Wednesday, November 28, 2012
Circling the Truth So We Don't Have to See It
Many people like to circle the truth so they don't have to identify it and then be forced to take a stand on anything, in any direction.
I just recently spent quite a bit of my online time talking to someone who talks the ambiguous, “there is no right or wrong” jargon circle. This person also was trying to “help” ME learn to understand where my problem thinking was coming from and was very sure that I simply did not understand these things as well as s/he.
I made several attempts to get a direct yes or no response to several very clear concrete questions like, “since you tell me that there is no right or wrong could you tell me in concrete terms then; if I were to stab you in the chest, would that be wrong? Yes or no?
I got no direct answer, (repeated many times after various questions along the same line) and instead, got a response “explaining” MY actions and thinking (as the potential stabber) to me, including that to stab this person in the chest would seem “right” to me, if I were to do that. When I said, I did not ask you to explain my thoughts and motivations to me as I know what they are; and your answer is evasive. I asked you if my stabbing you in the chest would be perceived by you as wrong? What is your judgement on that?
Response: “I don't like to judge.”
(judge what? Pretty much anything as this style of thinking is the “fence sitter” type. You can be much more popular if you don't have any opinion on anything, or if it changes depending upon to whom you are talking at the time.)
So I asked more specifically, Do you not have a problem with being murdered?
Response I got to that? I had a hard time understanding this at first too.
(It's a comprehension problem I am having you see and not the other person's who is teaching ME “how to think.” (does this sound familiar?)
The other: “But I just stayed on message and I finally got it and I'm sure that YOU can too.”
And what is “the message?” Why... it is this according to this person who is trying to teach me how to think: There are no answers to anything.
So I asked: So is that YOUR answer? That there are no answers?
The person teaching me how to think LOL'd me saying, it sounds like it doesn't make sense I know, but that is because you don't understand it yet.
Actually what it SOUNDS like to me is what I believe it actually IS, which is a form of self hypnosis taught to this individual by someone else, whom the person perceives as a great guru, or leader, or authority figure, which they then internalize as the non-answer, answer. If they stay “on message” (the razor's edge of sanity/insanity) they don't ever have to resolve anything or take a stand on anything, and they can sit right THERE, where there is “no right or wrong.” The edge on which they are precariously and defensively balanced is meaningless because it it a point of potential only.
I have not yet asked this one which “training” course, if any, preceded a psych diagnosis but I would not be at all “shocked” to discover it may well be the same one that was “the best investment ever made” by my own “trainer.” On the other hand this may just be a “graduate” of dysfunctional family or dysfunctional workplace 101. in any case, I know that logic and specific questions won't penetrate the “message” as the “message” is being used to keep critical thought and any negative emotions AWAY from the “converted” one who is now spreading “the message” everywhere... while always smiling, no doubt.
Many decades ago I asked a family member to give me an answer to a question that required someone to say something very specific about something being done identifying it as either right or wrong.
The answer I got then was: “I don't like to judge.”
So I stated: None of us can get through a single day of our lives without making judgements. So how about you tell me what you use as your basis of judgement and maybe I can use that too then?
Response: NO response at all. You see we who live in the dysfunctional tradition “don't like to judge” (as an abstraction, in absolute terms, connected to nothing specific) because to DO so will surely make us an unpopular member of the group and for SOME of us, and to varying degrees, it can even become quite dangerous to express such an unpopular viewpoint.
The examples in the dialogue above are showing how abstract ideas, in absolute terms, “work” by circling back on themselves and appearing to “explain” something which is actually being evaded completely and that is the PURPOSE of the ambiguous abstractions in absolute terms. I repeat: this is a form of hypnotic induction. These kinds of statements are thought stoppers which create a hypnotic state of meaninglessness. Meaninglessness makes some people FEEL better about almost ANYTHING no matter how horrifying it may actually be. The person inside that magic circle of metaphysics can feel safe, protected1, and psycho-spiritually ABOVE all of those who simply don't understand it ...like s/he is sure that s/he does. What it does not do is identify, or solve, real problems in concrete reality and in fact, often makes things even WORSE than they were before.
