European Psychology and its Rooting in the Interiority of the Middle Ages

Discussion in 'Immigration/Illegal Immigration' started by mlw, Nov 10, 2011.

  1. mlw
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    mlw Member

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    Some people appreciate the freshness of the "naive realism" of the Africans, and other Third World ethnicities. It contrasts starkly with the restrained persona of the ethnic Swede or Englishman, whose attitude of reservedness derives from a constant occupation with the inner world. We are still looking inwards, an attitude which the medievals instilled in us. However, as I will point out in the following lines, a psychology of "naive realism" will cause great social damage, and in the end pose a threat to the democratic order. Therefore it is imperative that the Western world remains true to the perspective of interiority. The notorious propaganda against the "Dark Ages" must cease. We must begin to appreciate the enormous impact of European Middle Ages in our lives today. In fact, in a sense, we need to go back to the source, to reawaken the Middle Ages, to replenish interiority.

    As Westerners have slowly begun to understand, Muslims moving to the West have a curiously anti-Western way of looking at things. Sharia is very much about regulating reality. For instance, this curious idea that women must always hide themselves behind large sheets of fabric—what's all that about? The focus on ego-protection is very central to the phallic-narcissistic level of culture. If women are allowed to show how attractive they are, the male is gripped by desire—he wants to own that woman who happens to pass him. But as he cannot have her, he experiences this as a violation of his ego. His ego must needs suffer constant narcissistic injury in a society which has not been adjusted according to very strict norms of control.

    This deep feeling of offence is difficult to comprehend for Westerners who do not suffer from a narcissistic syndrome themselves. Such a psychology has much in common with the chronic neurotic type. These people experience it as a violation of their ego if there exists another person in a discussion group who surpasses them intellectually, but who refrains from mutual narcissistic reinforcement (vulg. "butt-licking"). The latter ritual is very common among neurotics, and they seem to enjoy it as it is very gratifying to their ego.

    It is interesting to discuss the neurotic type as an atavistic phenomenon, a throwback to the phallic-narcissistic stage, perhaps influenced by genetic factors. The phallic-narcissistic psychic economy is inferior, while a modern psychic economy is more advanced and adaptable to the modern society. I posit the idea that neurotics tend to fall back on the primitive phallic-narcissistic way of functioning as a form of atavism. It's the same notion as an advanced machine, e.g., an airplane that is governed by computers and electric signalling. Should the advanced system malfunction, then it can be steered with mechanical wires. Likewise, a malfunctioning human psyche can fall back on a more primitive mode of functioning.

    Psychoanalysts have always observed that neurotics appear infantile in diverse ways. So they have always thought that the neurotic is stuck in a childhood way of functioning. This is another way of putting it, of course. But what if this "infantile" psychic economy represents an atavism, and what really happens is that the neurotic makes use of the "backup system"? In a sense his illness is rooted in childhood, but it is really a throwback to an earlier epoch in our history.

    Arguably, had the neurotic existed in that earlier epoch, he would not be neurotic, but his psychic economy would harmonize with the surrounding. There would be no disruptive modern people around who insist on thinking freely and questioning things. Society is wholly regulated and all people always keep to the olden ways. Now and then, every 100 years or so, the priest or medicine man presents a new idea. Otherwise society is like a big Kindergarten, where people are fitted into their respective roles, and there is really no such thing as true individuality. Arguably, this is the reason why neurotics are so keen on creating a regulated Kindergarten society. They want society to follow the olden ways, that harmonize with their own inferior psychic economy.

    In the Muslim world and elsewhere, women who reject their suitor sometimes gets acid thrown in their face. This is another way of destroying their attractive power and thus healing the ego of the offender. Those who, for instance, have power of intellect or beauty, and who won't lower themselves to mutual narcissistic reinforcement, are experienced as deadly threats to the weak ego. This could help to explain the unthinking nature of the phallic-narcissistic societies, and their cultural inferiority in everything that concerns the intellect. Arguably, the idea is to remove everything from society that risks harming the ego, thereby creating a harmonious society. As people at the phallic-narcissistic level are extremely prone to suffer narcissistic injury, society must be built on very strict control; rules, rules, rules, control, control, control. Beautiful women must be imprisoned behind four walls or their faces scorched, intelligent people must be removed, one way or the other. This will create an orderly society without incessant injury to the ego and adherent narcissistic explosions of rage.

    Arguably, the Islamic ban on iconic representation, especially of the human form, is predicated on the very same ego defensive tactic, to remove that which stirs the acquisitiveness of the ego. At this cultural level, the personality lacks the powers of control present at the Western level. Therefore, control must remain external, in the form of 'sharia' law, for instance. The "locus of control" is different. To Western man, with the exception of the neurotic type, "desire", "beauty", "fear", etc., are experiences that derive from the inside. To dwellers of the Third World, it's the other way round.

    Most notably, Africans typically experience that fear comes from without. If a black man passes a stranger he might experience a sudden fright. This means that he has been hit by something from outside, namely a form of evil emitted by that stranger. From this moment, he knows that the stranger is evil, some way or the other, and he has to take measures to defend himself. In Europe today, black people think they can return the evil spirit, and make it bounce back, by staring at the person who evoked their fright. They return the effects of the "evil eye" by reflecting it back as a mirror, they believe. In this way disease can be avoided, etc. The president of the Association of African-Swedes stated publicly that "-I see evil in the eyes of Swedes". For the same reason it is common to spit after Swedes, similar to the practice of spitting at black cats.

