Wednesday, September 02, 2015

Errors in Psychology

Freud's Formative Errors

Sigmund Freud made a false root analysis and built on it several major false analyses that have had disastrous effects on the 20th century. When treating female patients who suffered from "hysteria," he was again and again confronted with them relating stories of having sex with their fathers. Freud interpreted that as their repressed sexual feelings for their fathers and used it
to claim that children are sexual; that women are an "incomplete gender" possessing a "penis envy"; and that women are in love with their fathers and men with their mothers, with feelings of love for another person being transference from one's parent. In fact, given the vast prevalence of incest and child sexual abuse - computed to affect 30% of women and 10% of men - and the link that such has had to mental illness - it is far more likely that these patients were relating actual memories of sexual abuse by their fathers. Indeed, if such memories were to be narrated in a present-day therapeutic setting, they would be seen as just that: Memories of childhood sexual abuse.

As corollary of this mis-analyses have come four false analyses. The first three have been popularized and continue to be used for wrong ends; the last has likewise been of injury, but to a more limited group. The following will go through all four of these and show where they have gone wrong.

The first corollary mis-analysis is the claim of childhood sexuality. This claim has been used for exceptionally wrongful actions, such as justifying incest and pedophilia. Simply to put, there is no evidence of children actually being sexual or of there being a physiological mechanism for sexuality in children. That is compared to teenagers, who are highly sexual as they have hormones raging in their blood. But with prepubescent children, there is no evidence of actual sexuality any more than there is of critical amount of sexual hormones in their blood.

What is true is that children are curious and can be just as curious about sexuality, or about their bodies, as they are about everything else. It is also true that children copy adult behavior and what they see in the media and around them. And it is true that curiosity is enhanced about things that are forbidden. Finally, it is true that children often develop crushes, or even feelings of love, for other children or for adults. These, however, are not sexual, but emotional, in nature, and have far more to do with emotional closeness than they do with sex.

Having based his portrayal of children as sexual beings upon a wrongful portrayal of memories of childhood sexual abuse as erotic fantasy, Freud introduced a very dangerous idea that has been used for incest, pedophilia, and sexualization of childhood. This idea, being corollary of a wrong analysis, is refutable by transitive logic; but it will take more than just logic to fix the damage that it has done.

The second corollary mis-analysis is the portrayal of women as an "incomplete gender" possessing "penis envy." Not only has this led to complete misrepresentation of women, but it has also formed much of the basis for 20th century secular misogyny. Feminist scholars have presented what Freud saw as something that happens in patriarchial societies that value men and devalue
women. To this description, there is a qualifier. What Freud saw, was something that was a product of a historical accident - the early 20th century European society in which men had all the power, and women were sufficiently educated in the ideals of liberty and equality to want the liberties, powers and opportunities that men had. We see no envy of men by women in societies such as Sweden, France, and liberal parts of America, where women have equal power and status with men. Nor do we see the same envy in the conservative Muslim, Christian and Hindu societies where women accept the subservient role as part of their religion. Freud took an accident of culture and history and made it binding on all of womanhood. And that was as bad for humanity as it was for women of his time.

The third corollary mis-analysis is the most famous and most graphic of all Freudian errors. It is of course the claim that children are in love with the parent of the opposite gender and the portrayal of romantic love in youth or adulthood as transference of that love. Since the basis of this claim is false analysis of childhood sexual abuse by the parent of opposite gender as erotic feelings for the parent of the opposite gender, this claim is likewise refutable by
transitive logic. But there is also easily apparent evidence that it is a false claim, and that is as follows:

Women raised by single mothers, men raised by single fathers, and homosexual people raised by single parents of opposite gender, are just as likely to develop feelings of romantic love as do the people who were raised in nuclear families.

As these situations lack the precedent of a parent of the correct gender being in the house, they cannot be transference and must be something else.

Finally, since the feelings of romantic love held by people who were raised in nuclear families are of the same character as the feelings of romantic love held by people who did not have a parent of the correct gender in the household, whose feelings cannot be transference, these feelings likewise cannot be transference and must be something else.

During Freud's time, there were few single-parent households, and fewer homosexuals, to study; now there are plenty of them. And what the experience of women raised by single mothers, men raised by single fathers, and homosexual people raised by a single parent of the opposite gender, show, is that love takes place in people regardless of whether or not they had a parent of the gender that is desired and as transference for whom the feelings of love can be misconstrued.

