stories.

    I don’t expect the clamor that can be created by the real crazy people will ever go away. But the rest of us will get better and better at ignoring it, like a few of us do now. Eventually “the system” will become a sideshow, to be amused by or pitied. And it will lose its political power.

    I think it is important to realize that a lot of this madness traces back to the compulsive need for political power. As more people turn sane and learn how to use power properly, Earth could become a formidable force for good in the universe. It actually has that potential.

  • Annie was in the singing group Lambert Hendricks and Ross. She died last summer at the age of 90.
    I always knew “Twisted” as Joni’s song, but it is indeed Annie’s, and many singers have performed it. I always thought it was a delightful little “FU” jab at the whole middle class idea of what is supposed to be “normal.”

    I wonder now how many girls I knew (when I was a boy) had to deal with the sort of emotional torrents that Miranda describes from when she was a teenager! I know one young woman (now a young mom) who still experiences this sort of thing a lot (she is embarrassed by it, I think, and likes to be alone when in the middle of it). But since roughly the 6 month mark of the lockdown in California, there is seldom a day goes by that I don’t cry pretty hard at least once that day.

    Psychiatry (if it were a single being) would be sitting there grinning and rubbing its hands together, I imagine. A new flock of potential victims – I mean patients! – for our operation to chew up and spit out.

    I like to listen to music from places where it is used as their primary route to health. Most of those places trace their musical roots to Africa.

  • Are we really speaking of memory here, or of our interpretations of experience? Memory can be accessed and recovered with a high degree of accuracy, but the ordinary person, when simply asked to recall something they experienced, will ordinarily do this quite sloppily.

    Sloppy stories of past experience are not always therapeutically useful, which is one reason most talk therapies underperform. There are various ways around that problem.

  • Alright, then you are being simply… ???. Just because we are spiritual beings does not mean we can ignore language and the various other mechanisms we use to relate to each other. Sure you can communicate using just telepathy, if you are good, but that is not where most of us are at. Language remains workable, particularly when we include the use of it for expressions of spiritual understanding. I am not aware of any culture that does not have such concepts in its language.

  • That’s the problem with “woke.” There may be a version of it that is authentically sincere. But a lot of people are trying to ride it like a bandwagon, and they have no real sense of how conflicted they sound when they push cultural sensitivity while ignoring the oppressive nature of the medical model (DSM).

  • I agree. The new movement is going to have to look a lot different. Their takeover, you might say, has been executed with a degree of sophistication (and finance) that we have not matched. We can at least become more sophisticated. It will not be easy now. Some of my closest friends and loved ones think psych drugs are totally fine and the way to go. Now we are in a hole that must somehow be climbed out of.

  • Lord! Yet another researcher promoting wokeness!

    This “different” viewpoint might be worthwhile if it really led to any revelations about memory that were useful.

    Memories influenced by culture? Do you think? That’s probably why some people become multilingual more easily – they spoke those different languages in earlier lifetimes. Oops! Not sure the R word is allowed in woke culture!

    I know one person who wrote down almost everything she could remember about her past in a book. I know many more people who have many ancient memories but who aren’t really writers, so they just tell their friends about their memories. But this woman (Dena Merriam) who wrote up all she could remember has been a Norman, an Indian, a Persian, a Japanese, an African, a Russian and an American. So, what “culture” does this woman actually belong to? The only answer is “human culture!” And that does not even include all of her memories, because she also remembers living between lives in a place of Light. So she is part of a non-human culture as well!

    Can we get over Woke and realize that we are spiritual beings? I’m not going to stop writing about this until I either die or get drowned out by others who finally begin to realize that this has something to do with them and their possible futures.

  • I am concerned that this new “study” might basically be just a hit piece.

    However, I don’t think meditation techniques should be mixed up with the field of “mental health” as it currently exists.

    This is possibly, though, a case of meditation teachers seeking a share of the “mental health market” and traditional therapists complaining about it. I don’t think meditation can be practiced non-voluntarily, as mentioned above. So that gives us a different “intervention model” (or whatever they want to call it).

