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Do elderly parents re-write history?

 
 
msolga
 
  1  
Reply Thu 28 Aug, 2003 06:27 am
I was also the most introspective ... I thought, thought, thought my way through a rather melancholy childhood. This could explain why I recall so much, maybe?
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Phoenix32890
 
  1  
Reply Thu 28 Aug, 2003 06:47 am
msolga- Introspection probably explains it. While you were thinking about the situations, you were probably working through many of the conflicts. This would then enable you to recall those times.
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CodeBorg
 
  1  
Reply Thu 28 Aug, 2003 07:39 am
Re: Approval
Fascinating and thought-provoking posts everyone. Thank you for sharing so much!

step314 wrote:
I don't see, CodeBorg, the connection you make to "not caring to 'accomplish great things'". That's something I wonder about my paternal grandfather. His philosophy he expressed as "to try to make the world a little better place." Why not be more reckless and try to make the world a much better place, if you feel like trying for such has a higher expected improval of the world than trying to make the world a little better place (more certainly)? I do feel that is my situation, and accordingly "Save the world or bust!" could be one of my mottoes, and I don't see what is wrong with that. Matter of fact, my goal is the one requiring more immunity to shame, inasmuch as taking risk and being odd as great things require is not very much approved of. I admired my grandfather, though; too bad he died before the question was of interest to me.

Just avoiding false pride, and an "addiction to image-making".
I think shame and pride may be identical. The same way someone may be controlled and kept in line with shame (artificial lack of self-esteem) they may be controlled by pride (false excessive self-esteem). Two sides of the same coin, and I'd like to simply drop the coin from my life. It doesn't buy anything for me.

People often struggle to achieve whatever they lack. Weak people obsess about being strong, insecure people define everything in terms of security, fearful people overcompensate by displaying aggressive anger. Perhaps shame-driven people over-compensate a bit by struggling to acheive Greatness? Just a notion.

IT'S A MYTH -- Greatness to me is a complete, blatant and outright lie. It is false image-making used to control those who are starving for self-esteem. I refuse to participate in it. I would much rather live a balanced, wholesome life, doing this and that, whatever strikes my fancy and gives me satisfaction in my community.

IT'S NUMBING -- Image-making also numbs a person to their own feelings. If a person follows a script to produce Greatness, they often put their own experiences and judgement aside, trying to have the script tell them how they're supposed to feel now.

IT'S OVERWHELMING -- Chanting "We're number one!" or "We're saving the world!" or "We are the Greatest" is simply another way to over-ride someone's healthy judgement -- with something spectacular, overwhelming, sensational. Similar to the buzz from alcohol. One loses themself in it.

IT'S CRIPPLING -- Greatness also dictates how they *should* behave if they were *proper* people. I reject all image-making and properness, because it enslaves people with their own runaway shame/pride.

"Tying to make the world a little better" sounds like a much nicer way to enjoy constructive things without being ruled/obsessed by them, still having a real life in ones own true direction and pace.



Also, the world is actually fine just the way it is. There will always be pain and suffering, pleasure and joy. Nothing we do will ever change that. We can never solve it all, and life would be utterly boring if we did. "Save the world or bust!" might be a setup for gaurenteed failure, and then boom: shame and stigma all over again.

There will always be little ways of improving the world, here and there, on a human scale. I try to do small things, a reasonable step at a time, and for pleasure only. Not because of obligation, manufactured "duty" or fake stigma/pride. Successful projects don't prove anything. I don't cling to them. I just do them because it was nice. I avoid trying to judge it success/failure, glory/disgrace, pain/happiness. My happiness no longer depends on how my work is going.

Why? I just can't sacrifice my own feelings, life and existence "for the cause". I want to live. It is my life. I need to keep it in balance and savor what I have because that's the gift we are all given: our own being. Greatness is a myth that distracts me from just being myself.



Sorry about rambling ... But a strong habit of image-making may contribute to creating false stories, false memories that we cling to.


