How to remain psychologically stable in the midst of crisis ...
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To trigger a nervous breakdown in someone you could apply the following steps. Force your victim into an atomized existence [separate parts that have minimal contact with each other], forbid them from participating in activities that imbue their life with joy, rid them of their job, destroy their daily routines, and tell them not to leave the confines of their home. To add icing to the cake your diabolical plan, you could then tell your victim that society stands on the precipice of an economic collapse.
This is not fiction it is reality for many people globally, so in this video we explore how to remain psychologically stable in the midst of a crisis.
Whether it plays out at the level of an entire society or is localized to a single family or a single person it affects the psyche in similar ways.
When a crisis leads to rapid and extensive change in the patterns of our life it is disorienting however if such change is accompanied by uncertainty as to when or even if things will return to normal, the disorientation can be so extreme as to threaten our sense of self, for our identity is built on the patterns of our life be it our habits, our social roles, our job, our hobbies or interpersonal relationships. All these things contribute to the creation of our self hood and as psychologist Michael Mahoney explains, “It is not easy to maintain a coherent sense of identity, self-worth or competence in the face of multiple and chronic challenges to old patterns without a coherent sense of self.”
Without the order that produces our identity the world around us will also become more chaotic and feel less amenable to our wants and needs or as Jean Piaget explains, “We organize our worlds by first organizing ourselves. If shocks to the patterns of our life are serious enough and if we cannot find a way to absorb them, we become susceptible to a psychological breakdown due to the intense emotionality that arises in the face of a disintegrating self.”
During a societal wide crisis a population will tend to fear most of the threats that precipitated the crisis however depending on the nature of these threats, it is this threat to our sense of self that may prove most dangerous.
With knowledge of the process that leads to a breakdown we can devise steps to fortify our psyche. What first must be recognized is that a breakdown is not a descent into a more disordered state. It is a reestablishment of order at a maladaptive level.
Extremes of a psychological breakdown tend toward two forms: severe depression or psychosis. Severe depression rids one of the disordered state that precipitated the breakdown by replacing it with an ordered state of utter despair and hopelessness in which the individual is convinced that things will not get better and so withdraws from life.
03:10 mins The intense emotionality, usually in the form of extreme anxiety that proceeds a break down into severe depression, is replaced by apathy and a psychological deadness to the world. At the other extreme is the psychotic break, which tends to unfold as follows:
Events of one's life, be it an acute crisis or chronic problems that pile up over time, utterly destroy any semblance of a healthy sense of self. When this occurs the individual will enter the panic phase of the process, the disintegrating self, and the disorientation this creates brings to the fore emotions of such intensity that the individual becomes incapable of proper interaction with their environment. Eventually the panic becomes so overwhelming that the psyche reimposes order through what is called stage of the psychotic insight.
To better understand, we turn to Silvano Arrietty. In his book ‘Interpretation of Schizophrenia’, Arrietty explains that psychotic insight occurs when the panic-stricken individual succeeds in putting things together by devising a pathological way of seeing reality by which he is able to explain his abnormal experiences. The phenomenon is called insight because the patient finally sees meaning and relations in his experiences but the insight is psychotic because it is founded on mental processes that occur only in a state of psychosis or as Arrietty further explains, “The psychotic transformation will enable him to experience himself and the environment in strange, unique ways, often not susceptible to consensual validation as strange as it may seem.”
The state of psychosis is preferable to the panic phase that preceded it, which is why Arrietty defines psychosis as an abnormal way of dealing with an unbearable situation.
If we are most susceptible to a breakdown when stricken by the intense emotions that accompany a way of life under siege, then the first step to ward off a psychological breakdown is to heed the advice of Henry David Thoreau, “When in doubt slow down”. If we feel our emotions are reaching a fever pitch or spinning us around in circles of dread and despair, we need to somehow interrupt the process before reaching the state of acute panic.
The best way to deal with this situation is to use some form of activity to relax and recenter us. Many people find mindful meditation works well for this purpose. Others may find reprieve in weightlifting, walking, some form of craft or hobby or a conversation with a calming friend.
It is essential that we have in our arsenal activities we can use to recenter when our emotions are knocking us too far off kilter. If we really feel overwhelmed one of the best tactics is to do nothing. Just let go and relax as completely as possible. To cease reacting altogether.
This fatalism can preserve life under the most perilous conditions by reducing the metabolism, slowing it down as a kind of will to hibernate or as William James wrote, “The transition from tenseness, self responsibility and worry to equanimity, receptivity and peace is the most wonderful of all the shiftings of inner equilibrium.”
