Friday, July 20, 2018

Envy and Jealousy

An article titled “The Upside of Envy” written by a philosophy professor was found in the May 6, 2018, The New York Times. The professor stated that he was envious of all the 60 and 70-year-old’s that have the ability to ride many miles, and that a friend his age had recently finished a marathon. He went on and quoted a number of outstanding thinkers regarding their thoughts about envy that included Nietzsche, “Envy and jealousy are the private parts of the human soul;” Francis Bacon “Envy keeps no holidays;” Kierkegaard, “Envy is secret admiration;” and Aristotle “…as the pain caused by the good fortune of others.” A Dictionary of Psychology did not include a definition of envy. It did, however, have a definition of jealousy “a complex emotional state, involving a sentiment of hate by one person for another, because of the relations of both to a third; the commonest form is sexual jealousy.” Jealousy begins early and common in development. It often occurs but not limited between siblings, with a perceived unfairness “that’s not fair” regarding receiving affection, attention, food, things, and love from parents. This professor stated that he hated those athletes because his injured body can’t keep up with them any longer. This professor was really saying that he despises his own weakened inadequate body; which is a significant component of his sense of self or self-esteem. The professor’s statement suggested that he was merely projecting his diminished frailty. On a personal level, when it comes to ultra-running events, I am typically, the oldest participant. I don’t know if others in my age group hate me? If so, it’s certainly a waste of negative, non- productive energy. I surely don’t hate the individual who finished ahead of me in my age group. What’s wrong with admiration, working harder and reality? TO Be Continued

Monday, July 16, 2018

Existentialism and Le Suicide Part 4

Add human detachment and lack of significant others to the equation, and this equals a higher negative ratio of pain to pleasure. Yes, there are too many individuals in our country that are hurting. These dependent and insecure individuals seek unrealistic and simplistic mechanisms to ease their pain like alcohol and drugs. Their sense of insignificance, ineptitude, unworthiness, lack of esteem, anxiety and stress results in them being unconsciously drawn to the false, illogical, exploitive promises of for profit colleges. Attending a non-expensive community college geared for the troubled learner is more difficult, since one has to sit in a classroom, study, take exams, etc. Another quick fix for the sense of the weakened and powerless individual is the unconscious drive to be protected and taken care of by double talking authoritarian and narcissistic politicians. Because these primitive unconscious motives are emotionally based, and remain with us during our lifetime, acting against one’s own self interests are repeated and par for the course. No, it’s not surprising that despair and suicide is on the rise. Unless things dramatically change in the socio economic and political spheres, we can expect the poorly educated with their limited skill set to remain vulnerable and hopelessly in the doom and gloom, emotional phase which is an existential crisis. In conclusion, with the inability to fulfill man’s basic needs of affiliation [cooperation, solidarity, love and friendship]; achievement [to accomplish, to master, to excel, and to work], results with significant interference in establishing a sense of purpose or meaning for an individual. When these important and necessary human components are not fulfilled, one’s sense of identity is compromised. In our society, when identity is negatively compromised, the result is often frustration and anger turned inward.

Sunday, July 15, 2018

Existentialism and Le Suicide Part 3

As far as finding meaning, also In the June 24, 2018, The New York Times was an article titled “The Snake Oil of the Second- Act Industry.” For example, we know that limited education and the closing down of industries in our country has affected many older or 50+ aged individuals. With clever “starting over,” “you’re own second act can actually be the most exciting, freeing and empowered era of your life” marketing, a new scam industry was created. This industry is “for-profit colleges,” and not the community college. These false, slick and unethical consumer operations promote useless and meaningless certificates; and create massive student debt. In this article, one student’s debt was $16,000 and another’s $59,000. Student debt for the middle-aged account for at least 17% of the $1.4 trillion in outstanding student loan debt for people over 50 years old. In fact, people 60 and older are the fastest-growing age segment of the student loan market. Moreover, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, over 33% of job seekers are age 55 and older. The long-term unemployed rates for people over 55 are triple the rates for those under 25. It’s difficult to find meaning, understanding, and/or not taking on a victim viewpoint in our Protestant ethic, capitalistic economic system when one loses their job, their career, their income and goes into unaffordable debt. Part-time employment, minimum wage, limited education, and paucity of skills results in a high external stress index score. This score correlates with a high internal stress index score as well, as one’s sense of self and sense of identity suffers greatly. For many, work and career make up an important part of one’s identity. That significant loss creates a large void or hole that’s difficult to fill. It’s no wonder that these vulnerable, older individuals, in this stage of their life, are frustrated, angry and stressed. Anger expressed inwardly with self-hate, and destructive impulses can lead to abasement behaviors and even suicide. To Be Continued