This means that Freud's analysis is not only false by being based on a false analysis; rather, it is false also in light of simple reality. The fact of people developing feelings of love for another person when they were raised without the parent of the desired gender in the house shows that Freud's analysis of love as transference is a mis-analysis - as any corollary of a false analysis would be expected to be.

Finally, Freud portrayed the feelings of love that some patients developed for their therapists also as transference from their parents. For these feelings, there are two superior explanations. One is based on analysis; the other is based on science. The first one is as follows: When a woman is faced with a brilliant, handsome, composed, apparently compassionate man who makes an apparent effort to understand her - or when a man is confronted with a beautiful, compassionate woman who also makes such an effort - feelings of love are quite possible as a result. And they are likely especially in case that the female has never had such pople in her life, with neither her husband nor her father having ever made a genuine effort to understand her feelings - or in case that the male likewise has not had such women in his. Which means that these feelings are not transference at all, having had no existence in one's past, but rather an understandable reaction to the attempted understanding provided by the therapist and to what the therapist is.

The second explanation is based on a recent scientific experiment in which love was reproduced in laboratory settings by having male and female subjects reveal to each other intimate details about their lives. This of course happens in one-on-one therapy, but it happens more in group therapy and settings such as Alcoholics Anonymous. And while much of the more recent psychology aims to portray the males in such situations as predators and women as victims, a more rational, level-headed and scientifically valid explanation is this: Such feelings are likely in situations of this kind due to the inherent nature of such situations. These situations feature exchange of intimate information;which, by the same mechanism as underlies the experiment, fosters development of feelings of love.
The misconstruction of memories of childhood sexual abuse as erotic fantasy has lead to four terrible and wrongful conclusions, all of them having had poisonous effect on places that have been exposed to these conclusions. It is time that these conclusions be seen as what they are: Corollaries of a false and wrongful analysis, wrongful and false therefore in and of themselves.

Maslow's Incomplete Hierarchy

Abraham Maslow postulated a hierarchy of needs, from the most basic (physical needs such as food and shelter) to the highest need which, according to him, was self-actualization. While many people have found Maslow's work to be relevant to their lives, there are many people for whom it does not hold. One major population for which Maslow's hierarchy is totally irrelevant is the monastics, fakirs, ascetics and mystics of different spiritual creeds, who by their own choice
fast, live in austerity, endure pain and deprivation, don't have sex or relationships, and avoid money or fame or status or comfort or influence, in order to focus completely on their spiritual pursuits. Similar, though not identical, dynamics, are faced by people who have dedicated themselves to their country or to an ideology or to a cause - whether as soldiers or as public servants or as educators or as workers and volunteers for charities, causes and NGOs.

For seriously religious people, this hierarchy likewise does not hold. Their primary goal is to achieve the spiritual ideal of their choosing; and all other needs that they may have are held subservient to this purpose. With the Christian ideal being "seek God's righteousness first, and all else shall be added unto you"; the Buddhist ideal being to overcome ego and desire, practice universal compassion and harm no living being; and the Muslim ideal being to live fully by the Quran; the serious practicioners of these religions have done something that is totally contradictory to Maslow's system and is indeed inverting of it: Put their higher needs first, and then have all the rest either taken care of as part of achieving these higher needs or else denied as being contrary thereto. Similarly, the shamanic, yogic and magical paths, though seen by many practicioners of major religions as sacrilegious, likewise have many similar features and demand great amounts of effort and self-denial in order to achieve the spiritual ideal therein.

It is not to be denied that Maslow's system is a reality for many people. It is however far from being a universal human reality. The worst outcomes of application of Maslow consist of attacking people who focus on higher purposes and greater causes. And that is as bad for humanity as it is bad for the people who get attacked.
Psychology of Uncaring

The baby boom generation started out as caring for the world and the people in it, then suddenly toward the end of 1970s went to not only being completely non caring, but in fact aggressively so and hateful of those who were. While there may be many reasons for this, I would like to address one that has not been frequently cited. It is found in the works of a highly influential psychologist Dr. Scott Peck.

In "The Road Less Taken," Scott Peck describes a friend of his who was talking a lot about racism and sexism as being fixated upon things that he felt were hindering him. This is of course ridiculous (How can sexism and racism negatively impact the prospects of an American white man?) But in applying this sort of thinking, he started something that has been a major source of great wrong in 1980s and later, and that is as follows:

Misrepresenting concern for the well-being of the world and of other people as blaming or whining, and lack of such concern as personal responsibility.

