38 minutes | Mar 1, 2023
40: Anger, Depression, and Choice
Well the text below isn't super close to the words I actually uttered forth in my podcast, but here they are anyway. Enjoy and thanks for listening/reading! Monday, May 20, 2022 Offense a Conscious Choice? More on the idea that it’s not totally accurate to say that getting offended or getting angry is a conscious choice. (Or getting anxious or …) Friday, June 2, 2022 Insight vs. New Information and Logic So I’m thinking about insight versus kind of actual new information, or might we say, conclusions or whatever. So what is insight? To me you get an insight just purely from thinking about something. It’s an observation. Maybe that’s a better concept, an insight is an observation. Then in the theoretical world, and really the world in general, you make an insight into an assumption or something, you use that insight to explain the world. And so all these theories develop that are based on one idea and one idea only. Evolution, for example. Or behavioral theory. Or brain chemicals, or sunlight, or cognitive theory,…. And of course none of these theories explains everything well on their own. In fact, even together they don’t necessarily explain things that great. Maybe I’m just biased because I know that the principle of self deception isn’t in there. But anyway none of them explain everything, and that includes the theory of self deception. It doesn’t explain everything by itself. These are all parts of the machinery, right? All parts of the mechanism that work together to influence us to do what we do. Anyway what is the difference between an insight, and observation, an assumption, a conclusion, and anything in between? Maybe you can make anything into an assumption, or maybe to use a better word, you can take any idea and, assuming it to be true, reason from there. That idea may be right and it may be wrong. But you can reason from it all the same, just like you can do math using one number or another, you’ll just get an erroneous result if you start out using the wrong number or the wrong idea. I wouldn’t mind strengthening my ability to do logic. I wonder how I would do that? I’m sure there are books on it and maybe even YouTube videos. My minor in logic was a good primer, and the logic I used to program stuff for work is good training, and other reasoning in life all helps. I have the idea that Socrates loved to use words and phrases and statements in logic and go in a very step-by-step fashion through it to say what he wanted to say or make the point he wanted to make. But I feel like he changed the meaning of words or phrases in the middle of the process somehow to get people to agree to stuff that they didn’t really think based on statements they would agree to. Something like that. Isn’t that cold sophistry? Or maybe that Sophocles did that and that’s why they call it sophistry. But I feel like Socrates did that too, kind of twisting stuff to his own benefit sometimes. But he was right a lot of the time too. Listing Psychological Principles I’m also wondering about making a big list of psychological principles. Thursday, June 9, 2022 Moral Accountability for Self-Deception and Choices Just a little thought to tack onto the discussion (is it written down or did I just say it in my podcast?), The discussion on the thought that if we are not held morally accountable for all of our self deception. I started trying to say, as I was doing my podcast, how mental illness probably isn’t in the category of stuff that we’re morally accountable for. But I was starting to wander into an area that I unsure about, so I stopped, and even erased what I started in the podcast. But my additional thought about that is that we don’t experience life as a continual stream of choice or whatever before us. That’s how I’ve heard it described by some philosophers I guess I’ll say. We experiences, I mean we experience choices. They’re more discrete and isolated. They’re not continual. Can you imagine how exhausting it would be to be making significant moral decisions at every moment? What does that even mean? What kind of a concept is that? It’s like the philosopher who made the riddle about shooting an arrow and it never being able to reach the target, because every time it got to half way there you could divide the remaining distance in half, and then when it got to that half you would divide the remaining distance in half, and so on ad infinitum, and so how could an arrow ever travel an infinity of distances? It’s like that. Of course we know the arrow gets there just fine. So something is wrong with the concept of an Infiniti of possibly infinitesimally small distances rather than with the arrow. And the target. Friday, June 17, 2022 Funny how division works (referring to the above discussion) :) So if you divide something by infinity, and then multiply the result by infinity, do you get that same number you started out with? :) What is the result, anyway, of that first division? —— Jane Clayson on Depression and Power Over Emotions "So I guess that’s the difference for me is when I’m discouraged I’m a free agent of my emotions, and when I was clinically depressed I feel like I certainly wasn’t." -Jane Clayson In 'All In' podcast, 13:25 She couldn’t feel the Spirit when she was depressed. What of the idea, expressed by that one lady who wrote the article I didn’t love about mental health and the Church, that we all have the ability to cease from sin--unless we’re mentally ill?
30 minutes | Aug 2, 2022
39: Self-Deception is Not Necessarily Sin
SBK039 Self-Deception is Not Necessarily Sin Transcript by Microsoft Office 365 dictate/transcribe – not super great, had to do tons of editing just to turn many many separated fragments on separate lines into sentences and paragraphs, not to mention the wrong words and everything, but here you go! *music* All right, good enough. Welcome to the Should Be Known Podcast, I am Clayton Pixton. If you're new and episode 39 is your very first episode, we talk about principles of psychology on this podcast, but not the ones that I guess you may be used to if you were used to talking about psychological principles from a psychology book or any of the kind of established sources of psychological knowledge or whatever, not to diss them, necessarily, at this moment, but we are taking it kind of afresh from the perspective of, what, just common sense and deriving principles from what I see and from, I guess revealed truths of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We draw upon the scriptures and inspired words that are consistent with the truth as taught by the Holy Ghost. And common sense, and then just ideas that we have that we don't know are true, which is called theories...yeah, theories are part of science, but you have to understand them right. Theories are theories. Science kind of makes up theories to explain what it sees and then...And goes yeah, yeah, that must be what's going on, and then it finds out, oh wait a minute, these things are inconsistent and then everybody says no, no, this is the theory, this is what we've accepted, it's right. And then some smart person is able to break through some ground and say no 'cause look - there are all these inconsistencies, and tell you what - I have a better explanation, a better theory and then ...Finally, after decades or generations maybe, hopefully though, not that long, people start to accept it, and then science actually moves forward. So I've got a little chip on my shoulder, maybe, with some of these things because I come from outside of the establishment and I'm used to being kind of, I don't know, rejected a little bit maybe, and I'm not...I'm not part of the establishment. I have a minor in psychology, ok, I have a major in philosophy. That's all I have. And I think about things, but I enjoy it and I actually think there's a lot of truth there to be had. I think that a lot of people are barking up the wrong tree, and what do we say I...I don't want to get too Far on a maybe negative path. I want to do some constructive stuff here, but yeah, that is not the introduction I was necessarily planning on, but there it is. It's been a little while since I've recorded a show, and the podcast is meant to be investigative. We're on a journey. I don't come to you with all the things I've already figured out, just with thoughts. But moving in a positive direction I hope. Yeah, so let's do some more music and then we'll go from there. *music* All right? Well, lots to talk about. Last episode we talked about the lectures on faith. OK, do you remember those, they were from Joseph Smith's time? It was a series of lectures or lessons kind of thing. Seven of them. They were actually canonized of a sort together with actual revelations from the Lord. But they are of a different nature really, so I don't know if you'd say canonized, but they were published as part of the doctrine and covenants first. It was called the Book of Commandments and Doctrine and Covenants. And I talked about that, and one of the first statements that came out of there. They're about faith, and how faith is like the main principle of action in all intelligent beings, actual statement goes like this - they quote the scripture: “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” From this we learn that faith is the assurance which men have of the existence of things which they have not seen; and the principle of action in all intelligent beings. And I paused there, and I was like, Oh well, I actually don't know how it says that last part. Doesn't actually say in the scripture that I could see that it's the principle of action in all intelligent beings and I said, but I'm going to go with that because I wanted to go with that and talk about it. But yeah, the more I think about it, the harder it is for me to see how that derives from that. It kind of doesn’t to me. And I also listened to a thing by a scholar that I know well [Noel Reynolds]. He was my stake President at BYU, which is my ecclesiastical leader, and he's a great scholar actually, and he kind of did a lot of research and figured out that the lectures on faith, the authorship points very strongly to not Joseph Smith, but to Sidney Rigdon, who was also an elder in the church, he was like in the first presidency, you might say, with Joseph Smith. He didn't continue, however, in that calling and in his in all his convictions. I guess you'd say he parted ways with Joseph Smith later, but anyway, so it it makes me, you know. Question a little more what is being said. However, I don't want to take away from whatever may be true there. But just just a little, you know, heads up there that faith very well may be the what is it called the principle of action and all intelligent beings but now I feel like I'm going to have to rethink that and be like, OK, is that really the case? I can't just plain old trust it like I maybe thought I could before but you know it's like most things. I'm pretty trusting of the scriptures. But you have you have to read everything. But you have to read everything with, well, with the spirit of the Lord, or else you're not going to know one thing from the other. You're not going to be able to discern truth from error. So whether you're reading in scripture or prophets’ words or some guys book or speech, or lecture or something you're not going to have any guide to know what of that is true or not unless you yourself have the Holy Ghost with you. The spirit of the Lord with you. So, doesn't make it easy, doesn't make it easy, but that's the way life is. It's kind of your/my responsibility, to have that as a way to discern truth from error. OK, so I said what I need to say about the lectures on faith. I had a thought last night which will be my next thought here. We Are not morally accountable for all of our self deception. OK, we talk a lot about self deception here. You should know what it is by now, but I'll be nice and kind of say it again. Self deception is whenever you go against the truth that you know, the truth being the kind of right and wrong that we all have access to. We kind of call it our conscience, but it's more than that. But in