    To the Westerner the locus of control is different as we are endowed with the capacity of "projection". A characteristic of projection is that it can be withdrawn. If something evokes a feeling of fear, we are capable of withdrawing it immediately. So, yet again it is decided that a projection has emerged from the inside. As control has thus been internalized, there is less need for control on the outside. There is no need for the primitive ritual defenses that are so damaging to the social situation. I contend that the capacity of interiority is a necessary condition for the establishment of democratic society. There is an underlying expectation that the individual can take charge of himself.

    A Westerner who sees an attractive woman wearing a short skirt knows, in the general case, that the sexual attraction he experiences comes from the inside. It is his own sexuality which is stirred and he can therefore control it. In fact, his feeling of attraction has nothing to do with her. That woman likes to be beautiful and attractive because it strengthens her well-being. To a man lacking in interiority, however, that woman has emitted her sexual power which has hit him from the outside, and that's what causes his sexual arousal. It is tantamount to a sexual invitation. This psychological discrepancy creates immense social problems in Europe, today. It is also the reason why many immigrants experience European women as "whores".

    The capacity of interiority was cultivated during the European Middle Ages, when it decidedly took root in the human soul. The interior psychological perspective has its roots in Antiquity. It began to take shape around 600 BC(?) with the introverted ascetic traditions. Via pre-Christian Gnosticism, Stoicism, and Platonism, it blossomed out as Christianity, as formulated by Jesus, St Paul, St Augustine, etc. In history books, it is again and again pointed out how "inferior" Europe was during the "Golden Age" of Islam. The "ignorant" Europeans took recourse in faith, while the Muslims successfully cured many ills thanks to the teachings of Avicenna.

    It is a correct observation that Europe was lagging behind in the area of external knowledge. But this is a necessary consequence of the strong focus on interiority. This capacity, largely an effect of the strong devotion of the medievals, is what underlies European psychology today; our internal control locus, our democratic mentality, our capacity of not rushing to conclusion, but methodically to extract the truth. The Third World has never undergone such an era of interiority, which partly explains their backwardness today. Although medieval Europe is portrayed as inferior, in reality it was superior in terms of interiority, undergoing great suffering from the plague, etc., learning to withdraw projections from the world.

    Thus, faith became firmly rooted in the soul, as well as all other passions. When there exists no inner faith, there is a call to establish it on the outside, i.e., to institutionalize and regulate faith according to religious law. When passions grip the ego from outside, there is a call to create a perfectly regulated and undemocratic society, to take control of the demons.

    In this context it is relevant to discuss European-American cultural clashes. Ethnic Europeans can have projections and swiftly withdraw them, without even noticing that they occurred. They expect this capacity of the Americans, too. But it seems like the Americans (in very general terms, of course) have started to move away from the perspective of interiority. They expect other people to make them feel good, i.e. not to brusquely tell them the truth, but rather to make a false pretense, smiling when you ought to say what's on your heart, etc. Europeans, for their part, like to "tell it to your face" without much ado. Should the other party experience it as "evil", we expect him to withdraw the projection within a second. As a consequence, Americans can experience Europeans as overly frank and lacking in esteem.

    European businessmen experience the American attitude of pretense as extremely frustrating. They travel back to Europe and wonder why the order never arrives. In fact, the Americans only wanted him to feel good, they never intended to place an order. In fact, this very attitude is very outspoken among primitives. To the frustration of the anthropologists primitives tend to say the things they believe that the researcher wants to hear, in order to make him happy.

    This movement away from interiority is a worrying development. We begin to see a similar pattern in Europe, today. I have observed that some people have taken to smiling at every black person they meet, to convince him that he is not an evil demon, i.e. a racist. Traditionally, this is known as a false smile as it is just a mask of pretense. However, to the average African immigrant there is no such thing as false pretense since reality is what the outside impresses on you. If a person smiles at you it will make you happy, and this means that something good has come from the outside. It is a wholly uncritical and unthinking attitude, completely foreign to the European consciousness. If we are going to handle the looming social problems of society it is high time to abandon the homologous view of humanity. A good understanding of human variety will aid us in confronting future social problems. Psychological understanding, in itself, will have a good therapeutic effect on the very many people who are made to suffer due to the changing psychosocial patterns in society.

    MLW.
     
  2. mlw
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    mlw Member

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    This is also relevant to the discussion:

    "Contrasting Muslim And Western Psychologies: The Locus Of Control"

    "[Nicolai Sennels] writes the following about the different ways that Westerners
    and Muslims view the locus of control:

    There is another strong difference between the people of Western and Muslim
    cultures; their locus of control. Locus of control is a psychological term
    describing whether people experience their life influenced mainly, by internal
    or external factors. It is clear from a psychological point of view that
    Westerners feel that their lives are mainly influenced by inner forces –
    ourselves..."

    Contrasting Muslim And Western Psychologies: The Locus Of Control | Camels With Hammers

    W.
     
  3. editec
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    editec Mr. Forgot-it-All

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    Interesting post.

    Yes I think it reasonable to propose that some cultures are (or at least appear to an outside of that society) more childish than others.

    Socieities can appear to be insane to those of another society.

    There is certainly something to the theory that one can only think according to the value systems that one has absorbed through one's social value systems.
     

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