Posts filed under ‘Denial’

Everything Old is Jung Again…

This snippet from a long and thoughtful post called “Double Binds” by Antonio Dias caught my eye…

I firmly believe that we are tied to our own perspectives. Everything is personal, once we are disabused of the benefits of commodification and compartmentalization. I keep returning to Jung.
“…when an inner situation is not made conscious, it happens outside, as fate.”

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February 9, 2011 at 1:38 am Leave a comment

Test 22: You’re dead a long time, and I feel fine

This test, the “Sense of Symbolic Immortality Scale” is a 26 item test with a 1 = strongly disagree to 7 = strongly agree scale. A little reverse scoring and you end up with a score. I was roughly in the 70th percentile, which is OK, considering the baseline is a bunch of nutjobs who believe in a Bearded Sky God who is personally interested in their wretched little lives, and who will plonk them on a cloud to play the harp for the rest of time. Sheesh.

There’s, inevitably, some spiritualist woo-woo in here – if you disagree with the statement “I feel that in spite of my inevitable death, I will always be an integral part of the world” you get marked down.

Ditto, if you “have the feeling that human nature is doomed to destruction” you also lose points….

And bizarrely (another cock-up?) you lose points for affirming that “my love life brings me joy.” Interesting logic there, if that’s what it is…

Anyway, look, Sisyphus has to be imagined happy. It would be fun to do an existentialist version of this test, but I simply can’t be bothered. Bad faith, I know.

January 29, 2011 at 7:02 am Leave a comment

Of Elephants in the Room…

Via Barbara Adam’s book “Time” I stumbled on the really interesting sounding academic Eviatar Zerubavel.

One of his books “The Elephant in the Room: Silence and Denial in Everyday Life” is described thus –

The fable of the Emperor’s New Clothes is a classic example of a conspiracy of silence, a situation where everyone refuses to acknowledge an obvious truth. But the denial of social realities–whether incest, alcoholism, corruption, or even genocide-is no fairy tale.
In The Elephant in the Room , Eviatar Zerubavel sheds new light on the social and political underpinnings of silence and denial-the keeping of “open secrets.” The author shows that conspiracies of silence exist at every level of society, ranging from small groups to large corporations, from personal friendships to politics. Zerubavel shows how such conspiracies evolve, illuminating the social pressures that cause people to deny what is right before their eyes. We see how each conspirator’s denial is symbiotically complemented by the others’, and we learn that silence is usually more intense when there are more people conspiring-and especially when there are significant power differences among them. He concludes by showing that the longer we ignore “elephants,” the larger they loom in our minds, as each avoidance triggers an even greater spiral of denial.
Drawing on examples from newspapers and comedy shows to novels, children’s stories, and film, the book travels back and forth across different levels of social life, and from everyday moments to large-scale historical events. At its core, The Elephant in the Room helps us understand why we ignore truths that are known to all of us.

Probably should read it along side Stanley Cohen’s States of Denial…

UPDATE – Have just looked at the Amazon reviews – ooops. Three of ’em, all two stars. This is a short book, with long footnotes…. Cohen it will have to be then…

January 9, 2011 at 7:23 am Leave a comment


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