this I guess in this case, at least, that's all it needs to be. If we ever go against that, then we kind of automatically deceive ourselves. We kind of have to tell ourselves a lie in order to do that to justify ourselves. That's kind of an oversimplification, but you can think of it that way. So yeah, self deception but… We're not morally accountable for all our self deception. Really, that's that easy. We are not consciously aware of our sense of right and wrong all the time. That sense of right and wrong is with us at all times. We've talked about this in episode 3 and others, but it is called the light of Christ in Scripture or the spirit of Christ. And it permeates all things. It's through all things. I don't want to pretend like I understand it completely. I think I know enough to say we cannot escape from it, so if we can't escape from our knowledge of right and wrong on a certain level, then whatever we do, that's wrong, whether we're taught that or not, we have to engage in self deception to do that. Let's see, we're not morally accountable for all our self deception. So I would submit that a child can very easily engage in self deception. Very easily. As you know, young child who I would also say is not morally accountable for their actions. Yet they don't, they're not held accountable before God. Do they maybe kind of know? Right from wrong, I mean kind of. Yeah, they're learning it. They still got the light of Christ. They don't have a lot of knowledge or experience and stuff, but they're able to get in patterns of self deception. Who's more responsible - them or their parents? Or other people? Well, I don't want to get in a blame game yet about parents and children but… Let's see how do I explain this? I feel like I had it clear in my mind, when I came up with it. Basically some people conceive of self-deception - and understand me right - Most people have no clue what self-deception is. Don't necessarily believe in it. Or if they do, they think it's something different than what I'm saying. But among the very few who ever think about self-deception in the way that I'm thinking about it, there are some who would call it a moral thing. All the time. Like if we self deceive we're going against our knowledge and we're sinning. So that's what they say, and that's what I'm saying is not correct necessarily. We can do that because we do sin - we do act against our better knowledge many times and we self deceive that way as well. It's all self deception, but it also includes self deception by people who are not held morally accountable before God, such as small children or people who don't have the mental capacity to know right from wrong and be accountable before God. OK, moving on. My house is empty. Everybody is at celebration at the station. I live in Kansas City area and I may join them after this, but I was really hot and not feeling the greatest and I really wanted to do this podcast frankly and some other stuff so I'm not with the rest of my family. But I have been, last whole weekend my my daughters were in Wichita in a state track meet where they did well really well. Proud of them and they're seniors. They're graduating from high school. The girls are two of the triplets. They have a brother. They're all amazing kids. And Speaking of that makes me think of something that I was thinking today. And I'm going to throw this in the podcast. Does it seem to you like or have you ever noticed how you read the scrip
28 minutes | Mar 2, 2022
38: Filling In the Gaps and Faith
Monday, February 21, 2022 There’s still a huge gap. I understand depression involves a lie, and anxiety. I understand a little about self-deception. But as it turns out all ways we err involve self-deception, not just depression and anxiety. I don’t understand how people get depressed and anxious. I don’t feel like I can explain the whole thing. Gotta keep trying. Maybe read some about it. I think Wendy Treynor had a good explanation for depression, in part at least. It is a rejection of the self. Or it involves or results from a rejection of the self. And she talks about self love a lot on her website, which has to be a thing. Amy weeks talked about that in church Sunday, and Elder ___ in conference. It has to be a thing. We are self-reflective beings. We can love ourselves, like we love other people? If that’s all it is, in essence, failing to love ourselves, which is the lie I’ve been talking about (I’ve termed it as thinking we’re worthless or whatever), then we just have to make the connection between there and all the resultant symptoms of depression, mental and physical. Can we do that? Or can we make an attempt? Maybe we don’t have to understand exactly how all the physical stuff comes to be, just make a good case that mental stuff causes all kinds of physical stuff, using plenty of real world examples. There are plenty. And for now we might have to leave it at SOMEHOW these mental states sink in and dig in and become a pattern and a habit and an addiction, really, and effect our physical being. SOMEHOW the body and the mind are tied such that one effects the other in ways we might not expect or understand. Would we even have habit and addiction like we do if it weren’t for our physical body? Or learning and proficiency? —— I really think we should know how these things come to be, if we’re going to know what to do to get out of them. Wednesday, February 23, 2022 Like we need to be able to track how these things develop from one’s youth. You start innocent. You start without any addictions, psychological illnesses, bad habits, preconceived notions, no sexual orientation, none of that. No coping strategies good or bad, nothing. You have who you are and have been for eons, and you’ll have that all throughout your mortal life and again throughout eternity. And you have a brand new body, to house your spirit, that you need to learn to control and subject to your spirit. And a lot to learn through the world because you forgot everything. So as you grow up…what? Something happens, and it’s right in front of us. No dumb experiments necessary. Saturday, February 26, 2022 Copied from Lectures On Faith, Lecture First: The author of the epistle to the Hebrews, in the eleventh chapter of that epistle, and first verse, gives the following definition of the word faith: 8 Now faith is the substance [assurance] of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. 9 From this we learn, that faith is the assurance which men have of the existence of things which they have not seen; and the principle of action in all intelligent beings. 10 If men were duly to consider themselves, and turn their thoughts and reflections to the operations of their own minds, they would readily discover that it is faith, and faith only, which is the moving cause of all action, in them; that without it, both mind and body would be in a state of inactivity, and all their exertions would cease, both physical and mental. 11 Were this class to go back and reflect upon the history of their lives, from the period of their first recollection, and ask themselves, what principle excited them to action, or what gave them energy and activity, in all their lawful avocations, callings and pursuits, what would be the answer? Would it not be that it was the assurance which we had of the existence of things which we had not seen, as yet?—Was it not the hope which you had, in consequence of your belief in the existence of unseen things, which stimulated you to action and exertion, in order to obtain them? Are you not dependent on your faith, or belief, for the acquisition of all knowledge, wisdom and intelligence? Would you exert yourselves to obtain wisdom and intelligence, unless you did believe that you could obtain them? Would you have ever sown if you had not believed that you would reap? Would you have ever planted if you had not believed that you would gather? Would you have ever asked unless you had believed that you would receive? Would you have ever sought unless you had believed that you would have found? Or would you have ever knocked unless you had believed that it would have been opened unto you? In a word, is there any thing that you would have done, either physical or mental, if you had not previously believed? Are not all your exertions, of every kind, dependent on your faith? Or may we not ask, what have you, or what do you possess, which you have not obtained by reason of your faith? Your food, your raiment, your lodgings, are they not all by reason of your faith? Reflect, and ask yourselves, if these things are not so. Turn your thoughts on your own minds, and see if faith is not the moving cause of all action in yourselves; and if the moving cause in you, is it not in all other intelligent beings? From <https://lecturesonfaith.com/1/>
32 minutes | Feb 1, 2022
37: The Source of Principles of Psychology
Where do we look for the true principles of psychology? Why not the scriptures? The concepts there are actually true, while those from the philosophies of men may or may not be. I use the term "philosophies of men" to mean the ideas of the great thinkers of our time and times past. They may be great thinkers. But many of their ideas may be wrong. On the other hand, the ideas put forth in the scriptures ("ideas") are actually true and accurate. While I enjoy reading and listening to the thoughts of thoughtful men and women over the ages as well as from our time, they are actually full of errors. They may not have intentionally erred or misled, they just didn't know, and unfortunately many of them kind of acted like they knew, and act like they know. And many take their word for truth, because they don't know, either. Some is true and some is false, and you need to reference a higher knowledge to tell the difference. It's been driving me a little crazy that people don't try harder for accuracy in the principles they espouse. If you don't know you don't know. But as I've said, God gives liberally to them that ask (James actually said that) and we can seek and knock and ask and the Lord will open to us (the Lord actually said that). I don't want to give the impression that I think I'm perfect with regards to accuracy. I'm sure I'm mistaken about many things. But I try to be honest about what I know and what I don't know. I try, at least. And I feel like it helps a lot. So my point is just that we can look to the scriptures and the word of God for psychological principles. True ones. I believe they're in there, if we'll look. I'm going to keep looking. I suppose some might think asking God is for spiritual knowledge, not temporal or whatever. But that's not true. You can ask God for whatever knowledge you want. My testimony is that He's very liberal with that. And I guess that brings us to how God can give us knowledge. So first of all, all the knowledge we have is really from Him, whether it be about spiritual things or the workings of mechanics or electronics or chemistry or psychology or anything else. It's all from Him. So how do we get our knowledge? I'm not sure, it's a great question and I've been thinking about it. But you've obtained knowledge, you've been doing it all your life. What does it feel like when you get knowledge? It's light. You can feel it. You can taste it. It tastes sweet. It feels right. It enlightens you. Your mind expands, and you can thus tell it's right. I've had God communicate to me truths that I didn't know before that weren't revealed by anybody else, and you can, too. How does He do that? I don't exactly know. How do we gain knowledge when somebody besides God reveals it to us? I have a feeling its really the same. But I don't know how that is, exactly. When somebody else tells us something or shows us something, we have their words or images or tactile information or whatever other light we perceive at the time, but really the light comes from God. I'm just saying he can communicate intelligence to us in the absence of any sensory information, which I'm calling light, directly to our minds. Or He can do it while we're viewing something or hearing something. All the same, really. Is it not so, surely?
27 minutes | Feb 15, 2021
36: What Do We Do?
