A cool video about General Relativity.
The saying that if you thought of something but then couldn’t remember it, “well, it must not’ve been very important then!” Is deeply flawed.
Any innovation or insight into personal growth is of need disruptive and therefore automatically resisted and opposed by endemic conservative forces and mechanisms.
This is of course deeply rooted In immunomemetic theory, too, by the way.
I just checked out a video that does a pretty good job of deriving E = mc2 from base principles, like we talked about.
Apologies about the odd message earlier. Apologies about this message as well. I just seem to have gone off on a tear, probably because of lack of sleep, but I figured, "what the hell."
I guess the point is that insights achieved through therapy (or elsewhere) are to be written down (or otherwise made note of). Everybody has denial in one form or another. As an alcoholic and adult child of alcoholism/dysfunction, I may have more than most, but what I've learned is that the mind recoils at the kind of insight that leads to lasting change.
Any dynamic system has to have stabilizing mechanisms, conservative subsystems, otherwise every disturbance would cause each of us to drift off in some random direction, butterfly wings a-flappin'. Since we don't seem to wake up each morning all of us speaking completely different languages or baffled at how to use a fork or lost for hours or days in our own kitchens, there seem to be strong conservative forces (memetic in nature I would argue but the point stands) in play that reïnforce how English grammar works, what words mean, stick your eggy-weggies with the pointy end, and the Cheerios are in the cupboard over the stove and there's milk in the fridge (oh, bugger, I forgot to buy milk, but that's not a drama since I know what money and supermarkets are and how they work).
The downside of the urgency of all this routine is that we also don't seem to wake up relieved off all the bad habits we resolved to stop doing last afternoon, or living in the spirit of the documentary on yoga or Zen Buddhism we watched over the weekend and which so inspired us, the bathroom scale needle remains infuriatingly stuck in place, learning is often agonizing, and so on and so forth.
The point is, again, that we are the way we are because we are the way we are and there are mechanisms, little demons, whose job it is to keep us that way, because the alternative is ridiculous. The extreme example, like me, an addictive personality, is that if I try to read or discuss anything on recovery, I literally can't read the words on the page, because to do so would cause too much cognitive dissonance or whatever psycho-gobbledygook. It's the same principle.
I wanted to say something about Jung's "The Shadow" (apparently he knows, or likes to stroll down the avenue or something), but more on that later. I don't actually know much about it, except that it seems to be roughly equivalent to Freud's unconscious or subconscious or id or probably bits of all of them. Of course, the 12 Steps (and psychomemetics) cut through all that crap by getting down to "how" instead of focusing on "why."
You might get some mileage out of the Twelve Steps since it's immensely practical and you can get started right away. The first three steps are just "my life sucks, God help me" and you might be able to skip over them, or by deciding to go to therapy you've kind of already taken them anyway.
The Fourth Step is a personal inventory, and in the AA practice, the main bit (the "Four Columns") is writing down what pisses you off (or scares you).
That turns out to be a very effective lever or hook into the unconscious, or into the (probably) "Shadow". It's just the people, places, and things that you resent, that you think about, that come up, that you can't seem to get around or out of your mind. You can find stuff online, certainly, but it looks like a spreadsheet. This is THE LIST or THE GRUDGE LIST.
1. Who, What, or Where?
2. What happened?
3. How does it affect me? (1)
4. "My Part" (2)
(1) from page 65 of the AA "Big Book", 1. Self-esteem, 2. Security, 3. Ambitions, 4. Personal relations, 5. Sex relations, and some add: 6. Pride, and 7. FEAR. Nota bene: don't go adding a bunch of random crap to these 5-7 items. Why? Because then you can't see patterns, which lead to understanding your character defects which leads to growth and recovery. I've had sponsees just make up shit and it ends up not being specific, blunts the value of this step, and is a kind of not taking responsibility for your own shit.
