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  1. #1
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    Default What is the American frame of mind?

    What is the American frame of mind?

    I would say that a culture consists of the complex of ideas that a group of people hold dear. One can speak of the culture of a small group or of a very large group.

    In the United States our culture is determined to a large extent by how we hold "these truths to be self-evident"; we are held together by ideas perhaps more than other societies. Next, religion plays a great role, and in our case it is the mixture of Protestantism, Judaism, and Catholicism. Following this is our infatuation with capitalism; following that is our narcissistic view of our uniqueness and greatness.

    Our culture is a general attitude toward our self and toward the world based upon these four ideologies.

    To what powers have wo/men given allegiance in order to solve the paradoxes of life? To what or to whom have each of us given our uncritical allegiance? “Into what hero-system do I fit the expression of my talent”? What or whom has become my fetish-god?

    It is possible for the adult to choose which power s/he will serve; however, to do so, when the choice is contrary to one that has resulted from the family and community clan, is an extremely unusual and heroic act. “The great tragedy of our lives is that the major question of our existence is never put by us--it is put by personal and social impulses for us.”

    Very few of us discover our authentic talent—if it is ever found it is generally found accidentally through plain fate by us in our social milieu as we tap...tap...tap our blind way through life.

    From a personal point of view our principal task is to somehow find our way out of the fate that we stumbled into and to grow out of our idol worship and fetishism and to expand our horizons, allegiances, and to drop our mere preoccupations. We need to free our self from the opinions of others.

    “Since aggression is a reaction to frustration, by remaining tightly bound to the success of our social world we increase our aggressiveness, life invariable frustrates us.”

    [b]Disinterested knowledge is the energy bunny. It generates the energy for exploration and for overcoming some of the inhibitions conscious reason places on the unconscious.

    Studying disinterested knowledge is like taking off a month every year to visit a strange new land. Curiosity is reinvigorated and new meaning is created.[/b

    Knowledge is like a jigsaw puzzle. We have created many puzzles in coping with reality and when we received a new piece (knowledge) that does not fit our present puzzles we forgetaboutit. However, if through disinterested knowledge we have created new puzzles we might find a place for this new fragment of knowledge to fit; thereby this fragment becomes our new knowledge.

    Our mind is constantly working for us and when we do not give it a worthwhile project, i.e. a new puzzle, it will just waste away in boredom or worry.

    In America one might best see this attitude manifested by this frame of mind “I’ve Upped My Income; Now Up Yours”; a manifestation of this attitude may be seen in concrete form by the fact that 45 million citizens are without proper health care.

    Do you think that the attitude “I’ve Upped My Income, Now Up Yours” is an American frame of mind?


    Quotes from The Birth and Death of Meaning: An Interdisciplinary Perspective on the Problem of Man by Ernest Becker

  2. #2
    Don't Judge Me! Haphazard's Avatar
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    Word salad, much?
    -Carefully taking sips from the Fire Hose of Knowledge

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    Quote Originally Posted by Haphazard View Post
    Word salad, much?

    Learning to read without a teacher is demanding work but we all must pass through that stage

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    Babylon Candle Venom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by coberst View Post
    Learning to read without a teacher is demanding work but we all must pass through that stage
    Climb down off that high horse. If you're so high and mighty that people cant understand what you're writing, THATS YOUR FAULT. You are communicating POORLY. No matter how great you think you're message is, if no one can understand it, you're failing.

    Tip #1: your post looks like a wall of text. Format some paragraphs and you'll probably get a lot more reads.

    Tip #2: if you're going to post about stuff, maybe offer some explanations, comments or questions. Simply posting chapters of undigested word salad doesn't really offer much to a forum. The point of a forum is to interact

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    Protocol Droid Athenian200's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by coberst View Post
    Do you think that the attitude “I’ve Upped My Income, Now Up Yours” is an American frame of mind?[/b]
    Yes, definitely. Success in a society with such ideals can make people arrogantly assume things will go as smoothly for anyone who tries.

  6. #6
    Oberon
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    There, see? People seem to think that everyone who is successful had an easy time of it. I have never known that to be the case.

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    Artisan Conquerer Halla74's Avatar
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    The American Frame of Mind?

    OK, here it is in short.

    More now.
    Me, me, me.
    I'll pay for it later.
    Not in my backyard, but great idea otherwise.
    A pill for every ill.
    Double speak.
    No one remembers who won the silver medal.

    How's that?

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    Protocol Droid Athenian200's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Halla74 View Post
    The American Frame of Mind?

    OK, here it is in short.

    More now.
    Me, me, me.
    I'll pay for it later.
    Not in my backyard, but great idea otherwise.
    A pill for every ill.
    Double speak.
    No one remembers who won the silver medal.

    How's that?
    Sounds good to me. Better than coberst's, actually.

  9. #9
    Oberon
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    Quote Originally Posted by Halla74 View Post
    The American Frame of Mind?

    OK, here it is in short.

    More now.
    Me, me, me.
    I'll pay for it later.
    Not in my backyard, but great idea otherwise.
    A pill for every ill.
    Double speak.
    No one remembers who won the silver medal.

    How's that?
    I think that's the kind of superficial, mass-market impression one might get from watching a lot of television. I think there's another, older American outlook that you can still find if you dig a little. You'll find in it ideas like the following:

    • You deserve nothing more than what you have earned... and nothing less.
    • There are things worth dying for, and worth living for.
    • Sometimes doing your best isn't enough; you have to do that which is required.
    • Self-esteem proceeds naturally from achievement, and achievement from character. Self-esteem is an effect, not a cause.

  10. #10
    Artisan Conquerer Halla74's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by oberon View Post
    I think that's the kind of superficial, mass-market impression one might get from watching a lot of television.
    I disagree. I meant it to be more of a reflection of the modern, average American outlook on life. There's alot of variation for sure, but on average, we are a nation of self gratifying, impatient people who have deep belief in the wisdom and fortitude of our forefathers but limited capacity to implement such virtue into our society as a whole.

    Quote Originally Posted by oberon View Post
    I think there's another, older American outlook that you can still find if you dig a little. You'll find in it ideas like the following:

    • You deserve nothing more than what you have earned... and nothing less.
    • There are things worth dying for, and worth living for.
    • Sometimes doing your best isn't enough; you have to do that which is required.
    • Self-esteem proceeds naturally from achievement, and achievement from character. Self-esteem is an effect, not a cause.
    Yes, that is a good listing of "classic" American virture of yore, but such thinking is not unique to this continent's history, it is wisdom that has been considered by other cultures as well, by wise people of any nation, right? Those ideals are great, I have no issue with them, I just don't think they are reflective of our modern U.S. society, they are reflective of a small list of good people.

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