Traumas as Social Interactions

Written by Sam Vaknin

("He" in this text - to mean "He" or "She").

We react to serious mishaps, life altering setbacks, disasters, abuse, and death by going throughrepparttar phases of grieving. Traumas arerepparttar 126211 complex outcomes of psychodynamic and biochemical processes. Butrepparttar 126212 particulars of traumas depend heavily onrepparttar 126213 interaction betweenrepparttar 126214 victim and his social milieu.

It would seem that whilerepparttar 126215 victim progresses from denial to helplessness, rage, depression and thence to acceptance ofrepparttar 126216 traumatizing events - society demonstrates a diametrically opposed progression. This incompatibility, this mismatch of psychological phases is what leads torepparttar 126217 formation and crystallization of trauma.


Victim phase I - DENIAL

The magnitude of such unfortunate events is often so overwhelming, their nature so alien, and their message so menacing - that denial sets in as a defence mechanism aimed at self preservation. The victim denies thatrepparttar 126218 event occurred, that he or she is being abused, that a loved one passed away.


The victim's nearest ("Society") - his colleagues, his employees, his clients, even his spouse, children, and friends - rarely experiencerepparttar 126219 events withrepparttar 126220 same shattering intensity. They are likely to acceptrepparttar 126221 bad news and move on. Even at their most considerate and empathic, they are likely to lose patience withrepparttar 126222 victim's state of mind. They tend to ignorerepparttar 126223 victim, or chastise him, to mock, or to deride his feelings or behaviour, to collude to repressrepparttar 126224 painful memories, or to trivialize them.

Summary Phase I

The mismatch betweenrepparttar 126225 victim's reactive patterns and emotional needs and society's matter-of-fact attitude hinders growth and healing. The victim requires society's help in avoiding a head-on confrontation with a reality he cannot digest. Instead, society serves as a constant and mentally destabilizing reminder ofrepparttar 126226 root ofrepparttar 126227 victim's unbearable agony (the Job syndrome).


Victim phase II - HELPLESSNESS

Denial gradually gives way to a sense of all-pervasive and humiliating helplessness, often accompanied by debilitating fatigue and mental disintegration. These are amongrepparttar 126228 classic symptoms of PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder). These arerepparttar 126229 bitter results ofrepparttar 126230 internalization and integration ofrepparttar 126231 harsh realization that there is nothing one can do to alterrepparttar 126232 outcomes of a natural, or man-made, catastrophe. The horror in confronting one's finiteness, meaninglessness, negligibility, and powerlessness - is overpowering.

Society phase II - DEPRESSION

The morerepparttar 126233 members of society come to grips withrepparttar 126234 magnitude ofrepparttar 126235 loss, or evil, or threat represented byrepparttar 126236 grief inducing events -repparttar 126237 sadder they become. Depression is often little more than suppressed or self-directed anger. The anger, in this case, is belatedly induced by an identified or diffuse source of threat, or of evil, or loss. It is a higher level variant ofrepparttar 126238 "fight or flight" reaction, tampered byrepparttar 126239 rational understanding thatrepparttar 126240 "source" is often too abstract to tackle directly.

Summary Phase II

Thus, whenrepparttar 126241 victim is most in need, terrified by his helplessness and adrift - society is immersed in depression and unable to provide a holding and supporting environment. Growth and healing is again retarded by social interaction. The victim's innate sense of annulment is enhanced byrepparttar 126242 self-addressed anger (=depression) of those around him.


Bothrepparttar 126243 victim and society react with RAGE to their predicaments. In an effort to narcissistically reassert himself,repparttar 126244 victim develops a grandiose sense of anger directed at paranoidally selected, unreal, diffuse, and abstract targets (=frustration sources). By expressing aggression,repparttar 126245 victim re-acquires mastery ofrepparttar 126246 world and of himself.

Members of society use rage to re-directrepparttar 126247 root cause of their depression (which is, as we said, self directed anger) and to channel it safely. To ensure that this expressed aggression alleviates their depression - real targets must are selected and real punishments meted out. In this respect, "social rage" differs fromrepparttar 126248 victim's. The former is intended to sublimate aggression and channel it in a socially acceptable manner -repparttar 126249 latter to reassert narcissistic self-love as an antidote to an all-devouring sense of helplessness.