The 1980s were full of aggressive anti-humanitarian, anti-liberal ideologies. The false portrayal of the liberal and humanitarian leanings as something bad, and of the lack of them as something good, did more than just subvert liberalism and humanitarianism. It also denied the attention of those who had it in them to care to the world - both to the people who needed this attention and to the planet that also needed it. And it also destroyed the good in many, many people, turning their focus instead to the size of their house, the number of SUVs owned, and the brand of shoes worn by their children. These then became universal measures not only of success but also of credibility, further undermining not only the character of the people but also diminishing what they had to offer the world.

The baby boomers are frequently described as the "Me generation"; but that was not the case always. In 1960s and 1970s many fought and worked for the well-being of the world and of people from whom they had nothing to expect in return - often while profoundly sacrificing their self-interest in the process or encountering great danger and harm. I have always found it difficult to understand how people who deeply cared turned into people who aggressively did not care. In the psychology of the times is found at least part of the answer.

With humanitarianism and liberal-mindedness misrepresented as something negative, and lack thereof misrepresented as something positive, was created an inverted value system that punished the virtue and rewarded the vice. It was by no means the first time in the history of humanity that such a thing happened; but it is an error from which  America and the world have not yet recovered. This original error of Peck - though perhaps not as a single factor - was formative to the worst qualities of the time that followed. And it is time that it be seen for what it is. So when Elvis Costello wrote, in the beginning of 1980s, "Compassion went out of fashion," it is this wrong that he was describing in
his work.

Caring about the world is a virtue, and one that deserves to eventuate in positive and constructive action toward global benefit. As for lack of such caring, it is not personal responsibility; it is a vice. It is time that virtues, and vices, be known by their proper name; and that most certainly is the case here. The world would be better if Scott Peck's error had not been made in the first place. But there is no reason why people now should not be able to discard it and to correct its destructive results.
Authoritarian Ubpbringing, Indulgent Upbringing, and Clarity

The purveyors of the authoritarian model of raising children like to claim that indulgent upbringing breeds criminals and monsters. The purveyors of the indulgent model of raising children like to claim that authoritarian upbringing breeds violent people who cannot think. There is a problem with both of these claims, and it is as follows:

The two wildest generations in history - the flappers and the boomers - were raised in strict, violent, authoritarian households of, respectively, the Victorian generation and the World War II generation.

And the three most authoritarian generations in recent memory - the Victorians, the World War II generation, and Generation X - were raised in indulgent households of, respectively, the Romantic generation; the flapper generation; and Baby Boom.

So neither the authoritarian nor the indulgent parenting results in what the other side claims it to result, any more than it results in what those who partake in it believe that it would result. But I have seen something belonging to neither that does appear to work a lot better, and that is as follows:


Clarity meaning, seeing each action and motive for its nature and treating it according to its nature.

And it also means knowing the world well enough to be able to tell the child exactly in what consequence each action would result.

One of the most successful parents I've known was a baby boomer who, when he was young, had been part of a motorcycle gang; who then cleaned up his act and rose to become vice president of catering for a major hotel chain. When I knew him, his children were in college, getting straight A's, and in no kind of trouble. His secret? Every time his children wanted to do something, he could tell them exactly what consequences their actions would have. He engaged their intelligence, and it worked.

Clarity also means being able to see children's motives and treat them for what they are. If a child is being vicious, deceitful, manipulative, or making ridiculous demands, or operating from bad motives, then that should be confronted. If a child has a legitimate feeling or concern, then that should be met with compassion. There is capacity for good and capacity for bad in every person, and clarity sees both potentials and treats them for what they are.

So the real solution is neither of the no-brainers, but rather the brain-intensive approach of seeing the children's motives and treating them for what they are - and understanding the world enough to inform them rightfully as to the consequences of their behavior.

One of the worst things that one can do as a parent is misinform the child. Thus, if one tells the child that the world is one way and it turns out not to be the case, then the entire parenting is seen as a lie and falls apart. If one tells the child that they are one way and it turns out not to be the case, then we see the exact same thing. So informing the child truthfully and knowledgeably is very much a
necessity if one is to have any kind of respect from the child. And, as in the example above, it works a lot better in keeping the child on a viable path than does either indulgence or the whip.

Giving correct information, and treating actions and motives for what they are, engage the intelligence of the child as much as they address the core of the child's behavior. Clarity allows children to have a good understanding of the world as it also works to enhance the positives and confront the negatives in the character of the child. Rather than raising a child with indulgence or whip, one should raise them with clarity. And this will enhance the good and reduce the bad in the child's character as much as will allow the child to know the world well enough to avoid bad paths and select ones that lead to better places.

