Anxiety and desire

There are many similarities between anxiety and desire.

  • Anxiety is the strong word for something we do not want. Desire is a general word for something we do want.
  • Anxiety is based on fear, desire on pleasure.
  • Both are forward-leaning mental and emotional states involving planning, imagination, and expectation.
  • In their basic states, neither is a problem until it becomes excessive.
  • Most of the time most people know when a desire is excessive.
  • It is harder to know when anxieties are excessive, probably because they are fear-based and we instinctively use more resources to avoid danger.
  • If a desire is excessive, we can often reduce it by doing the Contemplation on Uncleanness, by contemplating what’s bad about it.
  • Anxieties can be reduced by contemplating how many of them have been wrong in the past and how little good it does to feel anxious.
  • A main job of the conscious mind is to scan the world for danger. All animals do this.
  • As semiotic, social animals, humans experience many fears in the semiotic and/or social realms.
  • We cannot avoid scanning for danger because real dangers do exist.
  • Anxieties occur when the perception of danger is disproportionate.
  • If possible, it is best not to use drugs to control anxiety.
  • Anxiety stimulates the brain and nervous system and within reasonable ranges is probably good for both. Anti-anxiety drugs dull us, though occasional usage in some situations is probably a good idea.
  • Anxiety can be rewarding when it is relieved. It feels wonderful when it goes away.
  • The far side of anxiety—when you see the oven was not on—feels good and may be a major reason many people subconsciously indulge in anxiety. Its resolution fulfills the desire to not feel that way.
  • Anxiety focuses the mind. When one anxiety is removed, another often appears.
  • As an instinct (that consciously scans for danger), anxiety when excessive can be understood as being an indulgence or “fetshization” of an instinct.
  • In this, it is somewhat similar to over indulgence in other instincts—gluttony, drunkenness, sex addiction, greed, laziness, and so on.
  • We probably fetishize instincts because it is a fairly easy thing for us to do. As semiotic animals, that is how we play, that’s what we know how to do.
  • Definitely best to avoid identifying with anything but especially fetishized instincts.
  • In Buddhist terms, identifying your transient sentience with anything is the basis of forming a self.
  • A good deal of anxiety involves fears pertaining to the self, to its stories, identity, instincts, memories, desires, and so on.
  • It is good to pay close attention to whatever is making you feel anxious and also to mildly stimulate anxious feelings when you are not anxious. This helps you see what anxiety is and how it functions in you, how it becomes excessive and why.
  • It is also good to discuss this topic with a friend because this helps us become more objective about it.
  • When we can expand the semiotic context of anything, we change it.

Poor precision in communication distorts motives

And distorted motives warp human interactions, which in turn degrade individual psychology.

There is no way around it—the ways almost all people communicate are much cruder than their brains are capable of.

And that is the cause of most of what we now call (non-biological) “mental health” problems.

Here is an example: I want to say something very complex to my primary care doctor. I can give her the gist in a minute or two but I do not want to have that go on my medical record.

So I ask her if I can start a discussion that she will promise to keep off my record.

She says, “I’ll think about it.”

A week later I get a letter from her nurse saying she is not willing to do what I asked.

No reason why was given. Do rules prevent her from doing that? I have heard of doctors allowing patients to keep some concerns off the record, but who knows what the reality is? Do you?

If I insist, will that go on my record? Did what I asked in the first place go on my record? My doctor is trapped within or is voluntarily following some guideline that is most decidedly not in my best interests.

This same sort of thing can happen interpersonally. If I raise a topic that is psychologically important to me with even a close friend, I have to wonder will they understand? Will they allow me to expand the subject over a few weeks or months or longer? Will my initial statements change our friendship?

The basic problem is how do you discuss complex psychological subjects with others?

One of my friends works in alternative health care. She knows what I want to bring up with my doctor and admits that even in her professional setting where patients have an hour to open up, there is not enough time.

Back to my primary care doctor. I saw her again a year later and she asked if I remembered her. I said, “Of course I remember you.” She said no more and neither of us raised the off-the-record topic. An intern was with her.

I wonder what she thinks of me. Did she interpret my slightly nervous behavior when I first asked as a “sign” of something? Does she think I am volatile or bipolar or just nuts? (I am not.)

I am 100% sure that she cannot possibly know what I wanted to bring up with her. In this case, I have all of the information and I want to give it to her but she cannot or will not allow that unless my initial fumblings toward a complex subject are made public.

Even a  close friend could find themselves in a similar position. And I wonder if I have done that myself to someone. Most people most of the time are not able to scale those walls that divide us.

On either side of the wall is a complex person capable of complex understanding, but one or both persons cannot scale the wall. My doctor is smart enough to have become an MD and yet I cannot tell her about a complex medical condition that is of great importance to me.

I know that I do not want to open the subject and risk a shallow public label (a common hindrance to many potential communications). I honestly do not know what my doctor is thinking. Maybe I will try again the next time I see her.

Something most white people don’t understand

From a recent email:

Like the Chinese, Japanese and Koreans, Vietnamese consider their compatriots as not just belonging to the same race, but family, and in the most literal sense, too, for they call other Vietnamese, “đồng bào” [“same womb”], which is derived from the Chinese, 同胞. This notion is obviously more myth than science, for the Vietnamese nation has absorbed plenty of foreign blood through the millennia, via the usual channels of conquest and immigration. Without the bonding concept of đồng bào, however, Vietnam would have disappeared eons ago.