    From a science point of view then, you might be comparing apples to oranges rather than different kinds of apples.

  • I have my own way of expressing the value of music in human experience. It actually goes for any activity that involves “mere entertainment value.” This, oddly, includes many many activities currently considered “non essential:” social gatherings, church, concerts, shows, sporting events, movies…

    My understanding is based on this quote from our Creed: “…the spirit alone may save or heal the body.”

    Spirit, then, is the only true healing agent in life, according to what I have been taught. All other healing modalities ultimately operate through Spirit.

    So my way of understanding this is that all these “non-essential activities” including playing, listening to and dancing to music, have healing power because they validate Spirit. Any activity that validates Spirit should have some healing benefit. This would even include the milder forms of education (or study).

    Activities that validate Spirit “waste” time and money, provide no nutritional or medicinal value, usually involve no physical product at all, but only temporal experience, and often can be indulged in with minimal technological assistance.

    Conversely, activities which invalidate Spirit tend to treat us only as animals or bodies, focus their attention on the brain and chemicals, are seen as “economically essential,” and when put into action tend to enslave and depress.

    I believe this understanding, or model, explains all the experimental observations laboriously described above and points the way to improvements in theory and practice in all the healing arts, as well as the other humanities, and ultimately the physical sciences as well.

    I appreciate this opportunity to comment on this topic. I really hope that in a few short years we will laugh at the premise of this article (why is music so good for us?) and wonder why we didn’t realize the most obvious answer much sooner.

  • If we use a perhaps somewhat limited definition of “politics” as “an attempt to get someone to do something that they didn’t themselves think of doing or might actually prefer not to do,” then we do see that emotions, even using your interpretation, may involve politics.

    One who is honestly experiencing an emotion has little attention on the political aspects of his emotional behavior. But the people on the receiving end of that behavior may see it differently! A crying fit or a tantrum at the wrong time can seem highly manipulative to the person who has to “keep it together” and deal with it. And so with anger, fear, apathy, even enthusiasm. They can all be seen as manipulative in some way, and may even be used that way on purpose.

    But when it’s an honest reaction to a real situation, the first thought of the therapist should be to find out what’s going on, or if it’s obvious, to just let the person get through it. “Give them some space” as the saying goes.

  • I will always see the main problem as their lack of a workable understanding of human experience. This then is often reinforced by not wanting to know, and the preference for using drugs as an “easy fix.”

    As MDs, psychiatrists do about what other doctors do, although they violate their Hippocratic Oath much more thoroughly.

    As healers psychiatrists are a total joke. And that’s what bothers me the most. The name of their profession means “psychic healer” basically. They should be true to that name, or get out!

    The data is out there! Even a psych could probably learn how to deliver a Locational! If they don’t really want to heal souls, what the heck are they doing? Their excuses for their incompetence are all false, from my point of view. They could be honest and effective if they really wanted to be. Most of them really don’t want to be.

  • Perhaps the author will answer.
    I don’t think his language here is very exact.
    If someone says, “I hate being locked down!” that’s politics in emotional expression.
    If the therapist says, “OK, let’s deal with that hatred,” that is psychotherapy ignoring the politics of the situation, which is in fact the dominant suppressor.
    If the therapist says, “OK, let’s see what we can do to got out from under this suppression,” that’s psychotherapy embracing the politics of the situation.

    We see here that the subject is limited in how it expresses itself by its own knowledge limitations!

    “Suppression” or “oppression” are considered by most psychologists to be “political” phenomena. But they are in fact at the core of what triggers misemotion in many people. Psychology thus ignores the central role of the sociopath and his allies in the psychological – not just political – life of people. They thus ignore their own role in this – to the extent that their profession includes some sociopaths, if it is not in fact dominated by them.

  • This therapist should study what I have studied. It’s really not that difficult.

    When you realize that spiritual memory stretches back for billions of years, and that we have all been through times like this before (often not ending well, by the way – a contributor to the current sense of dread) you begin to see the way forward more clearly.

    Mental states and emotions are intimately tied to real interactions between people – most of them in the past. And real interactions between people always involve politics.

