Monday, December 11, 2006


as i am in a library at the present and for some reason unable to access a reply page i will respond to yves here.

i would like to be effective in my humanitarian role as would most who experience the emotion, but the point hardin and others including myself are making is that it makes no sense to send money to feed people only to have them begin to kill eachother......or migrate into other countries where they disrupt economies there. these are hard issues to deal with. much like funds for homelessness that have done nothing to actually curtail homelessness.

in reference to warm feelings, if giving a few dollars or pounds to a charitable organization is a seen as a solution to such problems then we are in dep shit.

i sleep well knowing that i have positively effected my clients who then return to the community able to be more comfortable and effective. there isn`t much more that any of us can actually do without involving large corporations and politics, and that`s no way to get things done.

i fall back on my assertion that it is the conditioned feeling of conscience that is the problem here, not our willingness to help. that`s innate.

eric berne, the father of transactional analysis, had much to say about games and scripts. i will dig around and see if i can find a direct correlation to the game of "feed the poor".


Yves said...

Hi Alistair, thanks for your reply by email. I have now moved to the dreaded beta, so perhaps I can post a comment . . .

Yves said...

Hi Alistair, forget my last comment, it was a test. Now that I can comment, I’d like to take the liberty of responding to your email with my comments interspersed in italics below.

good morning Yves, I am not blocking your responses. dialog is critical to the process of living and healing. Yes!
nature is fully credited in my understanding of what it is we are doing here. my point is that the term conscience is a vessel for religious dogma in our society.

I think this is a misunderstanding. Conscience is out of reach of religious dogma and this is why the Catholic Church doesn’t like conscience, preferring obedience to dogma.

I have posted this reasoning elsewhere and probably should revisit the subject.
my greater point is that we have been conditioned at such a complete and subversive level as to be indistinguishable from robots, for the most part.

I can understand how you came to think this

it is environments like the blog and certain other places I value highly where the whispers of another form of existence are at least possible.

I like this!

I am an unapologetic optimist. this blind hard-charging attitude draws criticism from those whose focus isn't as forged...........

Nothing wrong with optimism, however some rigorous thinking may still be required

I was a professional athlete and moderately successful businessman before meeting the call of therapeutic work......these fields necessitate a focus and determination which is arguably innate, yet I believe is a learnable skill.
philosophically all is from nature anyway, so the argument about nurture vs. nature tends to be moot in my view. I see the dichotomies that post-Descartian thinking create as being somewhat um, the sense that it gives the impression that there are sides to the argument.

If all is from nature, it’s not a useful term to distinguish anything. The useful distinction is not nature vs. nurture in this context, but nature versus art. Nature is everything that has not been overridden with human intellect and its offspring, organisation, science, technology.

and so was created science................the new dogma.
this is one big, long riff that has endured for centuries and in some ways becomes tiresome.

Why tiresome?

modern consumer society is an illusion that crucifies the spirit and gives people the impression that things aren’t worth the effort.
it is.

sure, I can understand that.

dr.alistair said...

tiresome?, because, in some ways, science becomes yet another religion.
religions are recepticles for those of like mind who group together for the comfort of companionship and security, not for exploration or ideas or truths. exploration and ideas and truths are the domain of the artist and other rigorous individuals who wish to pull back the curtain to see what`s beyond..........y`know, like the children in the lion the witch an the wardrobe, at once filled with dread and anticipation and curiosity.
my favorite state.
eric berne, the founder of transactional analysis, wrote a book called beyond games and scripts and in it laid out an analysis of intuition that stands the test of time.
his analysis suggests that the childlike state is critical to art, intuition and creativity, and to repress the child is to cause the conflicts we experience as adults.

the catholic church has the luxury of a pre-installed dogma and concience in it`s adherents. the pressure for obedience operates on that grounding.

i think it`s our definition of concience that has us disagreeing.

here is what i believe conscience is in our society.

the constant pressure we all feel to be approved in our actions.
this approval comes from all sides, from the minister, the teacher, the parent, the friend, the fellow driver on the road, the coffee shop girl, etc.........

break the cycle of that pressure and your universe changes forever.

