Welcome to step #7. What a journey it has been thus far. We have been working hard to wrap our heads around this new type of thinking, and for many of you, I am sure you are unconvinced or don’t see the point. Well, this is no surprise to those of us who have already been through all the steps. Free will is one of those addictions that seem impossible to shake at times. People talk about quitting smoking being tough, and it is. Heroin, kicking can be one of the most painful experiences a mind and body will be put through. This habit is no different from those two except for the fact that it is in our minds already. The illusion is so complete, and its effects so devastating to our perception of reality, we have a hard time coming to terms with how to exist without it. There is almost no support out there for us. Even those who might agree with out efforts will still point fingers and refuse to let go of events they wish attributed to their own or someone’s personality or behavior. “That person is toxic,” or “they’re just mean,” will come up in conversation or in a mind, and those folks will just run with the thoughts. We don’t judge them for their thoughts; we know the genesis of such shortcomings, as they were our shortcomings just a few short weeks ago.Read More »
With our new found tools of playback and mirroring at our disposal, we are ready to move to the halfway point in the steps. It is time to start letting go in earnest. At the bottom of this entry will be list of all the steps thus far, be sure to review if needed.Read More »
We now work our way into the middle of the list. With Step #5 we will begin to engage others in this quest to come to terms with dissolving the addiction to free will and the “self” it has generated. To do this we’ll have to put more thought into our next move, or more accurately, we’ll need to use a method of “playback” discussed in Step #4 for observing the dialogue we all have running in our heads. This is the most powerful step for eliminating shame thus far. Read More »
Finally, a step taken right from the AA list that needs no adaptation. Excited by this one, I believe this is one of the reasons for the success of AA throughout the years. Despite my dislike for short intro paragraph, getting right to the point serves me well today.Read More »
I’ve spent some of this morning reading blogs and articles from various psychology with a tag of of “psychology,” and I find myself disturbed. Not disturbed in a way the band name is suggesting or in a way that many of the psychology sites might seem to suggest. No, I am disturbed in a way that one is disturbed when watching a Die Antwoord video. Inspired and put off at the same time. What is the reason for this disturbance. In a word, perspective.
Article after article seems to give all kinds of advice. A blog I subscribe to called “Make It Ultra” published a piece called “How to Set Healthy Bounderies” today and it struck me as a little problematic. But, I took the article at face value, understanding that some people were going to get a few good thoughts from it. No reason to be concerned, right? That was until I kept scrolling and found this on the same blog, “How to Deal With Social Vampires.” After further analysis of these two pieces, I was rather disturbed at a language trick, which had my hackles raised and me uncomfortable before I really knew what was up. I looked at a few more blogs on this page and found the same problem: they seem to be saying “you” a lot, but are advising people to point the finger outward. I said aloud, “This is dangerous psychology.” Telling people to put up boundaries can be useful, sometimes necessary, and it might be a good idea to watch out for “social vampires” as they are defined within, but that’s only half of the story.
We have all been on the flip side.
Yes, you have been a social vampire and have rudely crossed many boundaries. Nowhere in the articles did the author mention that truth. Over half of the battle in dealing with psychological issues is eliminating them within ourselves. If we, each individual, were never acting as a social vamp, when would it be useful to point one out or discuss healthy ways to deal with them? If everyone would learn more about respecting other’s boundaries the number of boundary crossers would go down immensely—leaving only accidental crossings. Those can be forgiven quickly.
I am not suggesting that the blog is a bad blog, or that the author is shortsighted. This is not the only source for this concern. Psychology Today published an article about boundaries in August of 2016 titled, “4 Ways to Set and Keep Your Personal Boundaries… and how to get yourself out when all efforts fail.” This is a better article than the blog post, yet there it was again, ignoring completely the issue of when the reader may have crossed boundaries or how to cross less themselves. There is no doubt sometimes we wish to erect boundaries against those we have offended or tried to manipulate—keep in mind manipulation takes many forms and is often not a “conscious” behavior. And, even with these criticisms I believe these authors are likely helping people deal with genuine issues for which they didn’t know how or where to start. But to all the future would be psychology writers, remember to challenge your audience, to have them look in the mirror first. What can you do for yourself, and concerning yourself, before pointing fingers outwardly. Don’t be only willing to acknowledge when we are abused or minimally ignored, but also know when we are the abusers, and we should hold ourselves accountable first before making the mistake of manipulating others with what we think are boundaries, when they may just be excuses to disconnect from what would be healthy connection.
I recommend hard determinism as a tool to begin a new era of personal realization. See my series Biosophics Anonymous for more guidance of what I see as a healthier way to see the lives we lead.
Are the religious fundamentalists of our time and throughout recorded history ill? Research conducted over the last few decades may suggest as much. It is well documented that religious fundamentalism is often used by violent criminals, societies, and abusive individuals as the motivation to behave in socially detrimental ways. Whether the example is of Deanna Laney, who killed two of her children by bludgeoning them to death with a rock, or of Syed Rizwan Farook and Tashfeen Malik of the San Bernardino shootings in early December last year, the high cost of violent and abusive behavior seemingly motivated by a deep-rooted religious belief is, at this juncture, historical.Read More »
Working on a book about facts is something that has me concerned. “Facts” are one of those terms that everyone “knows,” but as soon as one tries to pin down some “facts” which fly in the face of a deeply held opinion, many will look to subjective interpretation of data. The fact-line becomes blurred during these times. In my opinion, no subject seems to fall prey to this more than the worlds of philosophy and neuroscience concerning the issue of free-will. Before you bolt to close this window, know that I had planned to write a “Quotes Revealed” entry, but when I went looking for Biblical quotes about human having free-will, I came up empty—and I mean empty. Read More »
Now that we’re off and running, it is time to start applying our new-found methods of seeing the world into action. The first two steps have readied our minds to start making hard changes. Our addiction to free will has led to potentially dangerous misunderstanding of the world around us and even of our own behaviors. That’s why we are participating in this program—better living through a more clear understanding of our own lives.Read More »
Last installment, we went over step #1 of Biosophics Anonymous. Today we will add to this with step #2. This step will remind us that our brain is just as vicious of a deceiver as much as a boon to accurate observations, if not more so. When we condition ourselves to be more and more open to a deterministic view, we further open the door to freeing ourselves from the limited confines of our own minds and flawed subjectivity.Read More »
One of the largest and most troublesome issues facing modern life and the future of the species may very well be the mind itself. More than just a brain, the mind is also our output. What we say, how we behave, and the way we interpret the world around us. This has led to the failing of police systems, the joke of a government possessed here in the United States, and the problems of inequality and bigotry. How to change the world has always been a huge question of mine, which I believe needs an answer. So to further that goal, I have had an idea.Read More »