(2) This is where the rubber hits the road. It's on page 67 (4th Edition). This is something you can work on in therapy, by the way, but it will save time to have a bash at it on your own first. I find it helps to think in terms of what I personally have control over. What did I actually do? To cause the problem or hurt the other person? What might they see of me, from a purely objective standpoint? What's the most generous and sympathetic attitude I can take toward the other, seeing them as also being sick? In AA they have the expression "cleaning up my side of the street." The other person may have fucked up, too, but 1. I don't have access to their inner life, and 2. I can change anything that is their responsibility, their bailiwick, their side of the street.
Anyway, this is how drunks get off drinking. Of course, Step Five involves sharing this list with somebody (could be a therapist) , and so on.
I'm not typing up all this stuff because I'm some kind of paragon of spiritual enlightenment and want to be revered as such, by the way, rather the opposite. I have these ideas in front of me all the time because I'm a very sick puppy, and I talk about them with other sick puppies who all need recovery. It's a constant struggle, but I'm so much better than I used to be, thanks to this stuff. The other reason is that I'm a systematizer. I have to process stuff down to something simple and systematic, with clear steps, otherwise I just can't deal with it.
The Big Book of AA is quite systematic when it comes to the Fourth Step (which is the biggie). I had a sponsee tell me that his parole officer wanted something concrete about the work we were doing, so I systematized the first three steps (which I can tell you about if you want -- let me know). I also systematized the Fourth Step (there are three other parts which might be useful later -- let me know).
I've got a buddy who's on about "Shadow Work" a lot. From what little I've seen, it seems that in these "Shadow Work" videos on YouTube, when they say "my shadow" they could just as well say "my halitosis" without breaking semantic/grammatical (?) consistency.
It's descriptive, not prescriptive.
Same thing about the subconscious. Yes, yes, obviously there's stuff going on, there's stuff that we suppress or repress, we have dissociation, and projection is obviously working. But just because we call it the unconscious or "The Shadow" doesn't illuminate a mechanism for all that, or, more importantly, a toolkit for dealing with it, for using what we know (I'm pissed off at others = equals projection of my inner shadow = equals self-knowledge = big whoop-dee-shit) to reduce our suffering and make us more effective in our own lives.
It seems like a dead end. Or you have to defer to your "trained professional therapist" to be able to do anything about it.
The first two columns of the Fourth Step clearly deal with projection, which is a concept in both Freudian analysis and Jungian "Shadow Work." What I hate about others I hate about myself, but in a state of denial or dissociation. The problem is that the question "what is it that you hate or fear about yourself, or feel guilty about, that you have no conscious access to?" is ridiculous, unless you posit something like "dream work" which as far as I'm concerned is question-begging at its finest and probably superstitious fantasy (plus, I never seem to have dreams that I remember).
I'm not sure what Freud or Jung prescribed for working on this stuff. All I've seen so far is "introspection."
Doesn't seem like that will get very far. The suppressed part of the self is buried for a reason: the memories buried there are too terrifying or shameful to be exposed, so to try to get at them directly is impossible.
The Fourth Step inventory offers access via the bit that is poking up above the ground.
I'm trying to come up with an approach for dealing with childhood trauma using memetics. I've gotten massive results so far. It's basically the same thing as the Fourth Step inventory
I'm still trying to systematize it.
It's effectively about ongoing psychodynamics. 4th Step resentments are processed, and then they're done, the alcoholic feels relief, understands his character defects, gets better, and in Jay's Cynical Take on the 12 Steps, learns over time to "go and sin no more" since every future fuck-up leads to making amends (9th step) and that's a pain in the ass, so we learn not to fuck up in the first place.
Complex PTSD from childhood is caused by an enormity of abusive events which cannot be removed or dealt with in the same way, even if they could all be remembered, and since the child is not to blame, there is no unearthing of character defects in the same way.
This pattern of abuse over years of a child who has no context in which to frame the abuse gets stored, and my theory is that these hundreds and thousands of abuse events are both stored as trauma than can later be triggered, impairing the adult, but are also somehow distilled down (and this is what I'm working on) into a set of "core beliefs" that continue to drive the adult child's decision making process and internal life.