----------
This is all wild conjecture and theory. Your mileage may vary.
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dupre
 
  1  
Reply Thu 28 Aug, 2003 01:24 pm
Codeborg: I applaud you. Your post is overwhelming in its truth and eloquence.

I truly believe it should be required reading.

(The irony is, that would make you Great!)

Thank you for sharing this.
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Phoenix32890
 
  1  
Reply Thu 28 Aug, 2003 02:44 pm
dupre- Agree. CodeBorg- That was said beautifully!
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msolga
 
  1  
Reply Fri 29 Aug, 2003 02:22 am
A pleasure to share your thoughts, CodeBorg! Very Happy
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CodeBorg
 
  1  
Reply Fri 29 Aug, 2003 04:23 am
Wow.
I've never had someone to talk with about ideas like this -- so I have absolutely no idea what people might think. I just draw a complete blank, clueless.

So it's interesting to see the ideas written down, but also to see how people react. It's an odd sensation of mystery. Lack of experience I guess. I wish more people would just hang out and talk.

I'm glad it makes some sense to you, and thanks for sharing all your thoughts too!
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Phoenix32890
 
  1  
Reply Fri 29 Aug, 2003 04:27 am
CodeBorg- Looks like you are lots better at expressing yourself than you ever thought. Keep those ideas coming! Very Happy
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step314
 
  1  
Reply Fri 29 Aug, 2003 03:18 pm
Re: Approval
CodeBorg wrote:
Just avoiding false pride, and an "addiction to image-making".


It is true that it is less fracturing of the psyche to keep your opinions to yourself notwithstanding you think highly of them. However, a truth kept to yourself is not of much value to others, and if you have essentially no public image because few have heard of you, it makes it difficult to gain an audience for your opinions. The way to avoid shame and pride is not to hide.

Quote:
The same way someone may be controlled and kept in line with shame (artificial lack of self-esteem) they may be controlled by pride (false excessive self-esteem). Two sides of the same coin, and I'd like to simply drop the coin from my life. It doesn't buy anything for me.


I would agree with this as regards ordinary matters, but I do think, as I mentioned in my previous post, that shame and pride can play a role in helping one deal effectively with (chemical) addiction. If an emotion had no purpose, we would not have evolved the capacity to feel it. There is a place under the sun for every emotion.

Quote:
Perhaps shame-driven people over-compensate a bit by struggling to acheive Greatness? Just a notion.


Yes, I suppose there are people like that. But then, there are other people who after having faced the sting of defeat become defeatist and have no faith in themselves to do anything even the least bit difficult. For instance, students who fail a test will sometimes go numb and stupid, and give up on trying to learn that subject any longer. So shame in the human psyche can encourage both excess and lack of self-esteem, depending on circumstances. But to do great things also typically requires you to do nonstandard things that haven't been done the same way before, and the psyche is easily manipulated into excessively fearing such oddness. So I think that on balance psychological manipulation is more likely to discourage greatness than encourage it.

Of course, there are deceptive forces that don't particularly have anything to do with psychological manipulation. For instance, the most successful people have an inordinately influential voice simply because their power and money allows them to be heard more often, and it is in their self-interest to encourage the world to view their own greatness (and by extension, greatness in general) as, well, great. But personally, I am too rationally skilled and selective in what I accept to be much deceived thus by these deceptions not relying on manipulation so much as (more frequent) argument. Actually, though, worthless people with no redeeming qualities try to make people think that greatness is a non-existent quality (because they don't have any such greatness), and actually the males of this sort tend to be more effective than one might think in pushing this error because they tend to be sodomizer sorts, and the sodomy kind of makes the female think the guy must be sexy for some reason, namely that the great people she might have been expected to find most appealing really aren't nearly as great as they appear, and in fact because they think themselves great, are really worse. J.D. Salinger (an author that makes me feel like vomiting) would appear to be the person most prominent in pushing for this viewpoint. But the people who are effective at degrading greatness by disgusting behaviors are not people that have much influence on those people at all careful about their associations, because disgusting people tend to not make their debauched opinions too public lest they disgust others to their own detriment, so these types don't tend to be out in the open much. So I would agree with you that so far as the rational argument you hear from the media is concerned, greatness is overrated. But mostly we don't have to go to leadership training seminars, etc., if we don't want to.