    Just as the struggle between our desire for freedom and for the sense of “security” that comes from being dependent manifests itself in politics, so does it in our personal worlds. The discovery of a true psychology results in many unexpected benefits. Better ways to study, better ways to help others, better ways to organize, better ways to stay productive, better ways to govern, better ways to control crime. True psychology is at the core of all human thought and action. We should expect great things from it that would apply to every aspect of life. And that is what a true psychology offers, but not the psychology we have now. Nor, of course, its psychotherapies.

    This therapist is wise to dream; she is unwise to confine herself to the current academic habits. They have led us nowhere. It is time we strayed further from the nest!

  • Wow.
    You needn’t try so hard, though, to save face for the doctors. They should know better.

    Has anyone ever, for example, tried giving you a Locational?

    Indeed, it has done the insane no good to consider insanity an illness. And it has not done all the others who couldn’t even be considered insane any good, either.

    There is a lot known about sleep. Insomnia is not the easiest thing to treat (at least not in my experience) but pills certainly aren’t the answer there, either.

    My teacher tells a funny story about how a doctor observed someone he was helping get overheated in the course of therapy. The doctor wanted to stop the therapy and treat the person for fever! So, yes, they can definitely over-react.

  • I am glad there are a few people still capable of reporting on such research without resorting to satire! I know I couldn’t!

    For some reason I get this image of someone chasing a horse to rescue the rider when the rider, long ago, already fell off.

    If they can’t treat distressing episodes successfully, why should we expect them to be able to prevent them? It goes without saying that “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” But when you don’t have a clue, then it won’t matter how much “prevention” or “cure” you pile up, the problem will never go away.

    I wish these learned people would stop acting so helpless and start pushing the envelope a little harder. Better answers exist in this world. Who cares if you lose your job advocating for them? You’re probably better off without a job like that.

  • It’s so funny for me to see this invective couched in terms of Critical Theory and Social Justice, two of the grand intellectual constructs of the last century, created, tailor made, for a new generation of upset youth, by psychologists who should have known better.

    And so this young “queer” person concludes that it is the “system” that is broken, not people! Well, who do you think creates, builds and maintains systems? People! And so if the “system” is not preforming as advertised, the people operating it probably are broken. The people they try to help? Who knows?

    There have been several calls from several observers that we need to de-expert the whole activity of friendship and emotional care. I agree. The current approach is so not working!

    I made it clear on Facebook where I stand on this – what I think the most obvious answer staring us in the face is. But I promised to go light on that at this website.

    But: What if a person could walk into a school, throw down not that much cash, and take a little course that would teach them a social skill, or a way to help others, or something that would help them patch their own life together better? And what if a whole bunch of people took such courses and got more hip to the whole scene and started helping each other dig out of the silly emotional holes that we so often fall into? Would we still need all those white upper middle class female therapists that Devon complains about? (Hey, I had one, too, for a while!) Probably not. And for most of us, it would be good riddance!

    I have seen some stories of some therapists doing some amazing things for some really upset people. And I have heard many more stories of people trained outside the realm of psychology and psychiatry helping others in many amazing ways. So there is an activity that some call “therapy” that is potentially useful. Not, however, in the hands of most people who call themselves “therapists.”

  • First important observation: Grief is occasioned by loss.
    Second important observation: A grief response is triggered. (That means the greater loss is prior.)
    Third important observation: The analytical analog to grief is injustice. Injustice is a powerful motivating idea in the universe! One who feels unjustly treated can be transformed from a happy group member to a destructive rioter.

    After these points are made, her discussion diverges from what I think is most useful.

    Here is what I know that might contribute to this discussion:
    Grief events tend to pile up on a case. The average person brings a lot of stored grief into this lifetime from the past. Incidents of profound loss can be traced all the way back to the “initial separation.”
    Handling stored grief can make a huge difference to a person, as in practical terms it acts as a suppressor on the person’s entire life.
    The various technical ways to do this add up to locating past moments of profound loss and “crying them out” (for lack of a more concise description). More recent incidents tend to mask earlier ones, so it is necessary to work backwards for the most recent loss.
    Another approach to handling grief is to attempt to remove (distract attention away from?) the triggering condition. If that condition is chronic, then the individual will be constantly pushed back into grief as he/she goes about living. Removing such chronic “restimulators” can do wonders for a person. The lowest gradient is to have the person just go outside and walk around and look at things.

