Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Personas and Internalizations

This is an old essay I just touched up. It is the basis for the other one I sent out about the Engines of habit. Some engines become images or personas. Rereading this I realize what a dry writer I can sometimes be. I should develop this more.


Personas and Internalizations

            The mind uses images of a person in order to see that person. Just as our summer in 5th grade can be remembered as one entity all at once, so too do we remember our friend all at once. There is the image of him. It is a complex image, containing his full history, our full history of dialogue with him, our full history of thinking on him. How do we use this image?

            The image is a sort of plug by which we can communicate to our friend. We plug the image into him, and thus we can talk to him as a familiar. But when he is absent, we can coddle and interact with the image itself, and this is what all religious people do with their “God,” or “Buddha,” or “Kristna.” Unlike completely abstracted ideas, which are simpler, these complex personality abstactions are too sophisticated to understand, and thus require animation by plugging into the real person. Or, with those who have a “God” image, they plug into scriptures, and especially into a religious group.

            Such an image plug allows us to know a person; it brings forth millions of unconscious expectations by which we can evaluate the person’s present state.

            The image plug plugs into our sensations of the other. Yes, but the other end of the image plug does not plug into our “self,” but it plugs into our self-persona. For every image—for every person we know, and indeed, every type of person we know—we have a certain mask we wear. This is not a mask that obscures, for there is no face. In fact, it is our face, but not our only face. The self is a complex ocean, which only becomes visible and solid when spoken. The self is omniscient, but speech is semiscient. We say much less than we know.

            Thus, to continue with the electronics metaphor, the self is a sort of electricity which requires four connectors to touch the other person: our image persona, our image plug, his image plug, his image persona. Through these four intermediaries, which are, in fact, four types of language, we draw in and out a new source of energy: intimacy.

            Therefore, we do not dialogue merely between our image of the person and the image self-persona it plugs into, but we also dialogue with our friend’s image of us. We must constantly correct how he sees us, the criticism and innacuracies he project unto us. Not that we must think of this constantly, for most of communication is without analysis. Most talk is “mindless”; intimacy may require little intelligence.

            Thus, she plugs into me, and I plug into her, but not at the same point. I plug my image of her into her mask for me, and she plugs her image of me into my mask for her; a chiasmus.

Do we play a different part for everybody we know? The metaphor here is that we are the same person, and we wear a different persona depending on our company. The person underneath, is he really the same underneath every persona? A personality is essentially a verbal contruction. It is a series of language engines evoked for a given situation. There is also a persona-for ourselves. When we are alone, we are in contact with yet another persona, who is not more nor less "real" than when we are with a mate, with our parents, etc. All of them are constructed. We might enjoy being this one more than that one.The Self of a person, however, is the needcenter beneath mind, persona, habits, history.

A persona, a personality, is a connected set of language engines.

The part of us that talks is a persona. Even when we are alone, we are alone with our personafor ourself. The person we see in the mirror is a mask we wear in front of ourselves. Below that, deep below, are the invisible needs.

            The persona requires reorientation, engaging its external correlate.

            We internalize our tools. We internalize our world. We are what we do. And we take in our full world, and make a world-image in ourselves by which to interpret the world external. In all our experience, we have within us the wide experience of the all.

            But man is most hypnotized by his own instruments. Consider the computer. Lately, we have whole branches of psychology based on the metaphor that “the mind is a computer.” Cognitive psychology is based on this. Much of our intuitions are based on this. Lately, certain scienitific scholars like to talk of the universe being made out of information. It is called the “information model of the Universe.” This is so appealing because we love to play with our computers, and it is fun to take the next step and say, “and its all a computer.” Like Shakespeare and his “all the world’s a stage,” or anybody in any profession saying, “not only my job, but also the world.”

            We internalize our world, we internalize our job, we internalize our society, but not by analysis. We swallow them whole, but only after many attempts. One never learns the world by analysis. Analysis is an after the fact intellectualization of learning, is philosophizing, is violencing the world. Analysis, indeed, is the way to destroy and learn the secrets. Analysis is the birthright of the ruling class, the masters, only they shed work and philosophize.

            The world as a whole is internalized, is a “persona” requiring constant input. Personas require input from the external—the persona is the interface between the self and the external. We cannot internalize another self. What we internalize is always really a part of ourself. Thus, fantasy will never fully suffice unless it is mixed with externality. We can only see what is already within us, we can only find what is already within us.

