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Thread: What tool is available to break the hold of apathy?

  1. #1

    Default What tool is available to break the hold of apathy?

    What tool is available to break the hold of apathy?

    Our habit of seeking accustomed satisfactions prevents us from finding new sources of energy with which to see or create new meanings. Blind habit controls our every turn. Familiar modes of thought and accustomed perceptions lock our imagination and will into a strait jacket of passivity.

    What tool is available to break this passive mold of inaction and apathy? It is playful imagination that can lead us from the jailhouse we have trapped our self within. We need to remind our self of Plato’s wise expression that the gods are happiest when man plays. This playful attitude applies both to our sciences as well as our arts. It applies to all of wo/man’s symbolic activities.

    Physicists found the world inside the atom to be non-intuitive. The world inside the atom seemed to be totally different from our world. Heisenberg’s principle of indeterminacy was about an alien world. If, however, we were able to climb into the atomic world it is quite possible that the principle of indeterminacy would be ‘just doing what comes naturally’.

    Some of history’s great thinkers have penetrated into the human mind long before Freud. Rousseau, for example, comprehended an aspect of “unconscious motivation”. “The moral of this anecdote is that the honest man can see through himself even quicker than the honest scientist can see through nature.”

    We could have comprehended the science of the human condition much sooner than we did and the reason we did not is because of the “intolerance of method, the claims to exclusivity, the doctrine of a single valid approach to the study of man…The place where this took its greatest toll was in the fragmentation of the disciplines, the isolation of the various approaches to man. But undoubtedly the most harmful intolerance of all was the intolerance of philosophy in the science of man.”

    In the reaction to various philosophical speculations, the scientific community in the mid-nineteenth century shouted ‘no more speculations were needed about the nature of man’. The scientific community followed by the population in general decided that it was only important to discover what was going on within the organism. Psychiatry became uncompromisingly organismic. Science failed to see that its methods were narrowing significantly humanities real striving.

    Pragmatism at the end of the nineteenth century was a response to this narrow scientific approach toward the “science of man”. It became obvious that we must understand what wo/man is striving for, “as a part of nature, as a dimension of life”.

    Rousseau taught us that humans wanted meaning and maximum conviction but a major question that the scientific method could not resolve “What was behind all of man’s peculiar urges, what was he trying to do as a vehicle of the life force? For only if we could understand this abstract problem could we answer the greatest practical puzzle of all: What were the possibilities of life on the level of human existence; and, conversely, what was there about the human condition that was hopeless?”

    What are the limitations and possibilities for human life?

    Ideas and quotes from Beyond Alienation by Ernest Becker

  2. #2
    Member Array Fuulie's Avatar
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    Aug 2009


    In my limited experience, apathy can't be broken without the express permission of the sufferer. Hence, I don't know of any one tool...
    Wait, what did you say again?

  3. #3
    . Array Blank's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2009


    Corporal Punishment.
    Ti = 19 [][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][]
    Te = 16[][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][]
    Ne = 16[][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][]
    Fi = 15 [][][][][][][][][][][][][][][]
    Si = 12 [][][][][][][][][][][][]
    Ni = 12 [][][][][][][][][][][][]
    Se = 11[][][][][][][][][][][]
    Fe = 0

    Tiger got to hunt, bird got to fly;
    Man got to sit and wonder why, why, why;
    Tiger got to sleep, bird got to land;
    Man got to tell himself he understand

  4. #4


    Solitude is a valuable resource when changes of mental attitude are required—“solitude can be as therapeutic as emotional support from a friend”.

    Our way of thinking about life and ourselves is so habitual that it takes time and effort to change attitudes—people find it difficult to make changes in attitude but solitude and perhaps changes in environment facilitate changes in attitude because habit is fortified by external environment—religion is well aware of these facts—only through experience of change in environment can one know if such change will facilitate change in attitude—“one needs not just solitude but one needs to be able to sink roots into some replenishing philosophy also”.

    Solitude is not to subject oneself to sensor deprivation, which can lead to hallucinations. One needs the stimulation of the senses and the intellect.

    Imagination—solitude can facilitate the growth of imagination—imagination has given humans flexibility but has robbed her of contentment—our non-human ancestors are governed by pre-programmed patterns-- these preprogrammed patterns have inhibited growth when the environment changes—humans are governed primarily by learning and transmission of culture from generation to generation and is thus more able to adapt—“for humans so little is predetermined by nature and so much is dependent upon learning”—happiness, the contentment with the status quo is only a fleeting feeling—“divine discontent” is the gift of our nature that brings moments of ecstasy and a life time of discontent—the present is such a fleeting part of our reality that we are almost always in the past or the future.

    I think that a regular dose of solitude is very important for everyone, young and old. Does that make sense to you? I think that each individual needs to make radical adjustments in their attitude toward learning when school dazes are over. Solitude might be helpful in facilitating such adjustments.

    This stuff comes from reading Solitude: A Return to the Self by Anthony Storr. Most of this is snatches of text that is sometimes a paraphrase and sometimes a quotation

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