    Given the above comments, I will relate my recent personal experience.

    Growing up, I would run into grief every now and then. It would come and go as losses hit me. It seldom hung around for long. I would get busy again, and my attention would come off of it. There were a few times that it hit harder than usual and I would cry for an hour or more.

    When the closures hit, my life suddenly changed from busy to very slow. My regular in-person social contacts went from many to none. At first it was just annoying. But as things dragged on, it started to affect me much more. There was a particular new friend I had grown fond of that I began to miss. My only contact with her was through her work, and she had lost her job. I almost panicked as I tried to reestablish communication with her. I finally did, but my grief was now in full restimulation and I was crying a lot every single day.

    Even though I restored contact with this new friend, it was not enough to turn off the grief. It continues to the present, as I struggle to combat the loneliness of a lockdown that separates me from what was my primary source of human contact. I have written extensively about this on my blog. But writing doesn’t help that much. Going out for a walk is only temporary relief. Going out on a major shopping trip works better, but I can’t afford to do that every day. And it doesn’t solve the isolation. I have resorted to getting onto dating websites – which I have never used before! – just in the hopes that I can find someone to visit with on a regular basis.

    The lockdowns, along with unhandled past incidents of great loss, have pushed me in the direction of becoming an emotional cripple, compared to how I operated before. It has been an instructive experience! But not one I would wish on others, even my enemies. I imagine millions are having similar experiences right at this moment. This is not good for me, for them, or for this world. Grief is a crippling emotion. To get stuck in it is not good for a person.

    I would NEVER take a drug for this condition, but I can understand why someone would be tempted to. Getting stuck in grief is the opposite of fun!

  • Okay, I’ll give a couple of examples. We’ll see if there is any mileage left in pursuing this:
    If you are a tolerant (liberal) sort of person, you’re likely to see it as “common sense” that people should be trusted and if someone is having problems with that there is some stressor in their environment that is probably to blame.
    If you are a little more cautious in your approach to other people, you’ll think it’s “common sense” to check people out before you trust them, because some people just aren’t trustworthy.

    However, this all started with rebel playing around with the phrase “common sense” to suggest a sort of lowest common denominator agreement that “everybody knows” and yet could be totally false. Rebel also argues that “Psychology can’t be science, because nothing is science.” And Truth thought that made “no sense.”

    So we’re just playing around with the meanings of words here. If you keep your feet on the ground you realize that there are processes that people use for obtaining knowledge that they call “science.” But in the case of psychology, this process seems to have totally missed its mark.

    Meanwhile, rebel reminds us that there is some amount of art in everything, which is something that science tends to ignore. (The early scientists, however, tended to believe that their work was helping to reveal the beauty in God’s creation.) You can’t “measure” art, can you? But we are certainly affected or influenced by art. So there seems to be a quality of life that science is simply incapable of embracing. In some ways, that might be true.

    But…I don’t think these shortcomings point to any inherent limitations of science. I think they point to some very baked-in limitations of scientists (us). If we can find ways to “unlimit” ourselves more, we should be more capable of using science to work with subjects like art, beauty and Spirit in ways that are helpful to our fellow humans.

  • And I am asserting that various people using scientific methods ARE understanding human beings and their experiences. The only reason most people still think “we don’t know yet” is because the good research is not being covered by the mainstream. In other words, the mainstream demonstrates a definite impulse to remain ignorant.

  • It is a logical fallacy to assume that just because the mainstream rails against someone, that they must be the opposite. But it IS a distinct possibility! That is how the criminal mind works, and it is criminal minds that are feeding the mainstream many of its stories.

    At this point I would look very carefully at anything hated or ridiculed by the mainstream. There is a good chance it involves something truly valuable to human life.