            Men internalize their environments, in the persona whole. Especially, a man becomes his tools. They extend him, and he intends them. Man invented the computer, now man is a computer—ask any pyschologist. Man invented the internet. Now mankind is www.

            Within us we have the incommunicable I, the personafor, and the imageof. But of the I we also have the face of I, or the personafor ourself. This is our self image, necessarily an interpretation of the self. Between this I and the personafor, we need nodes of connection, the parts of our friend where they share a virtue that we also have. Where these contact, a flow of esteem goes either into their image, or from their image into our I, and creates a tension of difference.

            This “esteem” is in fact differentiated Crea (will-fuel), to continue the metaphor. That such a dynamic exists between us and the image of our intimates gives us an unconscious attitude toward the friend. When we connect our imageof them into their personafor us, these differences of esteem are communicted as honor, envy, distrust, appreciation etc. Rarely do we realize the full intricate set of energies behind each atom of speech.

            The esteem itself is only partially differentiated. It is energy to be used for me or her in our relationship. But it is further differentiated/ interpreated according to my habits of affect, love, fear, etc.

            Our conscious speaks to his conscious, our unconscious speaks to his unconscious, and rarely are we able to speak consciously to his unconscious.

            The glue of a friendship is allowed by an exchange of esteems and values. We call this “mutual regard,” and insofar as this regard is differentiated into affection, “love.”

            There are in fact four sources of crea in a friendship: inness, esteem, value, will.

            Inness is to create the image in itself. This image becomes a source of energy, both to be sent out to the person, and also to be put into ourselves. Friendship invigorates. It is by inness, and especially by connection with the outer friend that we internalize a mood from the other. Live with a wife, and you will both feel depressed at the same time, enthusiastic at the same time, because of the intimacy of connection.

            All other people are experienced directly, as if we were them. All thinking of others is sympathy, compassion, etc, at least for a conscious second, and finally unconsciously much longer, where the consious awareness of them is replaced by a reaction to them. That reaction is fed by the initial and persistent identification we first made.

            Whenever we read a story, we identify with every character, we are each character. We feel all that is felt. Only we are conscious of little of it.

            For it is impossible to see without feeling. If a I feel wretched with the wretch, my highest kindness is to repress that wretchedness, and build upon it the next step, the triumphant attitude that defeats the wretchedness.

            For to see is first to idenitfy with, and then immediately progress beyond.

            All relationships are sex and violence, that is, crea, which is both a tearing apart of the other, and a creative identification with the other. Mostly unconscious. We struggle constantly. Casual talk is much deeper than the weather.

            We feel as he feels for the smallest conscious moment, and then use this as a source of our attitude towards him. To consciously identify with him or her for a long time might give us a more powerful interpretation, or it might not.  One cannot understand nor misunderstand another with internalizing him, being him, feeling his world through direct experience.

            To pity him would be a revenge against him. We must identify stronger than that.

            A marriage doesn’t start until the fifth year of intercourse. Only through this continual mutual creation are the two in sync, and prepared to creatively shape an Us. There is no human way to be married before this.

            The same for a Great book. The world’s greatest treasures are her books. To internalize the conceptual persona of a book, the narrator of a narrative or of a nonfiction treatise, requires marriage intimacy. It requires sex and disputes. Shy from these and you will never have it.

            Emotions are contagious because we identify with those we see. Those with the most persistent moods affect the most people. This is why mentally ill people ought to be treated.

            Esteem is a factory of crea. Once we have placed a token of esteem, that token produces a usable quantity, which revitalizes us during the absense from our friend.

            We esteem ourselves, we esteem others, and we also thus esteem his esteem, and can gain more esteem from his appreciation.

            Insofar as a node of esteem is greatly different, we may either intimate, or disconnect. If we intimate, then we must honor and respect him.

            Of will there are three types: violence, charisma, nobility. Either we follow a will by being forced to, and thus by fear, or by charisma, in which we wish to please the enforcer, and thus by rhetoric, or by nobility, in which we wish to honor the idea of the noble, and thus be a wish to identify with him.

            Will produces crea by focus. We charge an idea with power by focusing on it. A weak will needs external sources for reinforcement in order to act, and cannot self-discipline. Such a will does well to find a noble cause external to itself to reinforce and enforce itself.