Sunday, January 17, 2021 So if the instant you cross the line you have to justify yourself, or in the instant you cross the line you are justifying yourself, then it's just like a property of being on the wrong side of the line. And it's a trap, because you are deceived as to the fact that you are in the wrong and you are deceived as to the way to get out, and it sucks you in. Maybe good has its own rewards. Namely peace and happiness, and all the fruits of the Spirit. But evil has its draw, and it's definitely more appealing to the carnal mind. It has great allure and once you're on its side it's a blinding trap. Then it takes away peace and happiness and you want that, I guess. So it's up to us what we want to choose. Good or evil. Evil has all the carnal appeal, and good just has peace and happiness, but it's not immediately apparent that it's necessary. Something like that? Saturday, January 23, 2021 Finding fault. I said slander, and I could have said finding fault. When someone is finding fault with something they are probably justifying themselves. You only need one reason to align yourself or disalign yourself with something - because it’s true or not. If it isn’t true, judge ye. If it is, judge ye. That’s all you need. If it’s false, separate yourself from it and be done. If it’s true, though, you'd best align yourself with it. I'm not talking about the people involved, who might be aligned with it also, because they will always be flawed. All the persecution in the world, all the slandering, all the fault finding, can’t change truth. —- Now, if we’re to wrestle depression and anxiety to the ground, how are we doing? (And other disorders.) Isn’t self-deception the big missing puzzle piece, and everything else is kind of there already, or will more easily fall into place? Sunday, January 24, 2021 Or are there lots of things we don't understand and self-deception is just one of them? Let's pretend self-deception is the big missing puzzle piece. By self-deception here we mean the whole idea that there is a good and an evil, a right and a wrong, that there is a God, that right and wrong is based on God's will and that we all have an innate knowledge of right and wrong in every situation, and then that if we act against that we self-deceive in a way that justifies our action. That's self-deception. Now we are equipped, or better equipped, to tackle anxiety and depression and everything. Sunday, January 31, 2021 Well I'm going to sit here and write for a minute even though I don't have anything in mind to write about. Sounds like self-deception is what we learn from the gospel - the idea that there's a God and a truth and all. Basically that and the idea that we have a conscience that is reliable, which the world does not understand. But many people in it understand. So you can talk to them. I wonder if you could start just by saying, so we all have a conscience that tells us right from wrong in any given situation, and it's completely reliable. You can rely on it. Because it's completely reliable. You don't have to start saying it's called the light of Christ or the spirit of Christ, maybe you can call it a conscience, and people will get it. To the extent that we listen to it and obey it we dwell in the truth, and to the extent that we suppress it or disobey it, we dwell in error, and that error…blah blah blah. This is boring. I don't have confidence anyone will listen to this. I'm afraid it's going to just die right in it's tracks, that I won't get it communicated to anybody and that will be the end of it. Will that happen? I don't know. It's my job to do whatever the Lord wants me to do with this - if it's nothing it's nothing, and if it's to write a little book or do this podcast and a few people maybe read it and think it's interesting then that's it. Whatever the Lord wants, I say. I don't exactly know what that is at this point. But I feel inclined to pursue this a little further, at least, and see what I can't find out. I've been praying for understanding concerning these things, and so here I am. I pray for light during this writing session to make some headway. They say depression is caused by different things - like a different thing in every case, kind of thing. Maybe. And what it is that pushes a person over the edge may be different in every case, I don't know. But I say in every case there is this trap, this thing where you are blinded to what's going on and to how to get out. Because in every case there is self-deception, because in every case there is a false notion that you are worthless, this rejection of the self and everything that comes with it. And all that is a part of depression is designed to…what - excuse a person from treating themselves right? Excuse them from being in the right? Everything that comes with depression--the whole set of thoughts and feelings and biological phenomena--it's all the world painted in the way that excuses a person from considering themselves aright. Is that right? What is the solution, then? Stop resisting the light, as Terry Warner would say? (But what does that mean?) The real solution for any given person in any given case is going to be different, no? It might involve therapy and medication and forgiving someone or going on walks or getting more sunlight or any number of things, right? And that's ok. If only it were clearer what needed to be done? Since every case is different it makes it hard. But could you make a checklist? Like, make sure you're not holding a grudge against someone, including yourself, and if you are work on that, and until you succeed, you're in trouble? So how do you do that, by the way? How do you forgive someone? Or yourself? That lady on the podcast said she needed to go back to Auschwitz. Maybe some of us need to confront a person in our life. Maybe some of us don't. Maybe you read about the atonement. Maybe you pray. How do you do that? Is that different for each person as well? But surely with some commonalities. (Just because every case is different doesn't mean there won't be commonalities.) Just googled how to forgive someone. Turns out the internet knows all about it. Except, of course, I didn't read anything about how the power comes through Jesus Christ. Probably some know that and many don't. Same with repentance. There are all the steps of repentance (acknowledge what you did is wrong, etc., etc.) but really forgiveness comes through Jesus Christ ultimately. Oh well. I liked the answer to one question - how do you know you've forgiven someone - you wish well for the person, basically. That seems like a good gage. Do you wish well for yourself? Seems like a strange question, perhaps, but not really, right? Some of us don't want to be happy, when it comes down to it. We hold on to our misery. What a strange thing. But an understanding of self-deception makes it un-strange. That's the whole point of this understanding - to see why we do things that make us miserable, and hold on to misery. We hold on to misery because it justifies us. Being miserable is easier in a way. It satisfies our pride. It's all part of the trap. It's all part of the untruthful way of being. What does it justify? Being miserable. Being miserable justifies being miserable. What else can I say? You have to choose not to be miserable whether you're miserable or not. Life might be hard, it might be painful. But you have to maintain this kind of positive attitude notwithstanding. I don't want to be misunderstood (or be inaccurate in my words) - I don't want to give the false impression that it's always easy to make a mental choice to not be miserable and there you go. I don't know exactly how to account for how hard it is sometimes, but I know that it is. But is it not true what I said about misery being easier sometimes? I think for myself I need to try and maintain a more positive outlook. I need to not look for the faults in everything and myself, and everybody, and my job. Those things are there. Not saying they're not. And maybe it's ok to be aware of them. But somehow for myself I probably need to tell myself more positive things about my job, and myself. I mean, really we are all full of weakness, and only through Jesus Christ can we do anything good. Of ourselves we are nothing, really. And weak, and flawed, if you want to use that word. But in Christ we can be perfect. So do I tell myself how great I am? Maybe. And I'm sure I am. But really I'm nothing, of course, and it's through Jesus Christ that I'm anything. That's how I'm seeing it. So anxiety and depression. They're both misery, right? What about schizophrenia? Multiple personality disorder? All the rest? They're all cases of being mistaken about something, right? They all involve lies, do they not? Which one? Or which ones? Hmm, well we've kind of identified the lie of depression - that we are worthless, or something to that effect. And the lie of anxiety - that doom is impending. It's all going to be ok. Might be hard, might have more anxiety, might feel more misery, but really it's all going to be ok. Something like that. And of course we're not worthless. We're children of God and He values us infinitely and loves us with a perfect love. The devil is all about misery. He's the author of misery. And if you're miserable, you can count on the fact that it comes from him. He's the father of all lies, and it's a lie. So what is the li
19 minutes | Jan 16, 2021
35: Leave It Alone
Full Notes: You know this thing where you can’t tell the violation from its justification—do we just say that certain things go together - depression and failure to forgive oneself, sin and it’s attendant self-justification, uh, what else? Basically everything where you’d say you do the bad thing and then you justify it by self-deceiving. That’s everything. So rather than one happening first, they both come together somehow and you can’t tell which one comes first. Very confusing. But sometimes the truth isn’t immediately intuitive. Take the theory of relativity and quantum physics. But do we just say they come together? And if so exactly how - is it a necessary relationship? The theory I’ve been putting forward is that it is. You might say it like this—any time you go against the light you self-deceive. That way you’re not making it a cause and effect thing, as if it were two separate things. Seems like other cause-and-effect stuff is actually like this—not separate things so much in actuality, just in our way of speaking and conceptualizing. I think of my old writing session at BYU where I talked about how words don’t necessarily represent different isolated things, but rather all “objects” are really connected, and the words we use just kind of conceptualize a different element of them. Guitar, guitar strings, wood, steel, whatever. How do you separate the object from the parts of the object, and everything else? It’s an artificial separation. It’s a linguistic thing. It’s a conceptual thing. There’s no such actual thing as “things”. So cause and effect are not really separate either, everything’s connected. Is that too strong to say? For that matter everything is one big connected blob? It’s just however we want to categorize things for our purposes. You can categorize them however you want in order to understand them and communicate and so forth. So this cause-and-effect relationship between acting against the light and justifying it is, strictly speaking, not cause-and-effect at all, since nothing is cause-and-effect strictly speaking? Or because just it isn’t cause-and-effect? How do I always run into these things? In any case, it’s not cause-and-effect. The choice you make brings you into the self-deception at the same time any act is committed. Man, this is so central to everything, it would be nice to understand it. I guess for right now it will have to be sufficient to say that it all happens at the same time. But it also seems like sometimes there is a state of mind/perception/self-deception in the absence of an act that you can track down. This is central, too! Is that possible? A person can be a thief in their heart without actually committing a theft? A person can be a murderer, an adulterer, whatever, without ever committing the act? Or will it always manifest, sooner or later? Isn’t this an important question? And I don’t know. Tuesday, January 5, 2021 I was listening to Jody Moore's podcast, Better Than Happy, and she said that she teaches that the thought comes first and the emotion comes after that, or whatever. Well if she can teach that, can I? I mean is that close enough? What about the "soft seat principle"? Where physical things can influence your emotions? Am I confusing stuff too much here? Don't prophets and apostles teach that, too? I'd need to check that, I guess. But surely I can say that yea, other things influence your feelings and all that, including soft seats and uncomfortable ones, but it's still your thoughts that influence your feeling of well being, or something like that. Right?? Does this mean I can also say that going against the light, whether in thought or in deed, causes… What am I getting wrong here? Pushing through a paragraph. Going against the light, whether in thought or in deed, is all in thought. It's all the same, as far as self-deception goes, no? Or is it different? Say it's the same. The Ten Commandments don't necessarily say what to think. But Jesus said what to think - He said it's the same. Thinking and doing. He that looketh upon a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery already in his heart. What does that mean? We don't have to talk to our bishop and there isn't