There are also steps we can take to inoculate us from descending into the pits of despair that make us susceptible to a breakdown in the first place. One step is to turn off the fear porn. In the midst of a crisis it is extremely difficult to separate fact from fiction, and so allowing our minds to be absorbed and overwhelmed by the catastrophizing of media will not contribute to our sanity.
After turning our eyes away from fear narratives of the media the next thing we need to do is to re-establish some semblance of order to our life, for when a crisis severely disrupts our patterns and for an extended period of time our self hood is at risk and the more passive we become.
Instead of filling our days drifting from one mindless distraction to another devote time to more rewarding activities. We can create things, learn things, build things, fix things. We can focus on developing new habits or ridding ourselves of destructive ones.
Doing this may be the difference between descending into the disoriented state of a disintegrating self and remaining stable throughout the duration of the crisis. While there are an endless activities that can be used to re-establish some sort of order to our life, there is one project that may be particularly useful at this time. The mantra of many a politician, which is to never let a good crisis go to waste. Such times are also ripe for achieving what is called a psychological break through.
Silver linings can still be found. “What a caterpillar calls the end of the world” wrote Richard Bach, “The master calls a butterfly, you.”
The Psychology of Power - How to Dethrone Tyrants
Power has been many things to many people but one thing is certain whether we admit it or not, we all desire power, and how we satiate this need or fail to do so greatly influences the course and quality of our life.
In this video we explore the nature of power and discuss how the games of power that define modern societies are rigged in ways that favor tyranny at a social level and mental illness at an individual level.
Without power we stagnate. With power we venture into the world in active pursuit of what we need and want. We can deny our will to power or our will to power can be crushed by external forces however as Jung notes “When an impulse as strong as our will to power is thwarted we suffer. We may be able to suppress an impulse however we cannot alter its nature, and what is suppressed comes up again in another place in altered form; this time loaded with a resentment that makes the otherwise natural impulse our enemy.'‘
Mankind's thirst for limitless power presents a problem, for while each of us needs a modicum of power to properly function and while power is the force that leads to the achievement of great feats, too much power especially when expressed in the social or political realm can easily corrupt.
If a society is to flourish therefore there must be rules, norms, customs and social institutions that help channel the expression of power and life promoting ways and that limit the accumulation of too much social or political power in the hands of any one person or group.
In most modern societies the opposite prevails. Immense power is being centralized in the hands of statist and globalist institutions, and the wielders of this power are using it in ways that inhibit the ability of the rest of us to cultivate our power in socially cooperative and individually enhancing ways.
This is a perilous situation which if not corrected could result in us being a generation forced to endure a brutal reign of tyranny. For as George Orwell wrote “We know that no one ever seizes power with the intention of relinquishing it.”
What is the solution?
Some claim love will save the world however tyrants are not moved by such feelings.
Some claim the truth will set us free however as Nietzsche recognized “Truth alone is never enough.” Truth in itself is no power at all. Truth must either attract power to its side or else side with power for otherwise it will perish again and again. This is already being sufficiently demonstrated and more than sufficiently.
In the end, only power thwarts power.
If a society is to escape the grip of tyrants, power must be brought to the side of freedom but the type of power needed to accomplish this feat is not the same as the power that backs tyrants. As more people cultivating the ability to dominate, manipulate, and coerce others, will only lead to one group of tyrants being replaced by another.
Tyrants are defeated by more people cultivating their personal power and then using this power to live in a free manner and to oppose the chains of tyranny.
How is life promoting power cultivated? Through the process of self-realization, which according to Jung represents the strongest and most ineluctably [inescapable] urge in every being and which is a law of nature and thus of invincible power.
To self realize, to actualize our potential, to cultivate our skills, to adapt to the outer world and to bring harmony to our inner world.
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The nine veils placed on every human soul
By A. True Ott Ph.D
“Over the last several years I have evolved and discarded several theories in an attempt to explain why it is that most people cannot see truth — even when it smacks them in the face. Those of us who can see “the conspiracy” have participated in countless conversations amongst ourselves that address the frustration of most peoples´ inability to comprehend the extremely well-documented arguments which we use to describe the process of our collective enslavement and exploitation. The most common explanation to be arrived at is that most people just “don´t want to see” what is really going on.
Extremely evil men and women who make up the world´s power-elite have cleverly cultivated a virtual pasture so grass green that few people seldom, if ever, bother to look up from where they are grazing long enough to notice the brightly colored tags stapled to their ears.
The same people who cannot see their enslavement for the pasture grass have a tendency to view as insane “conspiracy theorists” those of us who can see the past the farm and into the parlour of his feudal lordship´s castle. Finally, I understand why.
Without Prejudice and Without Recourse
Doreen A Agostino
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