Why are we not being ourselves?
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At first, I'd say that the presuppose of the question might be inaccurate, due to the understanding that our minds are built by data, phenomenon's, those translated (by structural brain processes) to sensitive experiences. So we'd be actually reactions, expressing behaviour and thoughts as consequences of these phenomenon, like Newton's Third Law (even though we don't always manage to access all of it's ramifications). So talking about the not-being in the context of being, it's not logically valid for me, at least until now.
But, in common social context, surely it's usual to hear from people around that we have to be ourselves, and even not listen to what the others say about ourselves, in the sense of the conservation of attitude a as protest. I realize that's a bit equivocate, because our behavior is fundamentally adaptive, in all situations until now; pleasure, love, rage, musical tastes, all streams of consciousness based on adapting, in order to establish ( in someway ) the security of our "I".
Now, supposing we do be "not-ourselves", on that logical context, the "mind phenomenon" could be described in this way: suppose that you have a set of thoughts, ideas, but as the whole social system is fragmented since you're born, - in the sense that minor or major conflicts are very intense and frequent in our daily life - adaptation end up conceding this social structure to grow into your mental framework, creating separation between ideas, logic's*(1), that in logical essence might look the same thing.
In this continuous process, conflicts blend themselves into our own thinking process, and as a consequence, we start seeing some converging ideas as completely different, incongruous. Therefore, the "not being ourselves" could come, apparently, in 2 ways: The first course, perceiving we have ideas supposedly different from our attitudes either what society expects them to be, and eventually being normatized into the society sphere we have more comfort ; or having contact to conflictual ideas*(2), possibly producing a intolerant defense, instead of comprehending and reflecting upon them. The other course manifests it self in social pressure; when we have a behaviour change, the "shock" it causes in social mean, provoke a contrary movement in order that we recover our previous behaviour. Not because society is evil, but because we didn't made our rate of change to synchronize with the mean, or manage to articulate with it, they're reacting naturally to what causes them to feel insecure. Then, the "you are not being yourself" is actually you're not being yourself for the other one, and not for yourself, he who sees that your image (in his mind) is incongruous to your attitudes now (again, the illusion of fragmentation data), causing a discomfort that shows of by wanting to revert the situation, reinforcing onto us the "idea apartheid" process, so we come back to the first course, the whole reflections proceeding onto the apparent social behaviour-thought conflict, the weighting on social-affective benefits of the change, and as the pressure continues, you might recur to the initial condition. So, as I see, the not-being's still a appearance phenomenon that itself it's not logically valid; what we call the not-being ourselves is deep down a mask that conflicts putted upon what in essence is adaptation, changing.
In addition to your questioning, I'd like to make another one too, what is the "ourselves" for you?
-*(1) Two questions I think should come up here: Why would this social structure go into our mind? And how would create gaps between chained ideas?
" 1 - First, as I said earlier, I think our mind is made up of information's, and they are guided by neurological mechanisms of adaptation. But these mechanisms can create connections between each other too, making the human being as complex as it is. So, when we live in a system that heavily introduces information into our head, with movies, toys, people, space, sound, we tend to adapt ourselves to it. We do have genetics tendencies of which information should we pay more attention, for example pheromones in women's nipples, that make the new-borns to have their noses and mouths contracted, as a breastfeed instinct. And we also have a natural tendency to receive social phenomenon with a higher sensibility, that been called empathy. So, when we are born, seeing physical barriers in our mean, minor or major conflicts between parents, family, strangers, animations, toys, animals, receiving no's, not here, slaps; we all tend to adapt ourselves to it, adding comfort to these situations, getting this whole structure of minor and major conflicts (that are not that minor for kids, because of their high sensibility to phenomenon) forming their minds.
" 2 - When conflicts grows in our mind, more complex as we live (because of the enormous amount of data per second we receive), the brain starts to create discomforts and comforts with a certain tendency, usually based on earlier experiences and (dis)comforts (this being Freud's and Winnicott's main approaches I think, the childhood "main events" as structures of adaptation). And the more information it gets, different conflicts, problems of connection come across certain ideas, and these difficulties when added with the discomfort/comfort evaluation, create "link gaps" between them, turning them in appearance, essentially different phenomenon.
An example could be like, X and Y are very close concepts/ideas/things, you know X and Y, but X you knew in a horrible moment, stressful, and enrages you to think of that, while Y you discovered when you were in love for something, happy, and that happiness and comfort got bounded to Y. As someone try to connect X and Y for you, you'll probably negate the link ( even if you perceive it, won't like to materialize it by saying it ), because, how can something good as Y, be related to something as bad as X? The problem is that our brain processes adaptation in numerous ways, so the difference on X and Y can be only a word, a image, it can be a apparently insignificant thing, but it can be the main, and strongest thing in X that differs it from Y. Lastly, when the mind is full of these "barriers", let's say, it gets harder and harder to get these links. This kind of mind phenomenon happens lots of times, but it's not "vivid" enough for us to perceive it, because it's flowing through our unconscious, but probably most of people have done it at least one time and realize it, I think.
-*(2) Conflictual ideas are ideas with discomfort related and alert our defenses, provoking a strong "bad" feeling or violence ( physical, verbal, to yourself, in many manners ). The conflict coming from these ideas would come from the assimilation of the social fragmentation process explained above, that transforms some ideas into high conflict triggers. A famous example is socialism with capitalism, or some might say socialism vs. capitalism, I've seem people talking about killing socialists, capitalists, swearing all as if there wasn't a tomorrow. But only that, they didn't even discuss, the "I'm socialist." implied "I hate/will kill you.". And actually, we can extract some converging points on each other.
I hope it was clear, I'm with some problems with writing and coalescence my arguments recently, because it has been a long time since I last debated like this hahahah.
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