the same moral consequence with the act of adultery and the thought. But as far as self-deception goes they are similar, no? You can see the world in a way that it is justified (because you are just that tempted, or whatever), both ways. Many are murderers in their hearts. Many are adulterers in their hearts. Surely. Ahh, this drives me crazy. Surely I'm overcomplicating things in my mind. But I don't know. But can we just say that we choose our attitude, or whatever? Yea, there are other factors. But in the end we choose it, no? Then how have I not learned that? Optimistic, hopeful, cheerful, notwithstanding the circumstances. And grateful. That's how you gotta be. And faithful. Maybe doesn't mean you gotta enjoy it, in a certain way. I don't know. Doesn't have to be pleasant, know what I mean? But you can't give in to despair, you can't lose hope, you can't be ungrateful or give in to fear and everything, or you're in the wrong. It's hard. But Jesus never gave into those things, right? Notwithstanding all difficulties? He might not have liked every minute, if you know what I mean, but he was true. He didn't lose faith. That's how we should be. And we can. I believe that. We're not perfect. I know I'm not. But we can. We can. Many might be sinners in their hearts, but I for one am grateful that I can check myself and repent. I'm grateful I know right from wrong and can keep on the right path. I'm grateful for the Savior. I know that through His grace I can be made whole and so can others. Friday, January 8, 2021 What muddies my mind? Something does. I look forward to when I learn to think with more clarity, and can navigate the pitfalls that so often trip me up currently. Maybe cause and effect is like this: There are things to act and things to be acted upon. When you act it's free-will/agency, and everything else is connected through determinism. Time separates things, but they're really connected. The only thing that separates things is free will. How about that? Tuesday, January 12, 2021 I need to record a podcast but I don’t know what to say. Listening to these abnormal psychology lectures. It’s fun and interesting. I want to read a little more on Aaron Beck. Does he call thoughts right and wrong, or just positive and negative? But doesn’t positive and negative imply true and false? If true and false is he admitting he believes in truth and error? I should maybe add to my list of axioms that there is truth and error, independent of any person’s imagined moral system, which is based on God’s commands and his will for any given situation. I want to explore sometime what the difference is between the light of Christ and the Holy Ghost, and what in the scriptures might actually refer to the light of Christ. I’m thinking many things, and that we say “the Spirit” and we don’t necessarily know which one we’re talking about. Regarding Episode 2 (Religious Self-Justification and Self-Deception), I want to say that a person could at any time say, "Oh but that's not why I left the Church. That's not why I persecute the Church. I just persecute the Church because it's so bad and hurt me so much." I would say, really? What did the Church do so bad to you? How are you focusing so much on those things in light of everything? Why can't you leave it alone? What makes you feel the need to slander the Church? Why can't you leave it alone? Do we not know that you must be in the wrong? Else why would you act as if you have this constant need to justify yourself by slandering the church? That's not why you left the Church, you say. Ok, well leave it alone, then. If you can leave it alone, maybe I'll believe that you are in the right. But if you can't leave it alone, we have to be suspicious of you. We are left with no choice. People who can't leave something alone are justifying themselves for hating something they shouldn't. Well I have nothing to justify myself for, I just hate things because they're bad. Ok. Then leave it alone. Do it, I dare you. You can't. You can't because you know inside somewhere that you shouldn't be hating on that thing, or that person, and so you have to justify yourself in your mind by slandering that thing or that person, and you can't stop, because no matter how much you slander it inside you know that you're in the wrong. Else why keep trying to convince yourself and others that that thing or that person is bad, without stopping? Many people don't understand that they need to be on the look out for self-justification. It's an indication that you're in the wrong on that point. If you find yourself getting angry about a certain topic and you can't seem to stop, and you have all kinds of reasons that thing is bad and you find yourself wanting to tell others that it's bad, take a look at yourself. Take a look at that thing and see if you're not in the wrong about it. You'll have to swallow some pride. It's in there, I guarantee it. Think of it this way - the Lord has given us a great way to see that we are in the wrong about stuff. If we start acting like we're justifying ourselves - if we start coming up with multiple reasons something is bad, and are hating on that thing, it's a great indication that we are probably in the wrong about that thing. Now it's not wrong to be angry about something, I say. Moroni w
28 minutes | Jan 2, 2021
34: Taking a Crack At It
(Full Notes) Why would a person believe a lie, I ask again? Cognitive might recognize that the thoughts are unhelpful and negative or whatever (it doesn't even know they're false), but it doesn't know why. It doesn't know why a person would continue believing something ridiculous. It doesn't know why it's sticky. Doesn't only pride explain that? Let's think here. Self-justification is great, and it's wonderful to be self-justified. But wouldn't we trade it for happiness and peace, if we knew what we were doing? But it's hard to change, and the reason is pride, is it not? Habit is a hard thing to break, I guess, but we would definitely go in that direction, would we not, naturally, if not for pride? Am I right in this? Evil has chains, good does not. Have you ever heard of the chains of heaven? That's because there aren't any. But hell has them. This professor of abnormal psychology keeps describing these disorders and some student keeps asking, "what causes that?", and he keeps basically saying we don't know. We don't know, we don't know, we don't know. We don't know what causes depression. We don't know what causes these anxiety disorders. We don't know what causes OCD. He mentioned how Freud thought it was related to masturbation. Really, that's all you've got?! What I'm driving at is, of course, that I think self-deception has the power to explain these things better than what we have. How would I explain OCD, for example? What did the person do wrong, or is doing wrong, for example, to have to justify themselves by painting the world in a way that they have to continually check the oven that it's not on? Sorry if that's a bad example, but it's one of the ones you hear. Why do I keep checking that the oven is off? Because I think it's on all the time, that I forgot to turn it off. Why do you think that--you should know that you hardly ever in reality leave it on, think back or make a chart or something--it's always off. I know but I think it's on all the time. It's crazy, I know, I hate it. It's stupid. I just can't stop. Ok, so you realize all that, that it's unreasonable. Yes, absolutely, totally. Doesn't matter. I just keep doing it. If I don't check it I'll just worry about it and it will drive me crazy until I do. Gotcha. It's almost like a person is looking for an excuse to be anxious. It's not about the oven. It's about having something to worry about, almost. Isn't it. Speaking for myself I feel like that's kind of how my anxiety works. If I'm not worried about one thing I’m worried about another. And if I'm not miserable about one thing I'm miserable about another. If I'm physically sick, I don't feel anxious and miserable that way. It's almost a relief, really. I'm not kidding. That's me, at least, and I don't think I'm the only one. Well how would you explain someone with OCD, I ask again? Why would a person do that? I'll try pushing through a paragraph to see where I can get. Well certainly the person has a view of the world that is such that they likely left the oven on (a view that we've already acknowledged is false--it's not likely at all.) And how did they get that view? Is that what's so hard to tell and is different for different people and situations? I don't know for sure. Well it's simple, really - the person needs something to be anxious about, and so that's what they found, for whatever reason. The idea that they left the oven on makes them anxious and miserable, and that's what you need. If their life were different and if circumstances were different they'd find something else to be anxious about. Why would they "need" to find something to be anxious and miserable about? It justifies them. It satisfies their pride. Justifies what? The commandment to be happy and hopeful and confident and peaceful? Something like that, yea. Being a victim justifies sin. Being a victim justifies being a victim. Being miserable and anxious and non-confident justifies us not reaching out to help others and testify of the good things we know. Something like that. Being in a yucky state justifies us in not being helpful and happy. Think of Laman and Lemuel--their whole philosophy and downfall is related to their being victims. Hmm. Not sure how great this paragraph is so far. Why does a person have OCD? Again, that's just how their anxiety and misery exhibits itself. It's almost like, why does anybody not have anxiety and depression? How do we ever not? Is it not faith? The world would tell us we need to be miserable, because there's no hope, nothing good is coming our way, we are worthless…the world has nothing to tell us we shouldn't be miserable and have a bleak outlook. That's the world. Only faith in the reality of God and Jesus Christ can really get us any happiness and peace. (Even if we don't recognize it as such?) But what about the oven? Even the world tells us the oven is probably not on. So why place our anxiety and fear on that? Are we just looking for something - anything - to lay our worries on? It's not about the oven. It's about us needing to place our fear on something, right, and maybe we don't realize that what we really need to worry about is death, and eternal misery. Is it just a matter of misplaced concern? If you were to fix the thing with the oven, would it just crop up again directed at something else? I don't know. But it seems like it might. And I'm stealing my point here a bit from Jordan Peterson--the question is why don't we all have constant depression and anxiety (can't remember exactly how he said it) because death? I don't know how he answers that but wouldn't faith be the antidote in general? But that's too general, I think. Even faithful people in general or in many areas struggle with anxiety and depression. Even though I think faith and anxiety can't exist at the same time in the same place, or in the same person. Hmm. Hmm, hmm, hmm. We need to learn to exercise faith in all moments, I guess. Well I tried. That last paragraph seems like this whole podcast - a valiant effort, some great things, maybe, some wrong things maybe but hopefully not too bad, and some stuck moments of uncertainty and wandering in the dark. I'm still proud of it. I was thinking of agency the other day, or "free will", as philosophers call it. There's freedom to act, to move, etc., and we have it and all living things have it, inasmuch as they have knowledge and the ability to move and act. I was walking and looking at some grass. Does grass have the ability to move, to act? Yes it does. So if you define free will that way grass has free will. Or if you define agency that way a grass plant has agency. I say. But it doesn't have a knowledge of good and evil, and therefore doesn't have moral agency. We do. Every person has moral agency, because we know good from evil. What about little children? I guess I have to say no, since inasmuch as they don't have a knowledge of good and evil they don't have moral agency. Hmm. I always have to push myself into these hard spots. In any case, a little child is not accountable before God for his or her moral actions. Whatever they do that is contrary to the will of God is forgiven, through the atonement of Jesus Christ. I say forgiven, but I might misspeak--they're not forgiven because they don't sin. They don't have power to sin because they don't know good from evil. The devil doesn't have power to tempt little children because they don't know good from evil yet. That's how he doesn't have power. They're not capable of sinning. (I just read Moroni 8.) But this is the whole point, that you can't sin if you don't know good from evil, and that's how we sin - we know good from evil and we do evil. Get it? It's a knowledge thing. But we all have the light of Christ, from little child up to old person. And it seems to me the light of Christ extends to animals. Am I wrong on that? Seems they exhibit self-deception, such as when a dog gets all mad when you go by, or bites you viciously, or exhibits signs of abuse like cowering. Hmm. Have to think about that some more, but that's what it seems to me. (Unless it's all behaviorally conditioned…? But it's maladaptive…) But Saturday, December 19, 2020 What if we forgave all men, including ourselves, and were at perfect peace with the world in that way? Would we have occasion to be depressed? Well no, right, because depression is a failure to forgive ourselves. How is that tied to forgiving others? Surely if we don't forgive others we are liable to not forgive ourselves, and vice versa. Am I in a state of perfect forgiveness of myself? Then why do I keep remembering my mistakes? Hmm. What can I do to be at more peace with myself? I pray that I can forgive myself fully, through the merits of Jesus Christ. A failure to forgive others can make us sick, and failure to forgive others can make us sick. It's a trap. Traps hold you in even when you don't want to be there. Traps make it so you can't see the way out, even though you really want to get out. The nature of self-deception, of the adversary's lies are that as soon as you're in you can't see the way out. That's a trap. Sunday, Dec 20, 2020 Alright, don't have a pre-plan, just going to write for a minute and try to move forward. I want to package this stuff better, have a clearer picture of how it all works t