The DSM is written in the same way. So that when you sit in a psychiatrist’s office and say, “I have been set up for an attack by someone” or “I have been harmed by others” they can only hear you in terms of their own programming. Those things have been written in their book as “symptoms” of “mental illness” and once again, as ambiguous abstractions in absolute terms. Too bad real life “out here in the world of reality” can't be defined so easily, quickly or so definitely, isn't it? Too bad for those labelled as mental cases in the space of ten to fifteen, cost effective minutes anyway. The rest of you know it can't happen to you as you're “not sick.”
(Oh...be careful now...don't say that to one of them as that TOO is a symptom proving that you are sick....)
A variety of dysfunctional groups, including those often defined as cults or cult-like, use this dark, obfuscating kind of NLP programming to gain power and control over over those who often become devoted followers, never going “off message.”
So what is the “message”? Why, that the answer to understanding everything is that there is no answer to anything and that ALL answers are just an “illusions.”
I asked my new self appointed guru, Is that your final answer? Then I self corrected and this seemed to satisfy the guru when I said, “Oh I'm sorry...it can't be can it? ...since you have no answers and an answer is impossible, as it is just an illusion.”
Tautological (circular) arguments can SEEM to be really “intellectual” and many of those using them present themselves in just that way. The main function of them though is that of self validation while invalidating any, and all, critical thinking about the argument itself, and avoiding any connection to specific context, in concrete reality. It is a sort of permanent head trip which has a very powerful hypnotic effect on those using them, and they are frequently used by those who hold some kind of concrete power over others, especially if they have some brand of “authority” to justify the control of those who dare to disagree with those who are using them.
When there is “no right or wrong” there are no limits placed on what the “true believer” can say, or do, while still managing to justify it to him/herself and maintaining a belief in a “superior” understanding and/or worth. There is another name for this also: it's called A Giant Load of Crap.
You see, it really doesn't mater how many WAYS you try to penetrate the circular anti-logic in this, or for how LONG you try. You won't be able to do so. You won't be able to do so BECAUSE resisting logical and critical thought is the POINT of the circular argument and the reason for maintaining it. It is an infinite loop that is self perpetuating, which you can't see, until or unless you get OUTSIDE of it, and there is a rule within it claiming there is nothing outside of it.
If you are someone, trying to deal with someone, who thinks like this, from a relatively mild form of it all the way to full blown psychopath, you will likely get to the point where you will just give up TRYING to talk to the irrational Circle Talker. The CT will then perceive that as a “win” and feel really good about him/herself which will help to reaffirm his or her “commitment”2 to the guru and/or the guru's system. Again, this is built right into the structure of the tautology.
The circle talker does not really KNOW (usually) that s/he is talking around an infinite loop which is a form of hypnosis and which is self perpetuating. I don't think there is any state of mind more difficult to penetrate than this one. I have had some practise trying to do so. Most often, the entranced one seems quite normal to others, is not in any distress at all that most people can see, and is functioning all right as long as the trance is supported and protected. The only thing anyone else can really do is to expose the structure ITSELF from start to finish. Then MAYBE if the Circle Talker ever gets to the point where that metaphysical picket fence s/he is balanced on starts to get really painful s/h e will want to make a move to get OFF it, or get out of the “game,” get outside the “loop,” and learn to get comfortable with real critical thinking, with being very unpopular because of it with some, and come to actually prefer it to the illusions of safety and security gained by hiding in ambiguous abstractions in absolute terms. That stance may FEEL pretty good in the short term, much like any “fix,” but what it hides from the user of it is the long term disastrous effects which are catching up to the user, and to all of us, because of It.
It is past the due time for “It” to get a psycho-spiritual boot in the ass.
1Especially if they can get that reinforced by others like them who receive themselves as “in the know” and part of a special group.
2You should pardon the pun...it's those damned “words” and their multiple meanings you see.