Saturday, July 14, 2018

Existentialism and Le Suicide Part 2

If viewing the problem of suicide from an existential viewpoint, lack of meaning or the crisis of meaninglessness; with greater human detachment; and a weaker sense of belonging are increasing the risk of existential despair. More specifically, a few diagnostic symptoms of an Affective Disorder include feelings of inadequacy, decreased effectiveness or productivity, social withdrawal, loss of interest in or enjoyment of pleasurable activities, inability to respond with apparent pleasure to praise or reward, pessimistic attitude towards the future, brooding about past events, or feeling sorry for oneself fit, correspond, and are associated with existential despair. Despite the electronic explosion of smart phones, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, etc., we continue to have significant loneliness among our inhabitants. They call loneliness an epidemic in Great Britain. A disruption to one’s affiliative needs runs counter to man’s nature. Affiliation or the necessity to unite with other living beings is paramount for growth and well-being. Loneliness suggests a perceived lack of belonging, connecting, and/or solidarity. This results in a sense of alienation, which has disastrous consequences for its effect on identity. To make matters worse, Electronics have reduced important face-to-face interaction, despite plenty of texting. People handle, touch, and fondle their smart phone more than they do others. They probably also fondle their pets more than other Homo sapiens as well. Living in a different era while residing In Detroit, as a teen, I delivered the Detroit News to people who resided on my block, etc. As a result of friendships with neighbor kids and my paper route customers, I became familiar with many of my neighbors. My mother, being a friendly type, also knew many in our neighborhood. I completed my PhD and subsequently took an assistant professorship at California State University in San Bernardino. It just so happened, that one of my former customers daughter had moved to Fontana, California. Talking with the neighbor, my mother gave me the phone number, and address in Fontana to contact. I arrived in San Bernardino on a Sunday morning and called my former neighbor. She was married and invited me over to meet the family. Her husband and I looked through the paper and found some rentals in the San Bernardino Mountains. We found a place near Lake Arrowhead, which I rented. That’s an example of face-to-face neighbor to neighbor interaction and meaningful interpersonal contact back in the day without the Internet, and without a cell phone. Those facts were all pluses on the balance sheet. To Be Continued

Friday, July 13, 2018

Existentialism and Le Suicide

According to British philosopher Jeremy Bentham, the idea of exchange or justifying an activity fits within his concept of pleasure and pain. For instance, going out for a morning run can be looked at “was it worth the time?” Perhaps another way of looking at it is to reframe it and call it a pleasurable activity. According to this philosopher, the aim of life was to have pleasure. Activities can be assessed by employing a simple plus or minus on a balance sheet. Hopefully, there will be more pleasure or pluses than pain or minuses during a lifetime. One can conclude that if the amount of pleasure was greater than the action of pain, the activity was worth doing. One can then add up all of life activities to determine “whether life was worth living.” A second question can conclude whether or not one’s life “was a failure,” or was a “success.” There is too much suicide behavior in our country, and motives for suicide are highly complex. Revenge, murder-suicide and melancholy, are some suicide motives. Emil Durkheim in Le Suicide wrote about “anomie” as a major cause of suicide .Anomie translated means or refers to the destruction of traditional social bonds. In other words, all genuine social life interaction has been violated. He believed that people living in the modern political state are “a disorganized dust of individuals” and that was written in 1897. Just think if he was alive today and what he might write about our political state? We know that alcoholism, drugs and opioids, and other escape mechanisms are symptoms of boredom and monotony of life. Further, thinking and feeling that life is a failure correlates with strategies of escape. This idea “Suicides are up. Is This an Existential Crisis?” was found in the June 24, 2018 edition of The New York Times. It was stated, in the article, that there has been a 25% increase in suicides since 1999 across most ethnic and age groups; despite the fact that more people are seeking treatment for depression and anxiety. To Be Continued