30 minutes | Dec 10, 2020
33: Pride and Maladaptive Behavior
(Full Notes) Tuesday, November 17, 2020 Sometime talk about Freud's subconscious and self-deception. Saturday, November 21, 2020 Without looking up what Freud said about the subconscious (it's been a long time), one thing I think that plunges certain things at least into our subconscious is self-deception. Like when we do perverse things to ourselves and others, it's not the same as some automatic action like blinking or breathing. No, there's self-deception involved. It seems to me like self-deception drives stuff like that into our subconscious. The author of my psychology book makes it all sound so innocent, giving as examples of the subconscious times he makes a bad pass in basketball even though he realizes at the last minute it's a bad pass. Not sure what to make of that. Or how he acts when he is put under at the dentist's. I don't know about that, either. And that's interesting and everything. But when we do subversive things to ourselves it seems to me it's more perverse than that. We do it for a reason. We are looking for an excuse. I'm not saying it's all conscious. But you know that's an interesting subject, because some people will say it's all a choice, it's all conscious, basically. I missed my therapy appointment in NY and Ken said it was because of my false self (not just because I innocently forgot). I think there's something to that. Do I selectively forget stuff? I'm sure I do. I tend to want to disagree with people who say it is a conscious choice all the time. I guess I don't feel like I experience it that way. But is there something to that? Well, seems to me there are more like moments of choice. Maybe we're in a bind and it's hard to make the right choice or something, or it's become automatic. I don't know. But there do seem to be these moments of choice. I wouldn't say it's every moment, like some people say. At least I don't experience it that way and I don't think anybody does. But we do have these moments of choice all the time. Nor would I say we have no choice, as I suppose some might say. Determinism, no. As President Monson said, decisions determine destiny. We have personal freedom. We have agency. We talked about agency earlier. It's by virtue of us having knowledge, having power to act. Well I obviously don't quite know how to talk about this, this choice stuff. But people who have maladaptive behavior, who are doing things that hurt themselves, and aren't getting it (and this is all of us), there's a reason we don't get it. Beyond just habit, though habit is surely a part of it. Good and evil is involved. There's a gravity to evil - it sucks us in - it has a pull. You observe it in the universe and you know something is there, and you postulate a force or some phenomenon to explain it. (Space-time) In the case of good and evil you postulate a knowledge that we must have that we go against and thus self-justify. It's a very logical postulation to me. Well, plus we have scriptural evidence that it actually exists, the light and the phenomenon that happens when we go against it. Christ is that light. It's the light of Christ. And what do the scriptures say about going against the light? For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved. (John 3:20) Men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil (v. 19). He that keepeth his commandments receiveth truth and light, until he is glorified in truth and knoweth all things. (D&C 93:28) Behold, here is the agency of man, and here is the condemnation of man; because that which was from the beginning is plainly manifest unto them, and they receive not the light. And every man whose spirit receiveth not the light is under condemnation. (31-32) ---- Just read a little of Myers' Psychology for AP textbook. I like some things in there and some things are interesting. But I tell you what I find missing is any explanation for what I always call maladaptive behavior. There's no logical explanation in there. No explanation that resonates, that makes sense. Therefore no explanation for depression or anxiety, which seem to me to be the big issues psychology needs to have a grasp on so it can help people looking for help. To me the textbook has a bit of a fun-and-interesting take on psychology, which is fun and interesting, but it just doesn't address some of the serious issues that I see. I read a good little bit that described how the different perspectives of psychology are complimentary, which I think they can be - biological, evolutionary, psychodynamic, behavioral, cognitive, humanistic, and social-cultural. But look at those--look at that list--where is the one that involves self-deception and explains maladaptive behavior? It's missing, right? I wonder what this perspective would be called. I don't have a name for it. Agentive has been used to describe Terry Warner's perspective. I'm not sure that's the best term for what I'm doing. Puts the emphasis too much on purposeful/willful action. Maybe I'm not the one to name it, anyway. I have some work to do to learn to describe what I'm doing concisely. The different perspectives compliment one another, Myers says. I'd say they can compliment each other, as long as you step back and allow them to, not getting too engrossed in one or the other. And is this psychodelusional (sorry I couldn't resist) approach or whatever, is this approach just another perspective? Like the rest? Describing a portion but not the whole picture? I think so. I think so. And haven't I said that from the beginning? You will never find me saying my theory describes everything. Just an element, but a necessary one, one that, if ignored, leaves an incomplete picture of reality. I say there is currently in psychology an incomplete picture of reality. And what it needs is an understanding of self-deception. That's a big motivation - self-justification, no matter what anybody says. It's there. It's so there, in everything we do. If you can't explain why somebody would do something, look to self-justification. To me it's the only thing that explains self-deception, maladaptive behavior, and all that flows therefrom. Addiction, depression, anxiety issues, to name a few. Right? Why would a person do things that just hurt themselves and make them miserable? There has to be a reason. There has to be a motivation. Is it not self-deception, brought on by self-justification? And is not that self-justification brought on by going against the light of truth that we know, whether we know that we know it or not? And is that not just part of life? Is that not built into the mechanism of life? Some things are right to do and some things are not, and those are not necessarily taught in society or in our families, and even if they were truly reinforced we'd still be subject to the lies of the adversary, and thus subject to the ills of depression and anxiety and so forth. It would help if we knew right from wrong as a society, but we don't. Only partly, maybe, leaving a lot to be desired. But some things are right and some are wrong, some thoughts are lies and some are true. Hmm. Some thoughts are lies… Some thoughts are true enough, it seems, but somehow they breed or spring from the thought that we are worthless and hopeless or something - so they contain a lie? I think it's something like that. Anyway, this is my theory on why people get depressed, and do other things that make them miserable. They have pride, and they fall into patterns of thinking that reinforce their pride somehow. By pride I mean, for example, that you think ill of yourself. You don't think that's prideful? I say it's prideful. Because it's not right. It is contrary to God. This is a hard point to make. But I really think pride is a part of it, and we all have it--it's what sticks, or what makes these behaviors sticky. We don't want to admit something. Our pride prevents us. You think you know something God doesn't know. You put Him off. Pride is enmity toward God. That's what it is. You can't act contrary to the truth and not have pride. We all have it. Any time we do wrong, we have it, is my view. I think it's right, too. It's right. Why would we believe a lie? It would be one thing if we didn't know right from wrong inherently, if it was indifferent and we were just plain mistaken. But when it sticks, there's something else involved. When it doesn't make sense, when it just makes us miserable, but we believe it anyway. Hmm. What about the part of the explanation that we are self-justifying…?
22 minutes | Nov 16, 2020
32: Fine Line or Day and Night?
(Full Notes) Tuesday, November 4, 2020 To the question, is there a different quality of anxiety that is bad and one that is good or whatever, I say, the anxiety itself is indifferent. It’s not a quantity either that is bad or good. It’s that the bad contains a lie. It’s the lie that’s bad, not the anxiety itself. Something like that. Wednesday, Nov 5, 2020 Any time you talk about the “fine line”, is it not about whether evil is involved? Excess this or that - is it not about whether there’s a lie involved? Self-deception? There’s a fine line, for example, between taking needed time for yourself and being selfish. “Not killing yourself” at work and being lazy. Talking softly and talking too softly. Talking loud and talking too loud. Being appropriately fearful and being overly so. There’s always a fine line. And anybody will tell you it’s fine - it’s not a sudden, obvious thing, is it? It can be hard to pinpoint. Can it become easy? I’m thinking of the teachings of Mormon, where he says it is as easy as telling the day from the dark night. Hmm. Anyway we experience it as fine a lot of the time. Excess this or that is on one side of the line and the appropriate amount is on the other. And the line is defined by the lie. Appropriate anxiety and “excess”. (What is depression in these terms?) Monday, November 9, 2020 Just read a TIME magazine article entitled 'Depression's Many Causes', in a special edition entitled 'Mental Health - a New Understanding'. First of all, I’m not sure what's new about the understanding it presents. Seems a little old to me. Quoting from the article - "Depression is a disease influenced by age, gender, genetics, situational loss or an ineffable mix of more than one of those." It then proceeds to talk about those four factors in turn for the bulk of the article. Something felt missing to me and a little off by that treatment. I never find myself calling depression a disease. I think maybe because I like to make it clear that it's not just a physical thing. To call it a disease to me emphasizes the physical, unavoidable aspect of it or something. And because I believe it comes in different intensities, whereas most diseases are thought of as being there or not being there, perhaps. Here's the very next sentence of the article: "Understanding these factors can do a lot to strip the remaining mystery from the disease and make us better able to face and treat it." So you acknowledge that there is mystery surrounding depression. Mystery. Nobody understands depression, as they say. Can't we have a common understanding of it, which leaves room for the various factors that influence it? This whole thing to me is missing the heart of depression, which I feel like we've talked about in this podcast. Quoting the conclusion of the article, "If there is one thing that every single case of depression has in common, it's that it's unchosen." Really? That's the only thing different cases of depression have in common? That they're unchosen? That's too broad. They absolutely have something in common and it's the lie, the self-deception, and everything that goes along with that. I do think it's important to realize, if you don't, that it's unchosen. But that's certainly not the only thing every single case of depression has in common. So anyway, I found this "new" understanding to be lacking. This should help me see what it is that we have here that is unique to the understanding of depression and anxiety. What's unique about ours is that there's a lie involved. And I fear the world with its limited scientific point of view will never be able to accept that. Because a lie implies truth and error, which implies a God, and everything else that comes along with that. Oh well. We have to declare the truth, and offer an explanation for depression and anxiety to those who are willing to accept it. Sunday, November 15, 2020 Talk by Scott D Whiting - "You are good enough, you are loved, but that does not mean you are yet complete."
22 minutes | Nov 4, 2020
31: Which Comes First – the Act or Its Excuse?