Intuition - Part II

Written by Sam Vaknin

The a-priori nature of intuitions ofrepparttar first andrepparttar 126210 third kind led thinkers, such as Adolf Lasson, to associate it with Mysticism. He called it an "intellectual vision" which leads torepparttar 126211 "essence of things". Earlier philosophers and theologians labeledrepparttar 126212 methodical application of intuitions -repparttar 126213 "science ofrepparttar 126214 ultimates". Of course, this missesrepparttar 126215 strong emotional content of mystical experiences.

Confucius talked about fulfilling and seeking one's "human nature" (or "ren") as "the Way". This nature is notrepparttar 126216 result of learning or deliberation. It is innate. It is intuitive and, in turn, produces additional, clear intuitions ("yong") as to right and wrong, productive and destructive, good and evil. The "operation ofrepparttar 126217 natural law" requires that there be no rigid codex, but only constant change guided byrepparttar 126218 central and harmonious intuition of life.

II. Philosophers on Intuition - An Overview

IIA. Locke

But are intuitions really a-priori - or do they develop in response to a relatively stable reality and in interaction with it? Would we have had intuitions in a chaotic, capricious, and utterly unpredictable and disordered universe? Do intuitions emerge to counter-balance surprises?

Locke thought that intuition is a learned and cumulative response to sensation. The assumption of innate ideas is unnecessary. The mind is like a blank sheet of paper, filled gradually by experience - byrepparttar 126219 sum total of observations of external objects and of internal "reflections" (i.e., operations ofrepparttar 126220 mind). Ideas (i.e., whatrepparttar 126221 mind perceives in itself or in immediate objects) are triggered byrepparttar 126222 qualities of objects.

But, despite himself, Locke was also reduced to ideal (innate) intuitions. According to Locke, a colour, for instance, can be either an idea inrepparttar 126223 mind (i.e., ideal intuition) - orrepparttar 126224 quality of an object that causes this idea inrepparttar 126225 mind (i.e., that evokesrepparttar 126226 ideal intuition). Moreover, his "primary qualities" (qualities shared by all objects) come close to being eidetic intuitions.

Locke himself admits that there is no resemblance or correlation betweenrepparttar 126227 idea inrepparttar 126228 mind andrepparttar 126229 (secondary) qualities that provoked it. Berkeley demolished Locke's preposterous claim that there is such resemblance (or mapping) between PRIMARY qualities andrepparttar 126230 ideas that they provoke inrepparttar 126231 mind. It would seem therefore that Locke's "ideas inrepparttar 126232 mind" are inrepparttar 126233 mind irrespective and independent ofrepparttar 126234 qualities that produce them. In other words, they are a-priori. Locke resorts to abstraction in order to repudiate it.

Locke himself talks about "intuitive knowledge". It is whenrepparttar 126235 mind "perceivesrepparttar 126236 agreement or disagreement of two ideas immediately by themselves, withoutrepparttar 126237 intervention of any other...repparttar 126238 knowledge of our own being we have by intuition...repparttar 126239 mind is presently filled withrepparttar 126240 clear light of it. It is on this intuition that depends allrepparttar 126241 certainty and evidence of all our knowledge... (Knowledge is the) perception ofrepparttar 126242 connection of and agreement, or disagreement and repugnancy, of any of our ideas."

Knowledge is intuitive intellectual perception. Even when demonstrated (and few things, mainly ideas, can be intuited and demonstrated - relations withinrepparttar 126243 physical realm cannot be grasped intuitively), each step inrepparttar 126244 demonstration is observed intuitionally. Locke's "sensitive knowledge" is also a form of intuition (known as "intuitive cognition" inrepparttar 126245 Middle Ages). It isrepparttar 126246 perceived certainty that there exist finite objects outside us. The knowledge of one's existence is an intuition as well. But both these intuitions are judgmental and rely on probabilities.

IIB. Hume

Hume deniedrepparttar 126247 existence of innate ideas. According to him, all ideas are based either on sense impressions or on simpler ideas. But even Hume accepted that there are propositions known byrepparttar 126248 pure intellect (as opposed to propositions dependent on sensory input). These deal withrepparttar 126249 relations between ideas and they are (logically) necessarily true. Even though reason is used in order to prove them - they are independently true allrepparttar 126250 same because they merely revealrepparttar 126251 meaning or information implicit inrepparttar 126252 definitions of their own terms. These propositions teach us nothing aboutrepparttar 126253 nature of things because they are, at bottom, self referential (equivalent to Kant's "analytic propositions").

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