Quote:
IT'S A MYTH -- Greatness to me is a complete, blatant and outright lie. It is false image-making used to control those who are starving for self-esteem. I refuse to participate in it. I would much rather live a balanced, wholesome life, doing this and that, whatever strikes my fancy and gives me satisfaction in my community.


There are people who have done great things. George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, Jane Austen, the abolitionists, Abraham Lincoln, FDR, Martin Luther King--these are just a few people who fairly recently did great things, presumably in large measure because they actually were great. And some things are almost as easy to do greatly as to do mildly. I think personally of my anti-sodomy crusade. People wondering whether they are screwed-up tend to be unusually influenced by the standard opinion of what constitutes being screwed-up. Sometimes I think the easiest way of changing where a stubborn screwed-up female sits in regards to addiction is not to try directly to move where she is sitting (she won't let you do that), but to move the whole blasted earth she is sitting on (especially if like me you are better at composing well-crafted logical arguments than at composing plaintive bluegrass songs in which you need to be emotionally compelling at portraying your loss, akin to a howling wronged hound dog or a howling lonely coyote--screwed-up people tend to be emotional types). An exaggeration, I suppose, but still, it is not that much more difficult to change standard opinion as regards depravity than it is to change the particular opinion held by a screwed-up person, so Why not go for broke? And interestingly, the second-most important idea I have, namely that it is important that girls should be able to mate at a young age because girls are more pleased by goodness in males than adult females are, is also something that it won't be too much harder to convince the masses of than a few people. Indeed, girls are going to be the ones most likely to appreciate that they should have stronger rights, and girls tend to conform to one another (especially as regards relationships with males) to an unusual degree. And much of the stigma against early female sexuality is a result of confusion as to what constitutes screwed-uppedness, which as I mentioned is something many are unusually conservative and conformist about. So I feel that, personally, I might as well try to be great.


Quote:
IT'S NUMBING -- Image-making also numbs a person to their own feelings. If a person follows a script to produce Greatness, they often put their own experiences and judgement aside, trying to have the script tell them how they're supposed to feel now.


Enthusiasm can be numbing and in ordinary situations is better avoided, and it is unusually difficult to try to do great things without being excessively enthusiastic. However, before you decide upon a great thing, the same "I cannot fail" attitude that enthusiasm engenders is likely to make you excessively fear starting to try to accomplish something great. It is wrong in ordinary matters to so excessively idolize something that you ignore other matters and become unbalanced, and people do have that tendency, because, for instance if you're female and if have affection for some guy and anticipate having sex with him, it is important to ignore emotionally what other guys will try to stick in your digestive system to get you to change your opinion as to whom should be the object of that affection. But it is just as wrong to so fear failure that you never try anything great. If you take every challenge as though in some sense you are fighting a sexually abusive monster, sure, you won't likely give up easy on your goals once you've decided to go for them, but by the same token, you'll too much chicken out on challenges you've got a good chance of failing, even if failure in itself is nothing worse than wasted time and success is glorious victory. At any rate, there is evil to be grappled with, and to not grapple with it because doing so might make you forget to take time to smell the roses is to excessively fear your own insane tendencies. Argue, be scrappy, wrestle the monsters in the mud--you'll after a while get a practice that enables you to do these things without getting too obsessive about them (desirable unless the monster might sodomize you).