You know how with that question the answer is something like "neither" or "both" - in any case it's not necessarily one before the other? (Kind of like the chicken and the egg question I suppose.) Well what if depression is like that? There's the abuse of the self as the act, you might say, and the feelings and everything that come along with depression as the excuse. Or you might say the giving into the lie as the act and the feeling of worthlessness as the excuse. Or maybe the psychology as the act and the physiology as the excuse. Anyway, if the act and the excuse are together, really, or if it can go in either direction, then surely so can depression. That would mean that you can experience the physiology part "first" and the lie part "second". Hmm. Think I'll just paste all my notes here. Enjoy! Full Notes: Friday, Oct 16, 2020 What direction does it go? (Lie first or physiological stuff first?) What if the answer is, I don't know? Still, of course, the lie is always present, and that's important. But that leaves the possibility that addressing stuff physiologically can help, as well as psychologically. What if that's the case? Basically what if the direction could be either way or both? Hmm! Saturday, Oct 17, 2020 Psychology can't have morals. It can't think of anything as right or wrong. It can only consider that a delusion. Philosophically it can't. How does that work? It's like you can either have the "scriptural" point of view or the secular… Sunday How does Christ make us not worthless? Wouldn't we have intrinsic value just the same? Without the plan of salvation, I guess? Do I have the lie wrong, that we're worthless? Maybe that we'll never amount to anything, or something?? What if the light of Christ is no more or less than the fact that all truth permeates us all the time, and everything that's true is encompassed in the light of Christ? Or something like that? Friday, October 23, 2020 Referring to the above question of which direction it goes, is that related to the question of which direction it goes between doing the wrong thing and justifying it with how you make yourself see things? Because I don't know which direction that goes, either. Seems like it can happen both directions or even both at once. If it is related, it would suggest that the physiological stuff is a justification for the thought patterns. Is it the case that sometimes the justification comes first - the thoughts - and the misdeed comes later? Seems like one of those things that can happen all at once or not. Alright, so I don't know, I'm going to write here a bit and see where it goes. So in the Book of Mormon, for example, if you were to track what happens first, the sin or the different way of seeing things…isn't pride a name for a different way of seeing things? And it's a sin in itself. You don't have to steal anything or withhold anything or whatever to have pride, right? You just have the pride and there it is. You're sinning. Maybe in ignorance, but you're sinning. And pride has many faces. Looking up and looking down, for example. Or thinking you’re better or thinking you're worse. In the Book of Mormon it seems like it's usually thinking you're better. You're "lifted up." "Lofty." "Puffed up." But would I be correct to say that sometimes these days and surely in all times people are more down than up? What am I? I know I'm lifted up in some ways, but I'd say I compare myself negatively to others. That seems the normal thing. At least from my point of view. Seems pretty normal to do both. Why don't we see that in the Book of Mormon? Am I missing something? Heck, why don't the scriptures describe mental illness? I swear they don't. They just don't. Am I missing something? Just seems like from a scriptural point of view you are sinning. What do I mean here? The scriptures just don't seem very compassionate, in a way. We know since we have spiritual knowledge that God is our Heavenly Father and he loves us each dearly and everything. But to read the scriptures you'd come away thinking God is mean. Like you don't get that from there. Am I being blasphemous? I'm just honestly saying what it seems. Like I know that my Heavenly Father loves me, and I know that through spiritual knowledge, and I think we can all feel that to an extent, and we can know that more as we knock, etc. But even in scriptural accounts - let's take Nephi of 3rd Nephi, the apostle of the Lord, for example - surely the Lord loved him and surely Nephi knew that and felt that. But the scriptural account doesn't go into that. Nephi is told by the Lord to come forth, to bring the records, to add something to them, he's given the power to baptize, etc. And Nephi kisses the Lord's feet, so you know Nephi loves the Lord. But we don't have an account of how Nephi knows he's special to the Lord. Know what I mean? What does this have to do with psychology and everything - I don't know. I don't like these paragraphs so much. I know I'm just thinking in them, trying to get there. So I'll continue. The scriptures don't have a thing to say about mental illness. Which seems strange, on one hand. They don't. Well of course they do - you stay faithful to the Lord during all kinds of difficulties and people have trials of captivity and things like that. But really - nobody in the scriptures has a mental illness. Well a lot of people are possessed with devils. But we don't have devils in our days. We know better than that. What was Jesus thinking? So harsh, was he. Calling people possessed when all they had was a simple mental illness. That's terrible. We know there are no spirits in our days. That's ignorant. Can you believe how ignorant they were back then when they thought that people who were sick or mentally ill were actually possessed with devils! That's laughable! It's just tragic, really. All those poor people all those years who were thought to have a devil. Well thank goodness for today when we know it's just a chemical imbalance! Thank goodness for our enlightened age! Those poor, deluded people back then who believed in spirits! And God. Religion has been such a shackle for so many people! O that we could burn the scriptures forever and free people from this terrible thinking that binds them down! It's no wonder many psychologists consider all religion to be a delusion. It's a wonder they don't all, if they're true psychologists! I'm telling you - psychology can't believe in that stuff. It can't believe in a right and a wrong, and God and everything that comes with it. That flies in the face of good psychology! To say there's a right and a wrong just feeds the delusions of guilt that we are working so hard to get people to abandon. I know I have delusions of guilt. More than are true. False guilt. And it does me bad. Does me harm. How do you reconcile this? Philosophically? There's definitely a war here, an inconsistency if you look at it a certain way. Of course I know God exists, and I know it for certain. So there you go. But I also know there's false guilt. There's true guilt, and there's false guilt. Psychology just wants the easy way out - it wants to say it's all false. [Religion wants to say it's all true] Well it's not. Instead of practicing love and charity and righteous judgment, psychology wants to remove any grounds for condemnation so that there isn't any. And that's why I say we have to be as kind as we can about it, and loving, and forbear from judgment, or judge righteously. Because I don't throw away sin. I keep sin and righteousness. I know it's true. I don't just think it, I know it. I have a testimony. I've been given knowledge and intelligence through the Holy Spirit many times, and I can't deny it. It's a knowledge and intelligence that sticks with you. O that all could have this testimony. It would change so much! But even with it a person is subject to these things, and they can be hard to figure out. Hard. Hard for me, at least. I think hard for about everybody. If somebody has figured out this stuff with mental illness where are they and why don't they speak up? Seriously, how can nobody know what causes depression or anxiety? Have we asked?? Have we searched, and knocked? And for how long? Maybe I think it's easier than it is. Maybe I'm emboldened by my investigation into gravity as acceleration and this is really a bigger thing. But I tell you I still think it's attainable. Everything important has been hard, as far as discoveries go, no? We have come a long way, I think. I feel it's attainable. Another good reason to burn the scriptures is because I don't like them. They're so condemning. The world would be a better place without them. They offend me. Can't they just go away? Thankfully most people don't pay them any attention. But I wish they could be obliterated. They bug me, just existing. They're not true, people! They're stories written by authors. They're myths, dreamed up by somebody. Literature. Literature, I tell you! Alright, enough with annoying man. So I still don't know about the direction thing. Whether between physiology and psychology or between the act that needs justifying and the justification that justifies the act. The latter sounds like a philosophical question to me. Surely they can't be separated cleanly like that. I've kind of tried. And it's never worked
20 minutes | Oct 19, 2020
30: If Not for the Light of Christ
(Full Notes) Friday, October 2, 2020 Depression is hard. Anxiety is hard. Schizophrenia I'm sure is hard, and the list goes on. Again, the thing is, self-deception results from our choices but it also results from not our choices. And how do you tell the difference? Who knows the choices a person has made besides that person and God? Maybe somebody, but probably not. Period. Sunday, October 4, 2020 Let's go on this idea that depression is caused by the idea, the thought, that you are worthless, and everything that flows from that. The idea is that if you keep thinking it repeatedly it will become a pattern somehow. And somehow self-deception is tied in with that. It becomes an excuse. Or maybe it's an excuse from the get-go? I hope it's ok if I delete all this because it's messy. There's misery to it, same as with anxiety. There's misery. And misery is an excuse, right? Wow, can't believe I'm saying this. Really want to delete it now (because what if it's not.). But what if it is? What if the misery is an excuse? Somehow it's an excuse. It holds you in the pattern of not doing what you need to do. Well is there something that you need to do that you're not doing? I pray for revelation, for strokes of ideas to my mind, for a little help as I strive to understand these things. What causes depression? Does it really begin with the lie? Or can chemistry come first, and the lie come after that? That doesn't really make sense. I can't really see how that would make sense. Chemistry first? Nah, how would that happen? You feel miserable and then something else happens mentally? No, the misery only comes as an excuse. An excuse for what? Hmm. An excuse for not doing what you need to do, which is to love yourself and stop making excuses. The misery doesn't come from physiology. It comes from the excuse. Right? The misery. . .well there's a physical aspect to it, though. But that's not the misery. Sure, it's miserable to feel physically bad, but pain or physical discomfort doesn't equal the misery that's felt with depression or anxiety. No, no no. That misery comes from the lie. There's a mechanism here. It's not just one big blob. Not just a collection of symptoms and so forth. There's an essence to it - it's all connected logically. Physiologically and mentally. Spiritually. It's all connected, but not as a blob - rather the different parts are connected to each other in different ways, and that's what we need to discover. Like a car is all connected, but not all the parts are connected to each other in the same way. No, no, no. There's electrical connections and there's physical and mechanical connections of different types. A car is actually kind of complex. Pray we can understand how things are connected with psychology. Pray we can understand. I have this belief that we can. That's the belief I have. If it's false, I'm wasting a lot of time here. And getting all excited over nothing. But I don't think I'm wrong. I believe it's a tough problem, to be sure, but not one that's beyond a mortal's ability to comprehend. Somebody just hasn't thought of the breakthrough idea yet. Like Einstein did. I believe God is willing for us to understand, if we'll ask, seek, and knock. That's what I'm doing. That's what I do. And I intend to keep it up until I can explain this stuff to somebody. Maybe it's little more nuanced than that the lie comes first. Or maybe not. But let's say the lie comes first. Well, maybe the temptation comes first. What's the temptation? The temptation…the temptation is to discount yourself, and that's what you do. It's easier. We're lazy, and a little bit rebellious. It's pride, though, that moves us to do it. Not humility. But it's confusing a little, right? Everything's confusing when you yield to temptation. It's only clear when you don't. Things must have been clear for the Savior. Because He never yielded. That must be what muddies it all up for me and maybe for the rest of us. Do you think? How else would things be so confusing? Friday, Oct 9, 2020 If we can't judge whether a person is self-deceived as a result of their choices