Promiscuity and Generations

On a similar note, there are many people in psychology who believe that sexual promiscuity is a result of childhood sexual abuse. This claim likewise fails to muster the scrutiny of generational history.

The promiscuous generations of flappers and boomers were raised by, respectively, Victorian generation and World War II generation. The non-promiscuous generations of World War II generation and Generation X were raised by, respectively, flappers and boomers. If there is truth to the portrayal of sexual promiscuity as product of sexual abuse, then this can only lead one to a single conclusion:

That Victorians and World War II generation were all sexual abusers of children, and that the flappers and the boomers were not.

Which means that, according to the logic of their belief, the Victorian and the World War II generation had terrible morals, and the flappers and boomers were morally superior.

And that is hardly a conclusion with which people who believe such things would be comfortable.

So this can only be one or the other. Either promiscuity is a result of childhood sexual abuse - and the Victorian and World War II generations whose children's generations were promiscuous were all child rapists - or the thought on this matter is wrong.

Choose one or the other. Both cannot be.

Adlerian Simianism

With Alfred Adler, psychology took a turn toward the ridiculous and the atavistic. Adler claimed that people were driven by strive for the feelings of adequacy, and that anything else was a compensation for inadequacy real or perceived. With this claim, Adler pathologized the entire human process - namely everything that took humanity from the cave to the personal computer.

The entire Adlerian paradigm can be refuted with two sentences:

No human being is an adequate match for a tiger.
He uses better technology to outsmart the tiger, and in so doing advances the lot of humankind.

In Adler, everything that takes humanity to a better place - any innovation, any inspiration, any idea, any passion, any manifestation of genius or ingenuity - is seen as pathological. This of course includes but is not limited to: Writing, mathematics, science, engineering, democracy, architecture, arts, literature, and psychology itself. In pathologizing the application of such things, Adler has effectively pathologized the entire civilization and all that made it possible, including his place in it.

In essence, Adler claimed that health is being a monkey, and that everything that differentiates humans from monkeys is pathological. He of course was using the human-made tools to spread this fiction, with the predictable result that it was adopted by those who were themselves monkeys and wanted to do away with everything human in order that they dominate human process.

Adlerian absurdity is possible for the same reason that paranoid schizophrenia and Islamic jihadism is possible. The human brain harbors a vast capacity for delusion, most of it harmless but some not so harmless at all. Adler inflicted one highly destructive delusion upon humanity. The greatest lesson of Adler is that just because the mind can come up with a delusion does not mean that it's right to use it.

With Freud, in spite of his errors, there are some respectable qualities. These include: willingness to explore what nobody else would dare explore; ability to present intelligent explanations on a range of subjects; the vast scope of his study; the originality of his ideas; and intellectual courage to present ideas that were socially taboo at his time. With Alfred Adler, there is nothing respectable at all. Effectively, he pathologized the human and wanted to see all be monkeys. And that makes his ideas the enemy of science as much as they are the enemy of all that humanity has created and made possible for itself.

Personality Disorders Holocaust

With personality psychology we see even worse outcomes. What we see in effect is an effective holocaust perpetrated against people accused of personality disorders, along with an institution of de facto totalitarianism against everyone else. Using disorders whose definitions are very similar to the Nazi definition of Jew, the believers in personality psychology are waging a de facto holocaust on those accused of these disorders, as well as creating a de facto totalitarianism for everyone else.

As people have been presented as being criminal by virtue of their personalities, what has in fact been instituted is the Orwellian concept of crimethink: That one can be made criminal by virtue of how one thinks. And with that has been put in place a de facto totalitarianism that aims to control people's minds, people's personalities, and pursuant to that people's lives.

Which de facto totalitarianism has then been forced on countries intended to be free, with predictably hypocritical, oppressive and disastrous results.

First the hypocrisy. Every white, part-white, Asian, Hindu or Middle Eastern person living in United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, and Latin America, is there because their ancestors were immigrants. Immigrants are people who left their family, their community, their country, their tradition, and their way of life, to pursue a different way of life in the New World. According to the believers in personality disorders, that is something that only a sociopath or a narcissist would do. Which means that all of the aforementioned populations are descended from people they would describe as possessing narcissistic or sociopathic character.

