Sunday, August 12, 2007

The Exciting Return of Fortified Prophylactics

Okay, I'll finally come out and just say it. My MS is in Psychology. Big surprise. MFCC. Never used it, professionally. I say this because I think the most useful theory to explain human behavior is psychodynamic. A metaphor, as all inferences must be. Views the emotional life as a movement of psychic energies. When things are flowing freely and in their appropriate channel, one has mental health. When some energy is blocked or misdirected, there is dysfunction. Sex is the easiest example -- I've gone through this before. That energy can be perverted and attached to any number of inappropriate objects. Say, children. The energy can be stirred at a too early age. It can be repressed and come out as neurosis. It can be sublimated and come out as art. And so on.

I suppose emotions could be correlated to instincts. It sounds like that would be true. Maybe I just made it up. They would be the perceptual manifestation of some genetically mandated behavior -- a sort of link between DNA and consciousness. Just as the nervous system informs us of physical pain and pleasure, emotions inform us as to the health of our instincts. It would be interesting to define emotion objectively and test for them in the various creature that possess a nervous system. Might provide some insight into the nature of instinct and consciousness. But that is neither here nor there.

My purpose now is to deal with this blog. If I stop writing it, will there be a sort of pressure that builds up inside me that breaks through in some healthy or some unhealthy way? Is it a safety valve, or a parasite. Is the minimal degree of self-expression, however indirect and remote, that I achieve here enough to prevent me from seeking real communion with actual people? Or is it just a harmless conceit -- a journal left on a park bench.

I deal with three themes here. Social issues, generally filtered through some particular news item. Thoughts on events in my life. And oblique mood pieces that cannot be characterized more specifically. How much of all this would enable what is clearly an unhealthy emotional and social isolation? If I remove this means of self-expression, would I be driven toward health, or to a greater deterioration?

I don't know. I do know that a crisis is an opportunity. Which is probably why some people are always provoking a crisis -- they think it's a good thing. I started this blog for several reasons -- most practical of which is that I didn't want to bring my opinions out among the strangers with whom I roll. It's proven to be a pretty successful tactic -- I've slipped and gotten personal only a few times. We all need to express ourselves, and I just didn't want to be a lightning rod. That's not what rolling is about for me. This is, not incidentally, a concern about any outside socializing with these fellows. There's a part of me that loves to argue -- as I recall -- but arguing just calls up emotions, and, again, that's not why I'm there. All communication is a risk, though. We risk making enemies, but we risk making friends too. I'm already too much that guy. I like to try to pretend to be normal.

But I'd like some real friends. It's only a superficial fix, because we never stop being who we are. But on the other hand, we still eat, even though we'll get hungry again. Needs have to be met. If emotions are the body's way of interfacing with the mind, then perhaps loneliness informs us of a hunger that's occurring on a genetic level.

Well. You know me. A little. I can play this game forever. It's never about big dramatic gestures. There are no clean breaks. Where ever you go, there you are. Upshot is, I'll be trying to slow down here. If I don't, I expect it will be because this has become an unhealthy outlet. Of course it may just mean that I've determined this to be a harmless hobby. If I do, either I'll be putting my energies into something more productive, or I'll be building up an internal pressure that will force a real and most likely painful crisis. We mustn't see it as sinister, though. It's only sinister if it keeps things from improving. If things improve independently, it is an irrelevance -- a meaningless variable.

What have I said, then? Almost everything. An unfalsifiable theory. Like Evolution, or the Bible. See? I just did it again. That Jack H. Gotta love him. Gotta. Please?


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