  • Actually, the new definition of “conspiracy theory” is “any idea that must be wrong because it violates my sense of security too much.”

    In modern usage, there is the thinly veiled implication that the holder of any such theory is a tad paranoid.

    I believe this writer is using it in that way.

    Literally, of course, a conspiracy theory is any theory about the existence of a conspiracy (secret criminal group) that accounts for certain (usually criminal) events. The “original conspiracy theory” is that the JFK assassination was an inside job, which is more or less a proven fact at this point.

    Today it is a term used to gaslight people and for ad hominem attacks. Many “conspiracy theories” are in fact quite accurate and well-documented. Others, of course, are not.

  • Wow, what a lot of mixed messages from my point of view!

    I have never seen the expression “conspiracy theory” used so many times in one piece of writing.

    And I thought the idea that psychiatry was being insincere about its intentions and is being subsumed by Big Pharma was a conspiracy theory!

    I must admit that I am partial to many “theories” finding that various events that turned out bad probably had conspirators behind them. Seems like the more rational and realistic attitude to me.

    Yes, you can get gain on most cases by treating them as victims. Most people benefit from a little understanding and TLC. But that doesn’t exactly solve the problem of the human condition. For the fact is that each being does play a part in his own victimization. It’s not something you go in and beat people over the head about, but sooner or later the causative side of a person’s life needs to be addressed.

    I’m glad this guy knows that the psychiatric story is BS. But that’s just the first step to doing something about it. Let’s continue to understand without the conceptual burden of worrying about conspiracies. They exist! Let’s move on.

  • Well, one exists, so I think it’s realistic, that’s all. Of course the technology is not for controlling human behavior. We already have something that does that – ourselves. But there are workable technologies for helping others become happier, which it seems to me should be the goal of the “mental health” system.

  • Wow! Yet another example of history rewritten or ignored.

    I was invovled in a demonstration held in the Berkeley City Council chambers somewhere around 1979 where I believe a petition was delivered to the council urging them to ban shock treatment in Berkeley. We arrived during a hearing at which a psychiatrist was attempting (rather unsuccessfully) to explain why shock treatment was so necessary. I have no idea who organized that event! I know that Berkeley was one of the few cities to ever enact an ECT ban.

    This was an active, boots-on-the-ground movement back then. I don’t see many activities like that these days (although CCHR does make sure to show up at every major psych convention, and I know that some other groups do this, too).

    But these days most in the mood to protest are spending their street time on other issues. I do hope the focus comes back around to this issue. It is a very central one.

  • Yes, I’m not sure how rebel meant that. But perhaps it has to do with how psychiatry likes to just leave people on their meds for the rest of their lives. Yes, doctors are discovering more diseases that seem to require that. But do they really?

    I know a guy who discovered a lot of cures. He became somewhat rich and famous, but the mainstream treats him very poorly. He wasn’t a doctor! How dare he cure anything?

    This is where all the power structures seem to be right now. Just trying to maintain, to protect or expand their income flows. The enthusiasm for cures is gone, despite any public displays to the contrary. If we don’t find a way to kick the whole system in the butt, it’s going to atrophy totally.

  • If we understood people as well as we do electronics, it should be possible. That’s what my group strives for. 100% good results. If you have a workable technology it should be possible. The problem with psychology is that it doesn’t understand people well enough to develop broadly workable technologies for helping them.

  • This is the classic liberty-based argument for decriminalizing certain “victimless” behaviors.

    Posed as a personal rights issue, decriminalization garners support from liberal-leaning people.

    The argument against such changes usually focuses on how they are perceived as normalizing these behaviors, even though they are known to pose significant risks to “misbehavers” and the people around them.

    This conflict of ideas creates a major quandary to people like myself who recognize the harms committed by our law enforcement system but do not wish to see the mass normalization of dangerous behaviors. Where does such a trend end? Long ago, premarital sex was normalized. Now we have normalized the use of harmful psychiatric drugs, as well as marijuana. What dangerous behavior will be next? Vandalism? Robbery?