Vietnamese citizenship, then, is much more than a legality, but established through the age-old recognition that people who appear similar and, even more importantly, speak the same language naturally belong together. Often, they must also fight together to resist being swallowed up or destroyed by another race. Race consciousness is at the heart of racial survival. (Source)

Bad communication leads to ulterior motives and pointless suffering

I believe most people in the world are all but forced to resort to ulterior motives when dealing with others or being dealt with by them.

Furthermore, I believe most people are in this position so often they don’t just resort to hidden motivations, they expect them, are habituated to them, rely on them, and even enjoy them even though they cause immense suffering.

This situation arises due to fundamentally bad communication and the mistrust and uncertainty that devolve from it.

If communication is fundamentally bad (ambiguous, misleading, can’t be cleared up), there is no one you can trust but yourself. No one else you can rely on.

You are all but forced to conceal what your really think, feel, or want because you probably won’t be understood if you try to explain yourself honestly. Worse, you  may get played.

Your interlocutor may genuinely misunderstand and cause you harm by that or they may feign interest and honesty when they are just gathering dirt to use against you.

Can anyone deny this happens very often? And that normal people have no recourse but to play that game?

An ulterior motive is one that is concealed. A motive that is different from what is being communicated. We all know what that means and how destructive it can be.

Ulterior motives arise because we do not use our communication systems (mainly speech and listening) at all well. Instead of communicating honestly, we try to “read” the other person while at the same time calculating to what extent or how they are “reading” us.

This is a disgusting situation for people to have put themselves in.

This problem can be fixed with one other person, so you can have at least one friend who does not do this to you and to whom you do not do it either. That makes two people who can escape the deadening, anti-life maze of ulterior motivation madness.

The way to do it is through FIML. I do not believe there is any other way.

If many people do FIML, eventually many of us will see the problems of bad communication clearly. Many of us will realize that virtually all people are trapped in a system that all but forces them to lie to others while suffocating themselves.

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Edit 10/07/17: Here is a pop culture analysis of how to tell if someone is lying: 9 WAYS TO SPOT A LIAR. Scroll down to the list and notice how crude and dubious these tells are, but this is what many people work with. It’s all we have. With a good partner, FIML can lead you to levels of truth far higher and deeper than this. In this world, we really have to develop FIML relationships to fully explore our own psychology and human psychology in general. Without FIML, you are permanently locked out of your own depths by being trapped in ordinary communication which is accurately characterized by the shallowness of the linked article.

Polarization is good

Kevin MacDonald

…The result is a level of political polarization not seen in this country probably since the Civil War. But the polarization is what had to happen for any possible movement in the direction of the Alt Right. The absolute worst thing would have been a Hillary-vs.-Jeb-type election where America keeps sleep-walking to Armageddon. The mobilization of the left has made clear the fault lines. This is about removing the traditional culture of America, and it is about removing Whites from the center of the American story. It is about replacement — first the monuments, then the people.

Solid majorities of Americans oppose removing the statues, and at least a plurality oppose the NFL protests — the percentages would sure be much higher if only Whites were polled. This means the traditional American majority is moving down the road toward being explicitly aware of what the game is. Reasonable White people watching this unfold cannot possibly believe that the glorious multicultural future will be anything but a disaster for White America. The hatred for White America that has been so obvious to Alt Right activists is inevitably seeping through to “just plain White folks.” The hatred will only intensify when Whites have less power. And when the 2018 and 2020 elections happen, there will be tremendous pressure on candidates to take stands on these issues. (Source)

No language in the world allows it

I am reasonably sure that no language in the world allows the kind of query that FIML practice is based on.

The reason for this probably lies in the origins of human language and culture, a developmental period during which languages were much simpler and were used mainly to indicate real things in the world or give commands.

At later stages of development, language became a tool of whatever hierarchy prevailed in the moment. To this day, Confucianism is still a rule book for hierarchies.

That said, languages are always potentially very supple, so there is no need for humans today to be restricted by archaic forms of speech and thought.

And that said, it is important to understand that your psychology has been deeply conditioned by the archaic and hierarchical cores of your language.

I bring this up because this side of human psychology makes it difficult for people to do FIML practice correctly.

To the speaker, the basic FIML query will instinctively feel like nagging, being petty, being whiny. To the hearer, this basic query will instinctively feel like a challenge, an insult, an affront.

These basic instincts must not be allowed to block FIML inquiries. Personally, I believe FIML has not been discovered before because no one ever went beyond these basic instinctive reactions.

So, expect to feel affronted and expect to feel like a petty nag, at least for a while. With practice, these feelings will go away. At the same time, the importance of the information gained through FIML queries will become increasingly obvious.

Once the hierarchical cultural and linguistic instincts that have developed in us, and upon which our psychologies depend, have been overcome, a new use of language will become possible.

This new language is capable of sufficient micro subtlety to allow us to objectively observe how our minds and psychologies actually function in real-time real-life situations.

No theory of psychology and no amount of introspection will take you to the actual data of how you function. Only a practice like FIML can do that.