Yves said...

I think we may therefore agree on all counts. However, that desire for approval is not what I call conscience. I don't know what you call it.

Let me give you examples of what I call conscience. Once as a student at university I took a book from a campus bookshop. It was very easy to shoplift it. But I went back a few days later to replace the book in its as-new state on the same shelf from which I had taken it.

Another example of my conscience: under no circumstances do I drop litter in a public place, whether or not anyone is watching. My pockets are usually full of receipts, used tissues and so forth.

Perhaps more importantly, I take pains not to cause distress to others by my words or actions except where some greater good dictates it.

I know from introspection that such things are neither to gain approval nor are the result of conditioning; although the way my conscience manifests is to some extent culturally determined.

I don't seek approval of others but I would not wish to frighten or embarrass others by my words or behaviour.

Perhaps my universe changed forever many many years ago. We are all at different stages. One size does not fit all.

dr.alistair said...

we all seek approval. it is deep within the programming.
we are all at different stages of life, but when we begin to escape the consumerist programming then the real growth begins and we slip free the binding of guilt, conscience, approval and anything else the sways us from the stepping through the door.
references to the movie the matrix are becoming redundant but still the fact remains that we are in a constructed reality that takes psychic energy to shatter.
it is hard to disconnect from the value system of monitary value and who owns what and i`m not advocating theft or piracy.......but when you are making decisions based on those things and not on your own personal safety and survival you are caught in the matrix by that precise measure.
theft and piracy can threaten your freedom and so must be dealt with as any other threat, but to moralise finds you back in the matrix......and no further ahead.
covernments and corporations have no qualms about taking your money, your efforts and your soul, so why the fuss? that emotionality is a further artifact of the matrix (or whatever you want to call it.)

Yves said...

Alistair, I wonder if you are being a little naive here, and at the same time being too sophisticated. (Can both happen at the same time?)

Let me give you another example. Over here there is a big media fuss about 5 prostitutes killed in Ipswich. We are learning many facts, for instance that 97% of prostitutes are on hard drugs, eg heroin and there is a criminal link, in that the dealers have an interest in turning girls into addicts so that they will need to turn to prostitution to pay for the drugs. Even without the murders, the whole thing causes untold misery.

It is conscience which stops most people from enriching themselves (or getting entangled as victims) by involvement with drugs, money-laundering, prostitution and murder. It is conscience which stops most daughters or sons lying to their parents about the more serious matters in life, though they will lie about certain things to keep their freedom.

Many of the parents of these murdered girls did not know what was happening to their daughters (aged about 19).

For myself, I am not hooked on the media coverage at all, just listened to a discussion on the radio. One of the participants used to be a dealer himself in Liverpool and is aware of the misery he helped cause. Now he is involved in an organisation which helps report on the criminal activity and thus stop it.

Conscience or what? I wonder if you are reluctant to accept simple old-fashioned ideas. Perhaps you have taken some vow not to be so square as to believe anything that your own parents believed?

I am not trying to insult you, just to understand why.

dr.alistair said...

yes, interesting that you would ask why i take an unothodox approach to conscience and good old fashioned approaches to things..........
the reason why is that none of it actually works. not for our parents, or prostitutes or reformed drug dealers or us as children. we need to smash our ideas about short-term moralising as they leave us bankrupt. all of these approaches result in the same old game of working at something, either toward something to heal or in something destructive. the transactional analysis model shows this as gamerules played out between members of what ever game they`ve chosen (unconsciously or otherwise.) to play.
now, having said that, not all behaviours are games......
to know the difference is called wisdom.
to stop reading the newspaper is to stop playing the game called tsk, tsk. for instance, which i noticed you indicated in your comment.

Yves said...

Oh dear. You consider yourself so wise that you can reject everything thought by the common people of all ages. Having read books and been on courses, you are able to reject morality.

Would I do business with you? I don't feel I would want to because you have set yourself above the marketplace and its conscience and honour.