            In every situation between me and other, there is a contrast of wills, and this contrast is known immediately and unconsciously by body language. Self-discipline, by the way, is the best gift a parent can give. With it you can do anything.

            Many people are weak willed, and need to belong to a group, community, work-place in order to borrow the will power of the leaders and the collective.

            A value is something we create in the world, and exchange for something else in the world. Money and goods are valuables we exchange. Many relationships focus on this aspect the most.

            These are sources of willpower, crea. Esteem is the belief in the value of an object, a sense of importance. It derives from an interpretation of the needs. Values , will, and innerness all are in fact syphons of need, are the differentiation and cultivation of need power.

            When the Other is an Idol (God, Karma, Nirvana, etc.) it may still be a powerhouse despite its static nature. We put our own factories into the image. Since we don’t value ourselves, this external esteem allows us to thank God for the bread that we broke our own back to earn. This sort of hypnotism is necessary for those who feel unable to valorize himself.

            Personas are sewing machines. Critiques are the mouths that eat them up.

            What is in the heart is too near, to painful, to delicate, to be touched directly. And so most people do not internalize, do not directly pierce their own heart. They unconsciously project their heart unto the world, the world being more plastic than the mind and heart, and they actualize themselves externally, they fight their shadow in the person of a boss or a neighbor, they love their inner child in the form of a wounded animal, and also use other indirect ways to “know thyself.”

            Those lacking in will but not in obedience prefer to externalize their will. A man who grumbles and yet follows his boss, his father, his wife, has a weak will, and unconsciously he recognizes this, and so he makes other people into his will. He makes an external system to substitute his will. In this way, all our possessions, all our friends and family, are literally part of our I, and without them, with the loss of any of them, the I himself is cut, is broken, is changed.

            As much as we oppose our enemies and our challenges, we in fact love them, love to suffer them, and make them happen again, the same problems keep happening over and over, inescapably, and we don’t know that we are happy.

            From the rich soil of our memories we may assume two things: personalities and systems, or ideas and concepts. A personality is a dynamic conceptual system fronting the creative needs. When we assume a personality, we take in an organic whole from the person in our world, and make an image. This internalized persona is taken in, internalized, intimized. Thus image is a system of memories, expectations, problems, questions, and the direct connection to our multivalent feelings towards the person. This image becomes our eyes when we meet the other person in the real world. We understand her through her image, and are thus surprised when she contradicts it.

            This explains why teenage boys, for instance, believe they have found the Goddess in their silly classmates, and adulate them with the most hyperbolic phrases. They have in fact used their girlfriend merely as the starting point for a grand portrait. Thus when they become disillusioned, they can snap to cruelty very quickly.

            We can say that we love others through an image we have of them. And in the absense of the other—death or dumping—we continue to love the image. It may lack the spontanaity of a living personality, but its life within us still marks itself as alien and other.

            Questions of “superegos,” the spirit of a generation, a chuch, a group, a family, a nation, etc. are in fact internalizations of personalities as an extra pair of eyes to see through. (A man is like a fly, ever looking at the world with hundreds of eyes, some borrowed, some home grown.)

            Dante’s image of Beatrice is nearly complete fiction, based on a quick internalization, yet the woman grew and transfigured. Her image grew autonoous.

            Thus people feel guilty before “God,” by which they presumably mean Yahweh the war God; or perhaps they ponder the violent words of Christ. They are able to “meet Jesus,” to “invite him into their heart,” just the way any fictional character is let into your heart: the assumption is designed to assume patterns into personalities. For this reason, we feel other people to be Gestalts, though we experience them only as fragments.

            The image becomes an internalized persona to conduit energy from the world, a way of seeing, a way of seeing her and a way of addressing her. We have two eyes on her. We have the full her experience, what she is as a whole, and we have the “how do I feel towards her now” experience. This is akin to the two eyes of focus, one on the All, the other on the Specific.

            “Those abstract ideas make sense,” you say, and you speak no contradiction. Focusing too is a sensation, the effort of focus and the free of release are sensations, and the building blocks of experience.

            A representative must contain all whom he represents. Their personas must be comprehended.

            How difficult to be angry with nonpersons, mere things. If I stub my toe, I do not really growl at the rock for tripping me up, but at the imagined audience, who always view me, from somewhere in my head, and jeer at such mistakes.

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