This research was originally inspired/triggered by recent events leading up to encountering this article...
WARNING: “HANGING IN THERE” IS DESTROYING YOUR HEALTH
OTOH, I have always appreciated the idea that "...It gets better..." even if not everyone always feels willing or able to wait
I deeply believe that there is always some way we can be more kind to those with whom we interact
I would like to share the ritual of Ho'oponopono to all unhealed abuse survivors
I am always learning how to be more compassionate & understanding, even when people choose to make permanent decisions regarding something that I may think is a temporary issue... I have known all too many people throughout the years that have chosen to take their own lives, beginning when I was 15
I have continued to talk with people about suicide often, and I am always learning something, such as in this fairly recent fb post
or this post from lj, back in the day...
This morning, I finally got around to beginning the reading of Durkheim's work on the subject... my focus today has been particularly related to anomic suicide
The concept starts to look rather like the classic double-bind, but on a cultural scale, doesn't it?
" .... the tangles in communication often diagnosed as schizophrenia are not necessarily the result of an organic brain dysfunction. Instead, they found that destructive double binds were a frequent pattern of communication among families of patients, and they proposed that growing up amidst perpetual double binds could lead to learned patterns of confusion in thinking and communication. ... "
But on the individual level, I have recently been inspired by polyvagal theory, and some of the relatively new techniques for how the individual can find release from trauma
But what about healing the collective/cultural aspects?
(In The Myth of Sissyphus,) Camus argues that there is no meaning to life. He disapproves of the many philosophers who "have played on words and pretended to believe that refusing to grant a meaning to life necessarily leads to declaring that it is not worth living." (p.7) Life has no absolute meaning. In spite of the human's irrational "nostalgia" for unity, for absolutes, for a definite order and meaning to the "not me" of the universe, no such meaning exists in the silent, indifferent universe. Between this yearning for meaning and eternal verities and the actual condition of the universe there is a gap that can never be filled. The confrontation of the irrational, longing human heart and the indifferent universe brings about the notion of the absurd.
The absurd is born of this confrontation between the human need and the unreasonable silence of the world. (p.21)
The absurd is not in man nor in the world, but in their presence together...it is the only bond uniting them. (p. 21)
People must realize that the feeling of the absurd exists and can happen to them at any time. The absurd person must demand to live solely with what is known and to bring in nothing that is not certain. This means that all I know is that I exist, that the world exists ,and that I am mortal.
Doesn't this make a futile pessimistic chaos of life? Wouldn't suicide be a legitimate way out of a meaningless life? "No." "No." answers Camus. Although the absurd cancels all chances of eternal freedom it magnifies freedom of action. Suicide is "acceptance at its extreme", it is a way of confessing that life is too much for one. This is the only life we have; and even though we are aware, in fact, because we are aware of the absurd, we can find value in this life. The value is in our freedom, our passion, and our revolt. The first change we must make to live in the absurd situation is to realize that thinking, or reason, is not tied to any eternal mind which can unify and "make appearances familiar under the guise of a great principle," but it is:
...learning all over again to see, to be attentive, to focus consciousness; it is turning every idea and every image, in the manner of Proust, into a privileged moment. (p. 20)
In The Myth of Sisyphus he opposes himself to the rationalism of classical philosophy which seeks universal and enduring truths or a hierarchy of values which is crowned by God; he believes that truth is found by a subjective intensity of passion; he maintains that the individual is always free and involved in choice; he recognizes that persons exist in the world and are naturally related with it;he is deeply concerned with the significance of death, its inevitability and its finality. The absurd is a revolt against tomorrow and as such comes to terms with the present moment. Suicide consents to the absurd as final and limitless while revolt is a an ongoing struggle with the absurd and brings with it man's redemption.
I do actually feel that I personally have a debt to pay to the Cosmos for giving me life... and I would ask others to consider this evidence:
"Through the process of evolution, primates reached the physiological level of natural selection where their neocortex had grown so large that they found a superior way of adaptation... While other animals relied upon the purely biological methods of natural selection, primates used their cognitive/endocrine/dactylic functions to take advantage of cultural methods of adapting their environments and improving their living conditions. Thus, my own life has been improved through the contributions not only of biology, but also by the development and transmission of learned behaviours. I am indebted to all of our ancestors' utilization of social and technological systems to improve our fitness and ensure our survival throughout all of history (particularly since the Pleistocene, but more so in the Holocene, and exponentially so since the Industrial Age). I believe that the ethical way to honour these gifts is to return them in kind by contributing to the evolution of culture.
This is why self-organizing systems, complexity theory, game theory, and evolutionary psycho-socio-biology have always been so fascinating to me. Obviously, there is an interdependent relationship between the "super-organic" phenomenae of culture and the physiological aspects of our existence; but this only serves to further my point. The longer that I study the development of science, the more i am faced with my own obligation to fulfill my duty to the community. My studies of storytelling and divination throughout history and geography have further convinced me of the prevalence of this ethical philosophy of mutually beneficial relationships between the individual and the collective"
call me crazy, but that kinda Agape/Ishq love for the collective spirit is like the Kierkegaardian *Leap of Faith* that inspired me to snap out of my own catatonic/vampiric matrix
obviously, YMMV... but what fantasies do *you* want to create in reality?
FWIW, I have always appreciated Shamans, Shramana, & Buddhists as early precursors to the Absurdist perspective...
sanditthiko akaliko ehipassiko opanayiko paccattam veditabbo viññuhi
And predatory forces continue to exist
separatist ideologies & violence
Which has led me to speak out about the importance of transparency for increasing liberty...
tyranny may be able to slow our progress, but the will of the people cannot be stopped
Sometimes, if we are fortunate enough to survive, then we can begin to see our initiatory path in the healing process
Persephone's assimilation of Hades
Ultimately, we are faced with certain recurrent truths, if we are prepared to interpret the omens...
What dreames may come?
Meanwhile, perhaps I will recommend one of my favorite documentaries...
that was inspired by the positive psychology movement,
"primarily concerned with using the psychological theory, research and intervention techniques to understand the positive, adaptive, creative and emotionally fulfilling aspects of human behavior."