For the people living now, that can affectuate in only two possible outcomes. Either they have kept true to ways of their ancestors - meaning, to ways of supposed narcissists and sociopaths - and are now living according to narcissistic or sociopathic adaptations - or they have broken with the ways of their ancestors, in which case they are supposedly narcissists or sociopaths themselves. Either way, this means that every white, part-white, Asian, Hindu or Middle Eastern person living in United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, and Latin America, is supposedly a sociopath or a narcissist. And if the black people on the territory of these countries (except South Africa) think that they are exempt from it, they should think again. Either they are African immigrants or descendants of African immigrants - in which case they are supposedly sociopaths or narcissists by the same mechanism as the preceding - or they are descended from slaves who at one point refused to be slaves any more and who are therefore supposedly sociopathic or narcissistic as well.

According to definitions of sociopathic and narcissistic character, as same can be portrayed also all the people to whom the contemporary world owes what it has. Who but a supposed sociopath or a narcissist would have the chutzpah and the temerity to break with the ways of the time to create such things as representative democracy, as was created by American founders at the time when monarchy was the supposedly divinely ordained order, and as has since then become the order of the First World and much of the rest of the world? Who but a supposed sociopath or a narcissist would have the gall to build railroads and skyscrapers and computers, to work to cure diseases, to conceive of any new idea or a theory or invention to which the world owes what it has? Who but a supposed sociopath or a narcissist would break with the ways of the time to do such things as create free markets, abolish slavery, start large-scale industry or charity or religious or social organization, push for women's or workers' rights, confront institutional corruption, develop the underdeveloped parts of the world, or confront such wrongs as sex trafficking and drafting of  children into wars? And finally, most relevant for the people in psychology, who but a supposed
sociopath or a narcissist would think up of something such as psychology as did its founders and doggedly put it forth despite the fact that it was in complete contradiction with ways and beliefs of the time and were scandalous to those ways and beliefs?

To the people whom the believers in personality psychology describe as sociopathic or narcissistic, is owed every significant improvement in history, whether it be political, scientific, social or economic. To such is owed the science of psychology itself and their own place - both as psychological practicioners and as residents of the New World. And the believers in personality disorders, in pathologizing risk-taking, passion, freedom of thought, personal freedom, romantic passion, innovative thinking, and willingness to take strong stands whether or not they be the popular stances in the time and the place, are denying the benefits of the same to the countries in which they operate and condemn these countries to floundering shorn of what made them great - or even possible - in the first place.

It should not be seen as coincidental that American academia significantly lost the amount of Nobel Prizes won by American scientists once these beliefs became widespread in academia. Nor should it be seen as coincidental that these beliefs have lead to a war against liberty and an effective totalitarianism taking place in ever greater sections of the free world. As more and more people and groups are demonized, pathologized and destroyed, the noose tightens more around the necks of all others and makes liberty harder and harder to come by. This results in a profound de facto totalitarianism that would not tolerate difference from itself even within the privacy of people's minds. Not even the Communists have been able to come up with a more insidious and more profound way to rob people of freedom, nor with a more hypocritical ideology, nor with a more complete usurpation of people's lives.

The belief in personality psychology is not only war against life and liberty; they are also a vast drain on competitiveness. Any mind that produces innovation is a mind that is original. An original mind will be seen as pathological or even as evil by those who equate health and goodness with the ways and beliefs of the time and the place. As the minds that are capable of innovation and creativity are attacked, thus lessens the country's ingenuity and intellectual quickness. This results in the nation losing competitiveness. Ingenuity will not abandon humanity, but it might very well abandon the countries that practice such ideologies, leading to these nations falling behind as the rest of the world, immune from such errors, surges ahead.

For an ideology such as this to exist in nations bound by their constitutional principles to protect and affirm freedom, is an act of violation of constitutional principles and thus in itself an act of narcissism and sociopathy. A violation not only in face of constitution, but also of liberty and of national good. The practicioners of such beliefs must be seen as such: sociopaths and narcissists by their own logic - and perpetrators of holocaust and de facto totalitarianism in the free world by the logic of history. They, not the people whom they attack,
are the true threat to the well-being of the nations in which they practice their beliefs.
Self-Esteem Abuses

Another such usurpation has been done in the name of self-esteem. The con runs as follows. First the person is told what to esteem themselves by, and in accordance to what code. Then the person is told to take responsibility for his life as a matter of achieving this manipulated code which is introjected into his consciousness under the rubric of self-esteem. The actual situation by transitive logic: The person is told what life to have and what to be and is made to take responsibility for living according to the lies of the people dishonest enough to perpetrate such a transparent fraud.