or not, period, what does that mean? Well partly maybe that it's not a matter of reversing past choices in order to escape depression and anxiety, but rather it's to make new choices that are different and purposeful in the right direction. Right? Also that it's not totally fruitful to judge or condemn, since that very well might not be the issue. Which did sin - this man or his parents that he was born blind? That comes to mind. In that case, neither. Interesting that whoever asked Jesus that assumed it was one or the other, and of course it was neither. The question was framed wrong. It was like all those philosophical questions we've discussed, which are framed wrong in the first place, therefore have no answer, or rather have a multiplicity of possible answers, none of which is right. Such is philosophy. Well, at least some of philosophy, much of it, unfortunately. But we can take that pattern and learn from it. Be aware of it. So when we run into this kind of pattern in psychology we can be aware of it and look for a possible mis-framing of the question. Hmm. How does it apply to the question we just addressed? I don't know - in any case maybe it's not up to us to condemn, well of course it isn't - ever - right? We don't need to build a theory either on condemning or judging a person, right? How does that work? Does that pull the rug out from under us? Theoretically? Are we judging in this theory? I don't think it has to be. We can acknowledge what happens with self-deception without being condemning, right? How do we do that? Just in the kindest way possible? Or is our theory flawed or mis-focused somehow? Should we call it something other than self-deception? Something kinder? Is there anything? It sounds so bad. It sounds condemning a little bit. It sounds a little too purposeful. Self-deception. It sounds idiotic. It sounds perverse. It sounds like something only a fool would do. But it's all of us. It's just part of life inasmuch as we are imperfect. Have I illustrated that sufficiently? I don't feel like I have, but that's what I say is the case. It makes perfect sense to me. But sometimes I doubt it, and wonder if I'm making too big a deal out of something that even the Lord doesn't see as perverse, necessarily. But here's the thing - sometimes it is definitely a result of our choices. Even our moral choices. I say sometimes. Perhaps some have thought that it's all the time a result of our choices. But I say it's sometimes, and sometimes not. A current choice being made, it's said sometimes. And I think there's something to that. But not a moral one, surely. It's all moral, yes - or is it? Hmm. Now this is hard. Grr. Well any time we're self-deceived we're going against the light of Christ, which is none other than the truth, none other than the light which permeates all things, which we all have access to, that we all know intuitively and can't escape even if we tried. The only way to escape it is to self-deceive. Well it happens to all of us, and it happens inasmuch as we are in the wrong in some way, big or small. A murderer must self-deceive somehow, to make the wrong seem right. Either they make the person to be a bigger threat than they are, or worse than they are, or - and I'm speculating here - or they…I don't know - they somehow deny to themselves that they did something they know is wrong, or they deny to themselves that it was unjustified, or something. Somehow, and a student of murders could tell you the different reasons people give, somehow the truth is denied and the person is left in a state of denial. Denial of the truth. But simple contention can put us in a state of denial as well, even if we're not taught that contention is wrong. Or, more like me, one could be judgmental without being contentious, and be in the wrong, be in denial of the truth, because the truth is that we shouldn't judge either. Not in contention or silently. Either way we judge and are in the wrong. So if we enter denial, enter self-deception all the time according to our weakness and our imperfection, then sometimes it's bad and sometimes it's not as bad, but it's self-deception either way. It works the same. If we learned it from the tradition of our fathers or if we originated it, so to speak, it's the same. Both ways we can be in the wrong. I'm in the wrong all the time. And maybe I am too conscious of that, or am in a way that's unhelpful or excessive. I'm sure I am. I'm sure that's it's own temptation of the devil, multiplying judgment upon oneself. We know that. I know that. How do I be conscious that I am in the wrong without adding the layer of wrong-ness that I condemn myself? Lol. Okay, though, let's look at depression. I say we're in the wrong there. We're self-deceiving in some way. It isn't right to consider ourselves worthless… Well now it would be, maybe, except for the mercy of God through Jesus Christ! Right! We might well be unworthy indeed! We might be hopeless indeed. Bad things (anxiety) might be bound to befall us eternally indeed, if not for Jesus Christ. Is this right? I
19 minutes | Sep 27, 2020
29: It All Begins With A Lie
(Full Notes) Saturday, August 29, 2020 I said that it is a delusion that you're worthless. It's correct that it's untrue. But it's only untrue because God loves us with a perfect love, right? If not for that, we'd be in real trouble, yes? I think about all this stuff, if not for the atonement of Jesus Christ, we would be in real trouble. There's a logical way in which that works, seems to me. If you're smart, and insightful, you can see that this life is kind of meaningless and certainly your own life wouldn't matter too much. But that's ignorant of the spiritual truth that we are of infinite worth to our Heavenly Father and His Son, Jesus Christ. That's ignorant of the truth that we existed before this life and will exist after, forever both ways. Well how do we make progress on this quest to understand psychology, with the aid of the truths we know and with the idea of self-deception? Monday, September 14, 2020 Hold on. Before I answer that - we existed from eternity to eternity. We are eternal beings. Is it correct to say that we have intrinsic worth, or is that meaningless independent of our God, who is in a position to love us and bring us to a level of progression where He is? Other people might love us, too. Our parents, for example, or our friends, or someone else who is filled with the love of God. I guess I don't know if there is such a thing as intrinsic worth of a being, independent of who they're worth something to. But we can be worth something to ourselves, surely. Or not, if we are not filled with the love of God for ourselves. Is that weird to say that way? Seems if we are filled with the love of God we are not so concerned about ourselves and our self-worth. It's only under that influence of the adversary that we begin questioning that. Alright, on to the question of how to understand psychology. Let's do some thinking-exploring here. I wonder if I'm making it more complicated than it is. Well, you have to understand it against the wiles of the adversary that are out there, right, to fully understand it? But let's pretend I'm making it more complicated than it is. It's not complicated, let's say. God loves us with an infinite love, we are of infinite worth to him, we are eternal beings, like He is, of the same species, if you will. We are as gods, knowing good and evil. We are the offspring of God. And if His offspring, then heirs. We are not talking about our mortal lives. Surely our mortal lives are important. But not so much, compared to our eternal existence. We can never be obliterated, as far as our spirits go. We die spiritually when we are separated from God. That's spiritual death. The second death is hell. Or being separated from God (again?) Hell is a separation from God. We are cast off, as it were. To be redeemed, at last, to be sure, but cast off nonetheless. And some, the sons of perdition, will remain cast off at the last day. It is a separation from God. A separation from His presence. Moses had a confrontation with the adversary trying to get him to believe he was something different than he was, less than he was. "Son of man," he called him. And this is depression, is it not, with everything that springs therefrom? What springs from the belief that you are just a son of man? Well lots of wickedness does, I suppose. And just one manifestation of that is the specific belief that you are worthless. It's just another run-of-the-mill lie of the adversary, like so many more, but this one happens to be specific in that you are worth less than other people. Maybe I should say that. Because it's different from the lie of grandiosity, for example, where you're better than other people. More important, superior, of greater value. This is the lie that you're of lesser value. And probably opposed to narcissism in that you think you're wrong all the time as opposed to right all the time. They're really both lies, and they're tied together. Both have in them comparison. They both share the lie that people are superior one to another. We're really not. We may be in a worldly sense, better than each other at this and that, more valued by the world and society. But the truth is we're equally valuable, in the sight of our Father in Heaven, who sees things aright always. That is the truth. Jew and gentile, black and white, bond and free, male and female. All are alike unto God. _____ Yea, the lie that you are just a "son of man" probably is not the depression lie, specifically. The lie that you are just a "son of man" is probably a lot of things, it's kind of everything. They all fall under that. And that we should worship Satan. Lots probably falls under that, maybe everything. The lie of depression is one half of the "you are to be compared with others" lie, whatever that is. "You are better than others" and "you are not as good as others" are two sides of the same coin. The "you are to be compared with others" coin. Or the "you are whatever you are to the world" coin. The "you are worthwhile if the world sees you as worthwhile" coin. Boy is that a dangerous trap. Then if you're popular you're worthwhile and if you're unpopular you're worth-less. And that's where we are. The world tempts us to be that way. That is what we see. It's the world of the physical senses, of science. Everything that's not spiritual. That whole half of reality, makes it seem like our worth is determined by how others see us, and how we fare in this world - by the "management of the creature." And by the appearance of things, some of us are successful and worthwhile, and others of us are definitely not. Eesh! So it takes faith to believe otherwise, since it takes faith to see anything besides what we see (with our physical senses). It takes faith. And we all have faith, to some degree, right? We may not all believe in God, or assent to it, or know it, or know very much. But faith is the motivating force (what's the phrase from the lectures on faith again?), it's the spring of action or whatever in all intelligent beings. (Does that mean the beasts don't act on faith? Hmm…) Anyway we all have faith to some degree, right? I question it because the Lord says "as all have not faith…" But He also says "o ye of little faith" or whatever to Peter, who had just walked on the water.
31 minutes | Sep 14, 2020
28: A Continuum
(Full Notes) Wednesday, August 12, 2020 Just read in Bill Bryson’s book how chemistry got on a firm footing with the invention of the periodic table. Psychology needs one of those. Seriously. Can the principles of self-deception do this? What are some indubitable examples of self-deception? My first answer was depression and anxiety. But what’s easier? From a distance those ones seem pretty obvious. Their sufferers think they’re generally worthless or that something bad is always going to happen, respectively. Who thinks that? Depressed and anxious people. But come on, really, you’re worthless? You realize that’s not rational, right? No more worthless than anybody else. Plus none of us is really worthless because God loves us with an infinite love. So really you’re thoughts are delusional. Everybody should know and see from a mile away how delusional you are. (We don’t, though, as much as we should.) Sunday, August 16, 2020 How mean. Saying people who struggle with mental illness are delusional. But it's true. We're all delusional, really. Oh, that I could expose that! Well let's try. I suppose we should start with examples that will be obvious to more people. Consult Internet… Well 1st thing is that when you look up "common delusions" Google suggests …in depression …in schizophrenia …in grandeur …in dementia …in bipolar …in alzheimers …in psychosis …so somebody seems to know that at least those things involve delusions. I didn't see anxiety there but it most certainly does, too. Some others I found include: Thought that somebody is out to get you Saturday, August 29, 2020 We say we're trying to understand depression and anxiety, and "tackle them to the ground". If somebody says, "you can't understand depression and anxiety, because they're different in every case," then we'll say, "well we're trying to understand the part that's common to everybody." There is a part that's common to everybody. Self-deception is common to everybody. There might be other principles that are. We can do that. I believe that.