ACA (Adult Children of Alcoholics/Dysfunctional Families) has a list of 14 "survival traits" such as "fear of authority figures" and "addiction to excitement" and so on, with which children of abusive households identify with (I identify strongly with all but maybe one of them).
But once again, we may be in the Freudian, Jungian "The Shadow (doesn't) know" situation of yes, this is a correct description, but it lacks extensible/falsifiable theory, and (engineering) method for dealing with it.
Yes, there is such a thing as fire. The scientist might point out that oxygen (an invisible "gas") is required for it to work. The engineer wants to know how much, how can I inject it all into an engine to make it work, and so on. Freud and Jung (and my shadow work buddy, and maybe a lot of therapists) stop at the first one.
I like to think like an engineer. Sorry, folks, if y'all think that's coldly reductionist. I like to get healthy as quickly and efficiently and with as much certainty as possible. If others get there, too, using what I come up with, so much the better. But as we say in AA, "It's a me program," and I'd like to get on top of this.
Not all parents tell their kids "I wish you were dead" out loud, or even "If you get pregnant / come out as gay, I never want to see you again" (I'm willing to throw our relationship away, given the right circumstances), but that can nonetheless get installed as a "core belief." I'm still trying to come up with a theory as to how that works, and a reliable practice from extracting these "core beliefs" (I'm also kicking around the term "minimal elements").
These are effectively self-directed bullying memes
Since I know a lot about how the mind deals with memes (in social situations), if I can define an internal memetic environment (ideomemeplex or endomemeplex), then all the laws of memetics I've identified so far should apply there. I've also been holding onto the idea that ideomemetic theory might shed some light on deployment decision theory (how a group of individuals decides who will deploy which meme in a given face-off or "jinx event" or race condition situation)., so that would be two birds with one stone.
So self-bullying ideomememetic subsystems, or autoimmunomemes, are the model I'm working on for how Adult Child dysfunction works. This is not just mental memetic masturbation, by the way, since not only do I have a lot of understanding about how such systems work, I also know a lot about how memes may be manipulated in the mind. For instance, you cannot turn off a meme, but you can replace it with a different meme, and there are very clear engineering principles for how that works and how to do it successfully.
If you have any thoughts about this, I'm all ears. Like I said, I'm still trying to tidy things up.
I'm trying to tackle it from the same angle as the 4th Step of AA, i.e., start from resentments.
I'm also trying to come at it from the "other end," i.e., parental responsibilities:
...sometimes I have to define these a bit broadly to make it a comprehensive list. But I guess you'd say that with dysfunctional parenting, one or more of these "responsibilities" or "guarantees" (might be a good word), are let down. I need to work out if all this is true. Is there a series (or collection, since in cPTSD who know if order matters) of abusive/neglectful events that take down #1 "Safety"? These may constitute my "core beliefs" or "minimal elements".
1. "if you die, I die" versus "your survival is optional to me"
1.+2. "I'll support you in whatever you do" versus "if you get pregnant / gay / change religions / don't follow in my footsteps, you're cut off"
So two big questions:
1. How do these minimal elements get created from collected experience (or do they even really exist in a useful way at all in the first place)?
2. How do minimal elements "bubble up" to product inner voice and outward behavior (meme deployment...?), again, assuming they're real in any meaningful sense?
Of course, the subconscious and The Shadow ("Who knows?") are both effectively abstract constructs -- they cannot be (or at least they have not) been shown to exist in any measurable way.
HOWEVER, and this is another appeal of the memetic approach, memes HAVE been shown to exist, rather like subatomic particles have, in that they can be spotted and are known to obey a number of very specific laws which further allow them to be predicted and engineered with a high degree of accuracy.
In other words, using AA and memetic principles, it should be much easier to identify and isolate parts of the psyche that are unhealthy, and replace them (read "remove") using well-understood principles and techniques.