I'd agree with you that moralising on behalf of other people does not work. This is precisely why I'm saying that people can rely upon their own conscience. There are those who have been brought up in such a lamentable way (insufficient love and attention given to them) that their conscience is messed up.

However, it is quite clear to me that you are being a moralist on behalf of others yourself, wanting to smash other people's ideas and replace them with your own. You don't want people to read newspapers or have views on current events, but rather to read books by Eric Berne and become self-conscious about the games they are playing.

Why do you play the analyst, sitting on high with always some way of being superior to others?

I saw this quote in someone's blog today and it may be appropriate to quote it here:

"Harmony is brought about by attuning oneself to all beings, to all things, to all conditions, to all situations. He who cannot tune himself tries to tune others, and in setting about tuning others, he breaks the string."
-Hazrat Inayat Khan

dr.alistair said...

so you wouldn`t do business with me because of philosophical differences........rather a subjective reason for choosing a therapist. i would have thought that you might have wanted to look at patient success or office location or the like.
speaking about tuning for a moment, that is presicely what nlp is, a form of calibration to the state of the patient. now, having said that, my patients come to me for help to change thier state........not for me to agree and support thier position. i leave that for psychotherapists, they like thier clients to stay a while.
those are my clients mind you. if the body of society wants to continue on then i`m not going to interfere. most people`s neuroses` find playmates and have clubs like church or politics to find friends.
we are all merely playing games and chasing payoffs. i am no different. my game and the payoffs i`m after may differ from yours but we all look for games to play.
regarding common people, why would anyone looking for some form of spiritual and psychological health choose to model thier behaviour after the common man?

Yves said...

When I say I wouldn't do business with you I certainly was not talking about your role as a therapist. I was talking about your role as a fellow human being. I would not want to buy a used car from you!

It is not a question of philosophical differences. I would not hold philosophy against anyone, nor even their beliefs, up to a point. But if you do not subscribe to ordinary morality and conscience, I would not want to have ordinary transactions with you.

I am a common man and aspire to nothing else. Do you despise the common man?

dr.alistair said...

wow, a lot of distinctions to make here. yeah, don`t by a used car off me. i would make the most effective used car salesman ever. not to be trusted......
having said that, i wouldn`t do that job.
i don`t despise the common man. the common man is a created entity. a necessary beast of burden, the endless task of toil.
there are choices though.
i am a seeker of truths. my whole life i have known i was different. i listened to my father`s thesis regarding religion when i was six and handed it back to him with a failing grade. i felt that most of my time in school was a waste of time.....until i realised it`s real condition the population to toe the line. i fix peoples heads so they can go about thier business. they leave unencumbered. they can relax, sometimes for the first time in thier lives. they feel as if they are ok...........
the majority of my clients are people who have had similar thoughts about society most of thier lives. they are bright, intelligent professional people at a crossroads in thier life.......much as i am, and they are looking for some encouragement, like small children, that it`s ok. to leave a job or a relationship or lose weight or quit smoking or get new training........possibly for the first time in thier lives do something purely for themselves. utterly selfish and socially reprehensible at the same time.
and like the caged dog that is finally shown an open door they freeze for a time, uncertain what this open door is............
but once one is out of the cage and the small confined space and is able walk tall and look people in the eye and smile knowing the smile will be reciprocated, anything is possible.
the used car salesman is the caged animal. buy your next used car from someone you know and get the driver`s logs, mot records, etc.

Yves said...

Thanks for this. We may be approaching closure on this argument! I can see that to your clients you may be providing a wonderful service. As I said before, I don't hold a person's beliefs against them. It may go with the job which they have little choice but to do: for example a soldier may need to feel that his enemy is evil.

What I have consistently and intuitively opposed is certain things which you have published to the world on your blog, as if they were universal truths. I've done it because you have provoked in me some reactions relevant to puzzles & areas of learning in me.

I do thank you for your patience in this.

dr.alistair said...

it is my focus to be patient in my explanation. the message i bring isn`t easy, especially in a moral pressure cooker. i think you have to commend yourself for patience also and not condemning something you reacted strongly against initially.