Quote:
IT'S OVERWHELMING -- Chanting "We're number one!" or "We're saving the world!" or "We are the Greatest" is simply another way to over-ride someone's healthy judgement -- with something spectacular, overwhelming, sensational. Similar to the buzz from alcohol. One loses themself in it.


Well, OK, I might have said my motto is "Make the world much better or bust." But that's rather unwieldy for a motto, and I don't know, I wouldn't be surprised if sodomy in particular won't destroy the world. If you think you've got a shot at saving the world, Why lie about it? Why is false humility worse than false pride? William Lloyd Garrison did a great thing, doing very much to encourage anti-slavery sentiment in the north before the Civil War, and look what he wrote in 1828 to an opponent, early in his career before he became famous:... "I have only to repeat without vanity, what I declared publicly to another opponent--a political one--(and I think he will never forget me,) that, if my life be spared, my name shall one day be known so extensively as to render private enquiry unnecessary; and known, too, in a praiseworthy manner. I speak in the spirit of prophecy, not of vainglory,--with a strong pulse, a flashing eye, and a glow of the heart. The task may be yours to write my biography". It's not megalomania when you're right. Moreover, it's only after you become famous that people tend to try to manipulate you by encouraging your megalomaniac tendencies. Before that, competitors, on the contrary, to reduce their competition, try to make you think you are too worthless to compete with them in their sphere.

A curious observation is that I think that P.T. Barnum's attitude of step-right-up-be-amazed is an artistic one that is vastly underrated nowadays. If you've ever got the chance to go to the Barnum museum in Bridgeport, CT, I recommend it. They had (and presumably still have) a (modest and non-spectactular) model of a circus on the highest floor that gives you a good flavor of what a circus was like in the old days. My dad says circuses just aren't the same nowadays, and somehow that feels right. Speaking off the cuff (I've no carefull thought out theory) girls in particular seem to like sensational stuff, or at least an atmosphere allowing consideration of such, and in the old days I suppose men could appeal to that quality of females without being viewed seriously as lying seducers or whatever. As for that museum, I'd bet the fadedness of the costumes itherein makes it more appealing today than formerly. Fun in girls if it somehow harkens back to fun of past generations is more fun. So the museum probably gets more fun with every year. But I go astray, it seems, nothing new.

Quote:
IT'S CRIPPLING -- Greatness also dictates how they *should* behave if they were *proper* people. I reject all image-making and properness, because it enslaves people with their own runaway shame/pride.


This is what I most disagree with. Everything you do effects everything else. If you care how the world turns out, there is nothing to do but try to understand the (usually non-obvious) effects of your actions on the future. You can accept at face value what society says is the consequence on the world of your actions, or you can try using your own sense and sensibility to understand these consequences yourself. People pretend that morality is worthless because it is subjective and has no definition. I don't agree with them, but that is not really the question you should ask in determining the worth of morality. A moral philosophy is not mainly the definition or whatever that it adopts to judge how ideal a world is given any complete description of what the world is like, no that's the easy part. The most important part of a moral philosophy is mainly the thought and understanding that it uses to determine the consequences of any particular behavior on the world. As regards sodomy, for instance, the question of whether sodomy is evil or not is unlikely to depend so much on whatever your first moral principles are, as on what you perceive the effects of sodomy on the world to be. If you believe as I do that sodomy is extremely addictive in the chemical sense and sodomy makes the sodomized more susceptible to pain and the terror of physical abuse, then it is obvious that by viewing sodomy as innocuous you are contributing to a rapacious, more recklessly violent world in which women's sexual feelings are mostly meaningless constructs of whatever chemical brew be poured in their body openings. I daresay few if any people with anything that resembles what people could call a moral system would consider such consequences as improving the world. And whether sodomy is addictive or not is an objective question that can be answered and investigated scientifically. The extent to which sodomy is addictive does not depend on "image-making and properness", but on cold verifiable facts. And as with sodomy, so with other moral matters. Differences in moral opinions as regards the morality of a particular behavior don't so much vary because people have different ideas about what the world should be like, but because people have different opinions about what the consequences of the particular behavior really are on the world present and future. (Not that I deny there are people who are mainly selfish or who lie about their morals.) I daresay it goes without saying that refusing to accept at face value the standard explanation of the consequences on the world of a particular behavior is definitely not something that pride or shame motivates people to do, no quite the contrary.

