Categories
Psychology

The Power of the Collective

The mystery of this “power of the collective” is not in the overt presence or tidal, cultural and narrative-psychological force it compels. It is in the many and diverse ways that individuals bound together by information, communication and shared experience or role find themselves as bearers of a meaning and a message which is hardly […]

Categories
Psychology

Incomplete Sketches of Mental Life

Our mental images are the incomplete sketches upon which we build a whole world and in their useful ambiguity and uncertainty we cultivate our freedom to grow.

Categories
Psychology

Ignorance is Bliss

If it is true that ignorance is bliss, I am surprised that there are not many more blissfully happy people in this world. Ignorance, of course, has quite little to do at all with acquired knowledge or education and is more often a direct measure of a person (or group) being unable to accommodate the […]

Categories
Psychology

Partisan Pathology

There is quite a lot to be said for the psychological dynamics of a partisan pathology (on all sides of any conflict or adversarial competition) that can only ever define itself reflexively in opposition to and by difference from a fictionalised, idealised and almost entirely abstract fantasy of Other. It is an infantile symmetry that […]

Categories
Psychology

Love is Blind

It was Shakespeare who coined the phrase regarding love’s indifference to what we directly perceive with our senses but his intention was more to indicate that everything we do, no less – those deep visceral and emotional facts of our lives, are first and foremost mental phenomena. I love not what I see but what […]

Categories
Psychology

Human Beings Being Human: Anger

It is a simple truth. Fear drives most of our irrational decisions and our inability to admit it is in fact the greatest fallacy of all. Violence, war, hatred, discrimination, cruelty – it is all at base and in essence just fear under another name. People fear the truth of their own essential vulnerability more […]

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Psychology

Philosophy of Loneliness

There is a certain philosophical psychology of loneliness in which we might come to understand that every act of self-definition and individuation is always already the construction of that difference and distance by which we also inadvertently traumatise and emotionally isolate ourselves from each other. In orienting ourselves as “the type of person who would […]

Categories
Psychology

Interpersonal Personality

Interpersonal relationships are in general rendered enigmatic and intractable by the fact(s) of our dual existence as both material and mental creatures. In many ways, the dissonance and dissociative friction that often emerges between people is really only a microcosm of that inverse symmetry and self-inflected relationship we have with (and within) ourselves. While there […]

Categories
Psychology

The Paradoxical Haunting of Selfhood

What is (perhaps) even more curious than this, the translucent Cheshire Smile of a concept of Self that becomes an artefact around which we find ourselves (!) in endless free-fall and ontological orbit, is that the very difference and distance by and through which we define that self traps us in an intractable enigma. We […]

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culture Psychology

The Selfie Slaves

The extent to which we manifest or express individual self-determination in a virtualised, distributed public display of visual social-media identity-construction is simultaneously the measure of our imprisonment by that dragging anchor and inconstant vessel of Self. Self-definition is (a) freedom but it is simultaneously the persistent dragging anchor and burden of an external world, internalised […]

Categories
Psychology

Control is only really Fear wearing a Mask

No one is in control of life anywhere near so much as we might choose to believe. At some level we all know this but we also rarely choose to acknowledge it; it frightens us. Our endless fascination with pattern and order, with declarations of certainty and knowledge – these are at least in part […]

Categories
Psychology

Bad Luck Bamboo and the Magical Indifference of Nature

I got myself some lucky bamboo a few weeks ago, just before the scattered tapestry of our world began rapidly unravelling under the weight of a viral pandemic. It makes me wonder about luck – not because I really believe in anything fundamentally magical or, at least, “lucky” but because superstition and unfounded belief are […]