Besides serving as a method of brainwashing and enslavement, self-esteem movement also does much that is of poison to humankind. The person who has higher standards will always find it more difficult to think well of themselves than the person who has lower standards. In rewarding self-esteem, one therefore rewards those who lack standards and punishes those who have standards, resulting in an inverted value situation in which those who have the least expectations for themselves flourish and those who demand more of themselves are left licking their boots.
There are also many people who believe that abuse in relationships happens to people who do not possess high enough self-esteem. In fact, abuse happens a lot more against people who do have high self-esteem and who because of that may not be content to be someone's "kitchen bitch," punching bag, beast of burden, or any other parts of what is known as the traditional wife role.

The worst abuses happen not against women who think poorly of themselves, but against women who think highly enough of themselves to not be content with perpetuating wrongful, oppressive attitudes and adaptations such as ones that masquerade as "tradition" and "family values." In the worst abuse situations, the abuser is trying to bludgeon the other person into subservience and out of her selfhood, including out of any self-esteem that she may possess. That does not happen because of low self-esteem. That happens because the person has high enough self-esteem to have objections to unfair, unrightful, and oppressive arrangements and ways of life. And portraying such a person as instead being lacking in self-esteem not only misdiagnoses the situation, but having fully misdiagnosed the situation prevents real solutions from being achieved.

In misconstruing everything as self-esteem, the people who believe in the concept have misrepresented what actually is happening and created a universal diagnosis that is plainly wrong and whose effects have been highly deleterious. Now, people who are at the receiving end of any kind of wrong are accused of lacking in self-esteem and portrayed for that reason as being bad to anyone with whom they may come in contact. This scares away any potential support
and makes it easier for the bully to continue to bully. Instead of seeing the bully for what he is and what he does, it is now those at the receiving end of the same that are being blamed for his behavior. This gives incentive for the bully to abuse, knowing that the person at its receiving end will be blamed for it, seen as lacking in self-esteem or as damaged goods, and denied any potential support or love or respect. The worse the abuse, the more the person at the receiving end is seen as pathological, the less support for her and the greater his ability to
injure, oppress, and entomb her. The result is a downward spiral leading to ever greater violence and abomination. This shows just how far from sanity, righteousness and integrity the concept of self-esteem has taken the world.

As the person at the receiving end of abuse and brutality is slandered as causing it through low self-esteem, such a person is denied a way out of the situation. Such a person is also denied a future and denied support. The result is perpetuation and incentivization of abusive practices. This - along with manipulating people into de facto slavery as part of striving to meet an imposed self-esteem construct, and along with inverting value and giving the world to its worst elements - have been the fleurs du mal of self-esteem psychology.

Relationship Blunders and Elizabethan Script

On relationships, psychological thought is just as confused, but that does not make it any less overbearing. The thought on relationships centers around the concepts of equality and power balance, without making any credible case as to why this is necessary or even right. It is frequently heard people say such things as that "relationships are about equality." Of course that is nonsense. The relationships that exist in the world are about any number of things, equality being the case for only a small minority. Far more relationships are about Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, or Buddhism; a vast number are about family and children; many others are about shared goals and attitudes; and of course there are some that are about romantic love. With this being the case, why would it be more rightful to listen to someone who wants to define all relationships according to a fad of psychology or ideology than, say, to an Islamist who wants all relationships to be led by polygamous wife-beaters, to the "father's rights" movement that wants women to have no rights at all, to a Gennady Zuyganov who says that his household is "matriarchy in the kitchen" (and patriarchy outside the kitchen), or to maniacal women who see all men as rapists and pedophiles and want to castrate all men and eat them all for lunch?

There are other beliefs that are totally wrong as well. One is that one must love oneself before one can love another. What the people believing such things don't understand is that this would exclude from love the bulk of humanity for the bulk of the time that humanity has existed, as well as majority of humanity at this time. In most cultures, especially Christian-influenced and Islam-influenced, loving oneself is seen as a great sin and is ruthlessly bludgeoned out of people since earliest ages. And yet we see love constantly taking place between people in these cultures, as we have seen it take place constantly in Western culture prior to its exposure to the idea that loving oneself is a good thing and far prior to the idea that loving oneself must be coerced. That there be interpersonal love in cultures such as 19th century Russia and Romantic-era England and Germany, as well as such cultures as modern-day Afghanistan, shows that this claim is wrong. One does not need to love oneself before one can love another; one must need to love another in order to love another.