Monday, July 9, 2018

Being Part 4

The nurture side, which has been estimated to account for about 60- 70 % of who we turn out to be. Even though Dr. Watson thought of us as being a blank slate, we’re not. The intrauterine and subsequent birth begins the environmental process. As a result of parental caretaking, it’s believed that personality is formed prior to attending elementary school. We’re subjected to many personalities, activities, and interpersonal relationships within the culture. Radio, TV, movies, and electronic devices bombard us as well. Maybe there’s college, marriage, careers, children, divorce, unemployment, health issues, military service, etc. etc. throughout our life space. No wonder it’s difficult to attain a self-satisfying life. Forget about seeking happiness; and stop chasing illusions and/or fairytales. In summary, being or one’s essence is about growth, evolvement and development, as opposed to decay. This translates into eliminating “I used to,” “I remember when,” “in the good old good days,” “when I was …,” Growing old is not for sissies,” “I can’t run because my knees hurt ...etc. etc. etc.” from speech. Growth entails nurturing the mind and body in the present with both realistic aspirations and expectations along with future goals. A keyword is realistic. Producing, creating, giving to others, making things better and working out both the mind and body are paramount. The cliché “if you don’t use it, you’ll lose it” is true. There will likely come a time when decay becomes reality with a return to the earth. Just before, look back with a smile on your face, and that’s called integrity. Cofer, C. N. and Appley, M. H. Motivation: Theory and Research, John Wiley & Sons, Incorporated. Harari, Yuval Noah. Sapiens A Brief History of Humankind, HarperCollins.

Sunday, July 8, 2018

Being Part 3

One can marvel at the tremendous amount of information provided by Homo sapiens intelligence throughout the years. Currently, with the Internet, information about how to establish well-being can be received within a blink of an eye. However, some things don’t add up. For example, per suicide, white people and men are dying by the thousands. Nearly 84% of people who kill themselves are white, and about 77% of them are men. 49 of the 50 states saw their suicide rates increase over the course of a recent CDC study. Montana has the country’s highest suicide rate with veterans, accounting for more than 20%. Addictions are numerous and we currently have an opioid epidemic. Three quarters of the country are either obese or overweight. 1% of the country account for significantly much more wealth than the remaining 99%. More than 50% or so of the country are angry, prejudiced, concerned and politically divided. Too many in our country do not have health insurance. Educational divisions-achievement scores are particularly varied depending upon socioeconomic status differences {parents with more education, higher earnings, wealthier neighborhoods etc.} As a result of many of these issues, it is obvious that too many Americans are not living the good life, despite the plethora of available information. This means that a good life is dependent upon nature and nurture. Within our nature is our wonderful brain that has many functions, including mood, memory, hormone regulation, higher cognition, abstract thought, comprehension of language, social behavior, creativity, problem-solving, perception and navigation to name a few. So, the execution of behavior has short and long-term consequences. What may be good at this moment, may be disastrous in the long term. In other words, despite seeking pleasure, we continue exhibiting irrational and self-defeating painful behavior. It’s decision-making over a lifetime. Adolescent decision-making is usually different from middle-aged decision-making. There are always consequences for the obvious and the less obvious. In addition, wishing for the fountain of youth, winning the lottery, or taking the magic pill maybe just infantile and preoperational thinking at best More To Follow.