    Furthermore, I don’t want to see drug use in particular normalized, and this is definitely the goal of the drug companies, at least regarding “mental health” drugs. I believe the drug company overlords would welcome an increase of all drugs, and would take advantage of the opportunity to market more drugs to the population for “recreational” purposes.

    Calls for decriminalization and leniency seem insincere to me when they focus on turning those committing unwanted behaviors into victims and those wishing to improve behavior into oppressors.

    What I believe is closer to the truth is that populations have been convinced that the only way to guard against misbehavior in their communities is by use of a punishment-based system involving laws, law enforcers, a judicial system, and various forms of punishment. This system has proven to be ineffective. It is in fact based on a criminal control paradigm. But this doesn’t change the fact that a majority of people in a majority of communities want to reduce unwanted behaviors, not increase them. And normalization of such behaviors, particularly when accompanied by Corporate marketing campaigns aimed at encouraging such behaviors, tends to result in an increase in the unwanted behaviors.

    Cigarette smoking is a classic case of society rising up to de-normalize an unwanted behavior. Through a strident marketing campaign, the message got through, and smoking has lessened, though it did not end by any means.

    Conversely, normalizing behaviors that were unwanted signals that those behaviors are no longer unwanted. A consumer market is created, which Corporate then promotes to, usually leading to increases in those behaviors. This has happened with premarital sex, psych drugs, and more recently with marijuana.

    What society needs, then, is a more effective system of controlling unwanted (destructive) behaviors that empowers individuals to make better life decisions rather than delivering up to Corporate new audiences to be marketed to and controlled. This is the societal struggle we see playing out all around us right now. Do we really want Corporate to save us all with more legalized but very dangerous drugs? Or do we want to find structures that will actually help us build saner communities?

  • I know. Sometimes I shudder to think that my experience might have been unusual. What do most children go through? Also, that was the 1960s. We didn’t really even have that much TV back then. The “entertainment” industry has been misinforming people and separating them. This is an effect I experienced more later in life. And now it is almost unbearable! But I got some repair work done along the way. And it wasn’t by way of psychology. If I hadn’t received that help, I don’t know if I’d even be functional today, living almost totally alone as I do.

  • That’s really good! And you aren’t alone by any means. But your story is not yet in the majority. Psychology still lets most people down.

    I work in electronics. And as an example, I have worked with thousands of little parts that light up when you run electricity through them. Almost every single one of these parts worked correctly. We know how to make these things. We can do it with nearly 100% certainty. Why can’t we make happy people with that same certainty? It should be possible.

  • Oh you could be right about that. I am not that familiar with the fine distinctions of how academic subjects are categorized.

    I’m not too concerned about the posing that goes on in academia. I am more concerned with whether or not their findings are useful to anyone.

    We have electronics and better car engines because of the physical sciences. And psychology can only give us Cognitive Behavior Therapy? For psychologists to resort to trying to reason with people to change their behaviors looks a lot to me like giving up.

    I think all they have to do is start taking their Parapsychology colleagues more seriously, and I think they could have a breakthrough. My concern is that the last thing they really want is a breakthrough! To a lot of people, Man looks better as a mystery. Solving Man is like opening Pandora’s box. It’s scary.

  • Yes, Psychology is one of the Humanities. I don’t view it as a bad thing. Did I say I did? But it is under pressure to be “more scientific,” as are economics, sociology, etc.
    And for good reason: The Sciences have produced workable technologies, while the Humanities have not. However, for the Humanities to produce workable technologies, they need to get “human” right, which the Sciences didn’t need to do.
    So…what’s your point? Did I lose you somewhere in the above discussion?

  • Well, I’ll tell you what I know about. Of course, it’s just a backup observation, but it is required. Subjective knowledge has to count for something, too.

    After every time we “help” someone, we have them sit down and attach themselves to a meter. And if the meter gives a certain reaction (and the guy is smiling and looks OK), we know it’s all good. And if it doesn’t we know it wasn’t all good (even if he’s trying to pretend it was). And there’s your objective observation. Anyone who can read the meter can make the observation. It’s a much finer line when dealing with people. But a degree of objectivity should still be possible.