Another wrongful belief is that romantic passion is somehow incompatible with "healthy relationships." The correct response to that is, if you see passion as incompatible with healthy relationships, then your idea of healthy relationships is worse than worthless; it is sick. The cold, prissy, prudish, anal-retentive control freaks will always be threatened by anything that is warm, anything that is passionate, and anything that is not easily quantified or easily pigeonholed. The sickness in this case belongs to the cold, prissy, prudish, anal-retentive control freaks who have such beliefs.

If one is to take someone's advice on love, it would be reasonable to get it from someone who's actually loving. Very little of worth can be learned on this matter from cold mean-spirited harpies who portray romance as rape, love as a patriarchial construct, marriage as an institution of oppression, or beauty as a myth that enslaves women and destroys their self-esteem. One may learn far more about love from women who are actually loving people - as can be found far more in women from cultures that develop in women warm and loving qualities, including those women in America who have taken objection to political correctness - not for reason of it being against "traditional values" but for the reason of it being anti-beauty and anti-love.
One major problem in English-speaking countries has been what I call the Elizabethan script. As Queen Elizabeth I came to power, her lover betrayed her and became part of a plot to murder her. Needless to say, Queen Elizabeth had to choose between love and power and chose power. Since then, many women in Anglophone cultures likewise have had to decide between love and power, resulting in powerful women having to go without love and the women who chose love having to take the subservient role. The Anglophone cultures will improve, and the lives of women in Anglophone cultures will improve, if it becomes possible for women in these cultures to have love and power
both. And that requires an attitude on the part of men to allow and value such qualities, just as it requires an attitude on the part of women to stop seeing men as women's enemies.

There are many parts of the world where the Elizabethan script is not in place. Kristina and Nestor Kirschner are a married couple, and each partner has been the Prime Minister of Argentina - first the husband, then the wife.  Benazir Bhutto and her husband have likewise been Prime Minister of Pakistan - first the wife, then the husband. Nelson Mandela and Graca Machel are a married couple, and each partner has been a major political figure in Southern Africa. In all cases, the man and the wife have had a loving relationship and both had power.

There are many men who, once they've had sex with the woman, see her as being below them. This understandably leads many women to regard sex as degrading and to avoid it; but that is not the solution either. The real solution is simply that men value the women that they have been with and be supportive of their ambitions, and stop seeing the fact of them having had sex with the woman or the fact of them being with the woman as a reason to treat her as less than oneself.

A major error of women who seek equality with men is that of equating equality with sameness. That puts them in a race where they can only be second, while denying them the benefits of what is uniquely feminine and what men cannot do or cannot as easily do. A human being has both the physical nature and the volitional nature. In focusing on the volitional nature where men and women are indeed equal, many of this persuasion want to do away with the physical nature in which they are different. That leads to disastrous outcomes. Human beings have both physical and volitional natures and should be able to enjoy the benefit of both natures. That is as much the case for the women as it is the case for the men.

The thought on relationships must be thought that is life-affirming. Both physical and volitional natures are present in human beings, and the two must be acknowledged, valued, and be able to interact and fulfil one another. This will create more integrated human beings and more complete experience of relationships, as well as a more complete experience by people of life.
Errors of Assessment
A major error that keeps creeping into psychology, despite the actions of Rogers's and May's and Fromm's of the world, is that of projecting the method used to understand the mind, onto the mind, and then judging the mind rather than understanding it in case its own methods differ. Allow me to explain what I'm talking about.

The scientific method is a path toward understanding things; that requires a particular kind of logic. In studying things other than mind, it is fine; but when one approaches the mind FROM THE POSITION OF the scientific method, he is easily subject to this error: Comparing the mind's processes to the process (scientific method) he uses in studying the mind; and judging them when they are inevitably found to be run by a different logic, the way one would judge other-than-scientific approach within the laboratory.

Which leads of course not to exploration but to judgmentalism. Anything that is run by a logic that either is not of the scientific method or that the scientific method cannot immediately understand, becomes an "issue." The logic of science gets interjected into the mind, squashing its own processes in the process. Compassion goes; so does imagination. And the result is projection of human perfection as someone with a mentality of the person conducting the investigation and vicious attack on anythingthat differs from it in any way.

A related error, one not limited to psychology, in assaying people is that of continually doing so in reference to a norm. A cat is seen to be perfect not by being of a norm, but by being the best she can be as a fruition of her own potential. But a human being is seen to be perfect when he or she fulfills one or another normative function. Which means that people's minds are expropriated and put in service of one or another external construct. But what it means most of all is that any true perfection - perfection as attainment of one's possibility - is destroyed, while a cask is imposed at the top to shove people under a crucifix. A cat is not made perfect by trying to be a dog, but by being the best cat it can be.
And with human beings, real goodness is accomplished by being the best of what oneself can be, not by sublimating one's existence under one or another external draft.

