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Friday, April 12, 2013

In his study of the form that masochism takes in modern man, Theodor Reik puts forth an interesting view. Masochism is more widespread than we realize because it takes an attenuated form. The basic dynamism is as follows: a human being sees something bad which is coming as inevitable. There is no way he can halt the process; he is helpless. This sense of helplessness generates a need to gain some control over the impending pain--any kind of control will do. This makes sense; the subjective feeling of helplessness is more painful than the impending misery. So the person seizes control over the situation in the only way open to him: he connives to bring on the impending misery; he hastens it. This activity on his part promotes the false impression that he enjoys pain. Not so. It is simply that he cannot any longer endure the helplessness or the supposed helplessness. But in the process of gaining control over the inevitable misery he becomes, automatically, anhedonic (which means being unable or unwilling to enjoy pleasure). Anhedonia sets in stealthily. Over the years it takes control of him. For example, he learns to defer gratification; this is a step in the dismal process of anhedonia. In learning to defer gratification he experiences a sense of self-mastery; he has become stoic, disciplined; he does not give way to impulse. He has control. Control over himself in terms of his impulses and control over the external situation. He is a controlled and controlling person. Pretty soon he has branched out and is controlling other people, as part of the situation. He becomes a manipulator. Of course, he is not consciously aware of this; all he intends to do is lessen his own sense of impotence. But in his task of lessening this sense, he insidiously overpowers the freedom of others. Yet, he derives no pleasure from this, no positive psychological gain; all his gains are essentially negative.

(Philip K. Dick, Valis, 81-82)

Monday, April 08, 2013

I've had a long-held belief regarding the presence of a consciousness in all things, but I had a thought late last night that caused a slight shift in my understanding of it.

Assuming there are infinite universes and an infinite number of planes of existence, it occurred to me that the physical nature of those universes and planes truly may be just sensory information. That is, none of this may actually exist anywhere than in our shared consciousness.

Now that I'm on the subject, assuming a consciousness exists in all things, it seems that we exist in order to know experientially what our greater consciousness/god knows in itself. In other words, if physical existence in itself exists only in our shared consciousness, call this our shared manifestation of a different way of knowing. To me this fits nicely with the way a lot of our behavior works. The dichotomies of male/female, passive/assertive, etc. suggest that we long to experience these spectrums even if it's not through ourselves personally but rather through someone close to us.

There's literally no way to discuss this without sounding insane (or at least new agey), but it does occur to me that if a part of me that exists on another plane wanted to express itself in our world it wouldn't be able to do it to anyone who wasn't at least a little bit insane.