Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Unconscious desires

We're having a discussion on this topic at IPS forum starting with this post. Therein Joseph linked to a Bryant blog post on how neurologists are using brain scans to create more effective advertising. Joseph discusses some measures to counteract such manipulation. My responses so far are below.

This is what I'm discussing in the review of Hartmann's book through the use of reframing. Lakoff of course has been on to this for years, as has Luntz. The latter two are well aware of the brain scanning and cognitive correlates for this sort of manipulation. Hartmann's purpose in writing the book is exactly to provide one with the tools to see through the manipulation by learning how they do it. And to do it oneself, but grounded in reality checks and an ethical code to manipulate for good, like a doctor or therapist. As a former bodywork therapist I 'manipulated' bodies with such intent through training. It also applies to this form of manipulation and training as well.

Speaking of which, Bryant has a recent post on an ethics of love. It is akin to the sort of progressive reframing that induces positive change in others for compassionate social good instead of the regressive sort that creates fear and punishment for private gain.

Joseph replied that in stories there is the manifest content of story elements, the latent content of the hidden meanings and messages, and the unconscious content that keep up behaving dysfunctionally despite revealing the latent content as in Hartmann's proposals. My further responses follow:

Bryant discusses that very thing in the post on ethics linked above. He applies it to therapeutic psychoanalysis, taking into consideration that we tend to unconsciously do the very thing we know is wrong. But he is also hopeful that if therapy focuses on opening oneself to healthy expressions of unconscious drives then this self-destructive circle can be overcome.

Framing can help us to be more conscious of how we unconsciously operate and to some extent reprogram our unconscious motivations with the technique. But of course it in itself is not enough, so I also take Bryant's suggestions to also address the Real. In this case, the real infrastructure of government policy and how it too affects and manipulates outcome unconsciously. Like the structure of capitalism. We know we are being abused by our jobs and bosses but we need the money to feed the kids and pay the rent, etc. So government regulations on work day length, minimum wage, workplace safety etc. have been pivotal in allowing us to have more free time to not only enjoy family life but to pursue personal growth.

And then there's the real and emerging communication-energy-logistic infrastructure of the Commons. It's that real infrastructure that is actually changing our lives at the deepest levels toward a p2p culture. But again, such an emerging infrastructure requires the political will to enact law to make it a reality, from climate change regulation to an open internet. Yes, we need to approach this goal with multiple methods in an ILP, so to speak.

One of which, to further help with us getting underneath our unhealthy unconscious desires, is to cover not only traditional psychoanalysis on our health insurance plans but alternative therapies like Reichian and various bodywork and emotional release therapies. I've been fortunate to have embarked on a lengthy journey into this alternative world and it has helped me immensely to not only understand my unhealthy unconscious desires but to transform them into more healthy expressions. We are not trapped in them forever and there are things that help. Granted, like Bryant and Zizek our strictly ideological or intellectual methods can only go so far. But there are a lot of other therapies that go further, and of course getting them covered on health insurance is an issue that needs political implementation so people can afford to pay for this necessity.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.