A feeling is not known fully unless it is felt. It does not exist by reference to a norm or an ideology; but in its own right and according to its own logic. And projecting one or another form of logic on mind, and judging it when it is seen to be run by a different logic, is not science but bigotry. Indeed it is a betrayal of scientific spirit; whether it comes under name of rationality or self-esteem or anything else. 
Examining the mind and being the mind are two different things; and the logic of the second need not legitimately accord with the first. Indeed it may have a logic whose intricacy blows your mind; and attacking instead of investigating that is a hideous error. 
An error that is just another manifestation of a still bigger error, to which humanity has been prone for centuries: Of assuming all people to be the same and treating them likewise. That is a projection, once again, of one or another mindset upon something that runs by its own. Not only does that result in destruction of liberty, but it results furthermore in degradation of the world and all people in it. The categorical imperative involved is that of creating gray and lifeless society. And the solution to that is this: I do the next person no favors by treating them the way I want to be treated. I do the next person favor by treating them the way they want to be treated. And in this I honor the next person's individuality and preserve it while making it possible for people to have the same.

And that, if done on a large enough scale, leads to a much better world than does the Kantian or the "traditional" path of wanting everyone to be the same and acting in a way that leads toward such a world.

Given the nature of reason - as something that builds on premises – it is frequently inadequate for understanding of matters that are of different nature than what one has been taught reason to be. I have been finding it necessary at many times to suspend reason from its premises and let the feeling take over and understand it later, while letting the experience enrich my understanding and giving me knowledge that I would not have had if I had operated from the position of only building upon existing premises.
The making sense of it fully comes later. And then it becomes possible to create a real interaction between thinking and feeling, leading to rationality becoming better informed by human experience and to emotionality becoming more cognizant of its external effects. It is through combination of the subjective and the objective - experiencing from within; assaying from without - that full picture of a person or of a culture or of a mindset - can be created: One superior to the merely objective (which by itself tends toward coldness and crueltyand complete lack of understanding) or to the merely subjective (which by itself tends toward lack of awareness of external effects).
But rather one that combines experience with observation - the internal with the external - and thus creates a more complete picture and more complete people.

Objective and Subjective Investigation 

The natures of cultures, societies, religions, lifestyles, communities, families and individual people can only be fully assayed through this combination of external examination and subjective experience. The first shows the entity's effects on the world; the second, the experience of the people who are a part of it. To do the first, is to know the nature of the entity in its external effects. To do the second, is to know its nature as felt and experienced by its participants.

The merely external examination fails to understand the experience and is felt by the participants as being out of touch, cold, and lacking in understanding. The merely experiential fails to compute the entity's external effects and also fails to see and correct its wrongs and its errors, allowing these errors and wrongs to continue unchecked. As these errors and wrongs continue unchecked, they continue to grow.

The scientific method being one of empirical analysis and observation, many of those who are drawn to it become hostile to anything that involves such things as empathy, feeling, or subjective experience. In understanding people at individual or collective level, this attitude is wrong. Understanding people means also understanding their experience and thus being able to relate to them. The journalist, the sociologist, the psychologist, need to be able to do this in order to have a complete enough knowledge to do their work with wisdom. The humanistic psychology not only recognizes the need for empathy; it demands it. And empathy training is an essential part of the training of anyone involved in psychology or social science.

But empathy itself is likewise not sufficient. As the purely empathic feels the experience of a person or a group of people, she gets lost in their world and forgets the rest of the world and their effects on it. She identifies with their experience and, as part of it, identifies also with their errors and their wrongs - frequently to her own detriment. Someone who empathizes with a Talibanist or a member of Christian Identity gets used for a wrongful agenda - at grave expense to herself, her children, and (if the people with whom she's empathized get their way) the rest of the world. Empathy, and caring, can easily be exploited for goals that are in no way caring or empathic, and the tragic experiences of those
who have made such a choice is evidence of that fact.

Empathy must be balanced with discernment if one is to avoid such a fate. At the same time, the rational mind must be balanced with empathy in order to avoid greater errors of cruelty, coldness, and out-of-touch ineffectuality. The full examination of any human phenomenon demands to know both its effects on the world and its effects on participants. And this requires intelligence and empathy working together to create not only an integrative assessment of what is under examination, but also more integrated people themselves.


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