Quote:
Also, the world is actually fine just the way it is.


Bah!

All this said, I appreciate the thought and relevance of your post. You seem pretty wise to me, my main advice would be to realize that chemical addiction is a special case (that especially must be handled separately in generalities about emotions) and to not fear so much situations that might cause in you irrational emotions (a certain amount of practice in dealing with such emotions can actually help you develop and refine your emotions by encouraging these emotions to become more rational).
0 Replies
 
CodeBorg
 
  1  
Reply Fri 29 Aug, 2003 04:51 pm
Step314, I learn a lot from every post someone makes!
There are so many ideas to think about here, and it's often hard for me to find the words.

I remember your earlier posts and had to reread some of them to get more info:
Aug 11 - www.able2know.com/forums/viewtopic.php?p=313767#313767
Aug 12 - www.able2know.com/forums/viewtopic.php?p=315099#315099
Aug 19 - www.able2know.com/forums/viewtopic.php?p=322005#322005
Aug 20 - www.able2know.com/forums/viewtopic.php?p=322851#322851
Aug 21 - www.able2know.com/forums/viewtopic.php?p=324883#324883
Aug 22 - www.able2know.com/forums/viewtopic.php?p=325840#325840

I'll have to think about it a while to understand it better.
Like I said "Your mileage may vary" and I still have a lot to learn myself.

All we can do is try to understand how things work for ourselves.
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dlowan
 
  1  
Reply Fri 29 Aug, 2003 05:01 pm
Hmm - very interesting - just a few thoughts.

I think pride - or at least a desire to appear good and brave etc, based on one wishing to BE these things, CAN have good effects.

Simple little examples: Where I work there are a number of nightmare cases which have to be taken on, which nobody wishes to take on - but we do it. My motives for doing so? Complex - partly absolutely genuine desire to share the crap fairly with my colleagues - partly, I think, pride which will not allow me NOT to share the crap - do you see the difference?


Sometimes I think, when we are wishing to improve ourselves in some way, we go through a stage of acting AS IF the change we wish to make is already there - we may take more risks consciously in order to become braver, without having yet done so - we may APPEAR more compassionate, before the feeling is really there. I think pride has a role here - not the only role - but A role - in the sense of driving us toward a better reality.
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CodeBorg
 
  1  
Reply Fri 29 Aug, 2003 05:41 pm
Rehearsing how you want to be.
Visualizing success, just like sports athletes do.

We *can* change our state of mind, through meditation,
practice, ritual, ceremony, or consciously developing a useful habit.
Also, behavior modification (conditioning) works.
Attitude adjustment too!
Intention is the key -- that makes each of these work.

My biggest fear in life is that the way I judge, think, and remember things
might become beyond my control. Senility. Disconnection.

When I want to be scientifically accurate, creatively impressionist,
or emotionally expansive and atuned, then that's what I want.

Problems occur when I don't have that control
or if I'm unconsciously trapped by my patterns (pride, image, agenda, role)
into conforming to something I didn't choose.

So, playing make-believe is powerful and useful stuff. It's a rehearsal.
But one big difference between children and many adults is that children
know when they are only pretending, and just play with it.
They indulge it, enjoy each moment, don't take it seriously, and do it up right!

But children are also open to learning, and know exactly what their own
experience and feelings are. Far more genuine than adults! :-D
Their natural healing tendencies haven't been interfered with.

If a child remembers things inaccurately,
maybe it's because accuracy just didn't matter to them,
while to a pretentious adult with an agenda - forming a new memory matters too much.


Random thoughts ... just daydreaming.
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