  • Wow. It is interesting to get this viewpoint!

    I had a good round of making friends when I was a pre-teen. It was a VERY natural, easy experience. If you fought too much, you didn’t stay friends. If you adored each other you fell in love, or at least played a lot together. Then I moved from California to Michigan. I couldn’t stand the social scene for kids in Michigan! It was so limited for friendships between the sexes. Same sex friends came and went – no big deal.

    But young adulthood for me was super weird because I hadn’t bothered to “grow up” in high school the way kids are expected to. When you are an adult and you don’t choose the socially accepted avenues for meeting people and so on, it can get pretty lonely pretty fast. On top of that, I moved back to California. That’s when I got some counseling. What my therapist told me didn’t require a PhD in psychology! But why weren’t my own parents more there for me? It’s a whole dynamic of forces that is disempowering people in many ways. And psychiatry (I learned later) is at the center of it.

    I am amazed that Psychology turns out any good people, but it does. Too bad they are so poorly trained. But If I were a professional in that field (as it is, I am a semi-professional) I would spend all my effort getting ordinary people trained in the basics of life and how to interact with people. Since my parents were teenagers, the has been the biggest training need, and the biggest lack. Some cultures and sub-cultures do better with it than others. The academic sub-culture is absolutely terrible at it, and that is in part due to the influence of psychiatric-oriented psychology. It serves the practitioners more than it does the people.

    “Late-stage capitalism” is a typical modern term. It is a terrible misuse of the language! Psychology is fine with people using words however they want to, without looking them up to find out what they really mean. What I am seeing currently is an attempt my Corporate that has been going on my whole lifetime (66 years) to take over the planet, at which they have almost succeeded. If we let them succeed, then that’s game over for freedom and human rights on this planet. I think we have to confront the extent to which psychology (psychiatry of course) has been put there to serve Corporate. If Corporate weren’t here trying to turn the planet into some sort of giant factory, psychology and many other subjects would be in a very different state than they are today. I would like to get rid of Corporate, but that will be VERY difficult. Capitalism, to me, is fine. That’s part of a free economy. Corporate is something else. At it’s worse, it means total control. On this planet currently it means devious control and lots of immoral perks for people who cooperate. Very dystopian.

  • I consider this approach a fatal error on the part of those seeking reform!

    They know there is something wrong. But what they propose, basically, is to turn the tables on their supposed suppressors, and criminalize and suppress them! That won’t work. This uses a brush much to broad and indiscriminate.

    What the social justice warriors miss is that they have been duped into believing the same basic materialistic lies that the “colonizers” forwarded in the recent past. They are, for all intents and purposes, products of the oppressor. Nothing good will come of this.

  • Well done on getting off those drugs, Karin!

    I too live alone and I have no psych diagnoses (unless you count the one I got 40 years ago – depression). I was never on any of those drugs and I have shunned the world of drugs since I was 25.

    But the isolation hit me VERY HARD. I think part of it was that it felt so unjust! The lock downs also deprived me of a personal contact I used to enjoy every week. Then on top of that she somehow lost her job. That’s still a mystery.

    I have struggled very hard to connect to people who seem like they would make good friends, but I have found very few so far. Friendship, it seems, is becoming a lost skill (the topic of another blog post).

    As far as psychiatry goes, this has been its operating basis for decades now, has in not?
    1) Cook up a list of “illnesses” you can accuse (diagnose?) people of having.
    2) Use those illnesses as a pretext to deny personal liberties, then give them “medicines” that actually harm them.
    3) Kill them, or let them back into the world as broken shells of their former selves.

    In the aftermath of the actual pandemic, it seems like this is what “public health” people, with the strong support of many politicians and business people, are trying to do. That’s how I am experiencing this thing now. These people have learned from psychiatry! Or do both realms share a common teacher?

    In addition, the emotional anguish and economic devastation that isolation has put us through, because of the lock downs, is unsustainable. And it seems someone wants it that way. Just like they want the unsustainable practices of psychiatry to continue forever. I had no idea such an insanity could sweep over a population as completely as this one has.