23 minutes | Aug 23, 2020
27: More Scientific
(Full Notes) Saturday, July 4, 2020 The thing with the learned behaviors mentioned in the last podcast is that it can be explained in terms of self-deception. Again about animals being used for experimentation for psychology. I don't know. I know I don't like it, and I'd far prefer to see how far we can get by studying self-deception, as opposed to the brain, personally. Saturday, August 1, 2020 So with every case there is probably an element of the trap and an element of personal responsibility, or an element of being a victim and an element of personal responsibility. Hard to know how much of which it is, and what a person needs to hear. In the church sometimes there are things, I think, that most people need to hear and so in public addresses that may be what we hear. But surely there are those who that doesn't apply to, for which it might make a person do the opposite of what they should. I'm thinking of the term "damaging", that gets used, and sometimes erroneously I believe, especially in teachings of the apostles. But I suppose there is that possibility. We are told they teach the rule, not the exception. But then you admit there is an exception sometimes. I just wish we could teach both sides and say maybe that many of you need the following advice, and some of you probably don't need it and need the opposite, and you must judge honestly for yourself. That's what I wish we could do. If there's always an element of victim-hood and an element of personal responsibility (hard to know how much of which) then a person can't just snap out of something, and sometimes they can. Yes, sometimes they can. This is when it's, I guess, mostly personal responsibility that is the problem and they're not in the trap so deep that they can't snap out of it. Other times the reverse is true, then, where somebody is caught in a snare and, not that somehow miraculously you can't get out of a deep pit fast, but sometimes you can't, right, and it will take longer and no matter your willpower you just can't snap out of something. No way. Miracles happen, and maybe it's not a matter of it being a miracle or not that you are able to get out of a deep pit suddenly or whatever, but sometimes it ain't going to happen. Not right away, anyway. Have to make small choices along the way, and, maybe, still have a miracle to get you out of the trap. In any case I can see how basically sometimes you can snap out of something, and sometimes you can't. I want to understand about anxiety. And depression. The big thing I have is that self-deception is a part of it. Right? That's the whole hulabaloo. Why didn't Terry Warner take it there? He knew about mental illness. But why wouldn't he apply his principles to it? Because he looked at people who struggled with that and maybe himself and just couldn't bring himself to condemn them? Well why condemn anybody else? Of course you don't condemn them. Don't condemn anybody. Leave the condemnation out of it. That's for God, right? In every case, surely. Is the theory of self-deception one of condemnation? I say it doesn't have to be. It can be, if you do that, but it doesn't have to be. We can love people who are self-deceivers, as you might call it--it's all of us! That's the thing with my wonderful mentor, Terry Warner. I think you can take what he thought even further--it applies to everybody and everything. It's just the mechanics of a world of light and darkness. That's how I've always felt, I mean at least I've always felt that it extends beyond interpersonal relationships and beyond the cases where he illustrates it. How can I find the basic insight? The basic insight. I see it most readily in the religious self-deception, but it's also apparent in interpersonal relations. But it's really also apparent in everything. I need to clarify that more. Have plenty of examples ready at hand. Religious self-justification and self-deception - a person downplays God and His word and His messengers as a justification for disobedience. Interpersonal self-deception - a person downplays the reality of other people in order to justify their treating them bad (again, the justification and the thing it justifies are kind of the same thing, no?) Non-religious and non-interpersonal self-deception - like for example littering. The bible doesn't say not to litter. And it's possible a person might never have been taught not to litter. But surely the light of Christ teaches a man not to litter (at least I imagine). So if you do it you have to justify it somehow. There's something in you that rules against it. Let's do a better example - stealing. It's a commandment of God and it is in the Bible. But say you don't know the Bible and maybe even say nobody has taught you not to steal. You still know it's wrong. How? The light of Christ. Everybody knows it's wrong. Nobody has to teach you. It's easier if they do, because otherwise you are "ignorant". But ignorantly sinning is still sinning, because it's wrong, and if it's wrong you will know that, through the Light of Christ if no other way, yes? It may only be faint, your knowing it, but you know right from wrong, whether anybody has taught you or not, because everybody who has the mental capacity of an eight-year-old or whatever knows right from wrong. That's how I see it. Saturday, August 8, 2020 Reading about these guys who made discoveries and steps forward or whatever in science. Wouldn't it be nice if I could be more scientific about things with self-deception? Divorce myself a little from the dependence on religious belief? I don't know if it's possible or not, but what if I offered the thing with self-deception as an observation, and made the case more strongly? Surely if I did that nobody could deny that self-deception exists. It's all around us. It's in each of us. I need to put the evidence for that on the tip of my tongue. Then once that's established we can go to the next step of why it happens, and be clear that that part is a postulation (scientifically speaking). The next part I guess is that for some reason any time we go against our higher knowledge of right and wrong we have to justify it. Or maybe the next part is that there's a universal knowledge of right and wrong we have, not a static one, but one that rules every situation we're in - not reason, as some philosophers have wondered, mere logic based on what must be best for the common good - but a living, continuous thing, not based on man's knowledge at all, but God's. Man may have a part of the knowledge of God, but he will never have all of it, and therefore will never be able to judge aright, of himself, in every situation. But God has all knowledge and knows what is right in any given situation. And if man has any access to the knowledge of God, even if not through the physical senses but just the spiritual, then he can know it, if not for sure all the time, for partially sure. And he can learn to recognize that spiritual sense, if you will, that instinct, that inherent knowledge of right and wrong. I'm trying to say that we have a certain access to the knowledge of right and wrong through the light of Christ, as the Book of Mormon identifies it. Mormon, specifically. Spirit of Christ/light of Christ (light is not capitalized there). Seems like after the initial insight I went straight into postulation stuff. Maybe that's how it has to go? But surely I can make a stronger case for what I'm saying. Lay it out nice and transparent-like. I believe in being transparent. And I would say that what I'm saying about self-deception is not like it's a major tenet of my religion or anything. It may be right, but it's not a major tenet of my religion. The major tenets of my religion are that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and came and atoned for the sins of man and died and was resurrected and his church was re-established in our day by Joseph Smith. But that's a story for another day. It may be related, it may be right, but it's not necessary for the scientific community to know that. They just need to see, like I do, that self-deception happens, and at least see that an explanation is needed, and see that I'm offering one, and I need to offer it in the clearest and most effective way possible. Or that Terry Warner offered one. To him what we go against is more like our duty to our fellow man, and I think it's an even more universal thing. But to him it was living, too, and breathing, and dynamic, meaning it could adapt to any given situation. At least I think he believes that. So first we notice self-deception. You always start with the insight. Every scientific theory does that first. Next you try to explain it. And if you're a bad theorist you mix up your insight with your postulation and you put it all in one like it's all the truth, and make it hard for people to decode. Let's try not to do that. Let's be as transparent as we can. So like I said, next we try to explain it. Why would someone deceive themselves? (And try to deceive other people?) To me with my religious background it seems obvious that the reason is to justify oneself for doing wrong. That's the only thing I can see. Are there any other explanations, I mean possible explanations? You'd have to come up with some other reason people can't handle believing stuff. Too hard, for some reason, maybe, but then why too hard? I don't know, this is unclear to me how you'd come up with another explanation. The only one that makes sense to me is that a person is going against a higher knowledge and is jus
28 minutes | Aug 9, 2020
26: Neither Condemning Nor Excusing
(Full Notes) Saturday, June 13, 2020 I really think there’s something to learning attitudes and behaviors from parents in more subtle ways than we sometimes imagine. I would like to understand the mechanics of this. Why not try to describe this? Surely someone has already. Tuesday, June 16, 2020? I've been reading from 'Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith'. I don't know that I've read more lucid speech, more clear and simple and to the point, and on-target. Very inspiring, not to mention informative. So the thing with learning from our parents (or caregivers), is that we learn from them how to deal emotionally, or however you want to say it. We learn from them, not because they deliberately teach us, but because we sense their emotional needs, their emotional pressures. They in effect emotionally pressure us, despite all efforts, to have the issues they have. I'm not sure how we can avoid that besides actually fixing ourselves first. And how can we fix everything about ourselves before having any kids? Be like Abraham and be 100 when you have your first child? I just think we are going to pass on stuff, like it or not, and we just have to do our best, period. We love our kids and try to repent ourselves all the time and admit our faults as we discover them and just do our best, and our kids will be imperfect too. Thus we all have things to struggle with our whole lives - gives us character and makes us strong. That's just what I think, that's how I see it. I don't know that there's anything we can deliberately do to keep from passing stuff on to our kids except perfect ourselves as best we can. And maybe after that don't worry about it. Like both don't try to do something deliberate to not pass stuff on, and don't despair and obsess over it and fault yourself for your kids' faults. But maybe be aware that your issues will get passed on, and any pride or laziness on your part will exacerbate things, and surely unrepented sin will make you accountable for your childrens' sins in a way that you wouldn't be if you were trying honestly. That's how I'm seeing it. How does that pressure from our parents work? Alice Miller talked about this. Alright, so what am I going to talk about in my podcast? Need something. But that is a true principle that I just mentioned. Not that I said it all right, necessarily. But there is emotional pressure that children are sensitive to, in different ways and perhaps to different degrees, that they respond to and thus learn how to think and act and feel. You never get away from the light of Christ, though, so untruthfulness always feels not quite right and breeds self-deception. Or requires it. Or is it. So for me, for us here, self-deception is the great insight. Self-deception as a necessity, when we go against the light. And the fact that the light is stable. It is constant. It is forever there, unchanging, independent of us, or of our notions. I don't understand the light of Christ fully. But I do think it's clear from the scriptures that it permeates all things, and that you can't get away from it, and that it comes from God. It dictates how we should act, and when we act contrariwise we enter a false world. How does it work being partly in a false world and partly in a true one? I don't know. We speak of having the Spirit of the Lord or not, and perhaps that's true. I don't know. Either we flip often between the two, or there's some kind of mix. But it does seem a little like it's one or the other, like not having the Spirit goes along with being prideful and comparative and everything else. But I'll tell you I either flip a lot or there's some other mix. Joseph Smith's mother said there are two spirits operating upon you, a good and a bad. Tell me more about those spirits, I pray. They're people, right? Good and bad. . .they have to be. But surely we have more spirits operating upon us than two. A person can be encircled about. Legion was possessed by many at once. How does that work? The Lord taught about this, and I feel like Joseph Smith taught about this. 43 When the unclean spirit is gone out of a man, he walketh through dry places, seeking rest, and findeth none. 44 Then he saith, I will return into my house from whence I came out; and when he is come, he findeth it empty, swept, and garnished. 45 Then goeth he, and taketh with himself seven other spirits more wicked than himself, and they enter in and dwell there: and the last state of that man is worse than the first. Even so shall it be also unto this wicked generation. I believe the Lord is not talking figuratively here. He's not. There are laws and principles upon which the spirits operate on us, which haven't been fully revealed. But there's one principle the Lord gave us right there. If a person is once enlightened, and repents, and later returns to their sin, their second state is worse than the first, and it had been better if they had not known the Lord in the first place. I would like to read more of Joseph Smith, and Brigham Young. Surely I will be run into the ground for saying that evil spirits have anything to do with mental health. Sorry. It's just the mechanics of it. Don't have to admit it, don't have to understand it. But then you're left as you are now, not understanding anything about mental health and its causes, and how do you like that? Wo unto the deaf who will not hear, and unto the blind who will not see. Your woe in this case is that you are left with a big question mark regarding all these things, awaiting additional data to come in regarding the brain. Must we kill and abuse so many rats and cats and monkeys in the cause of understanding the brain? I don't know. But I say we're barking up the wrong tree if we're looking for principles of self-deception in that way. Am I being too extreme? Are spirits on one side of the explanation, the spiritual side, and brain function on the other, and they're both just as true? Looking at the creation of the earth, there's the spiritual creation, and there's what happened naturally. I don't know if it's a creation or not. Seems from the reading that there's just a spiritual creation and whatever happened naturally was a result of it. I could study it I suppose, might be something there for me to learn. Still not sure what to make of Eric Skousen's theory. Lot of great insights and a good collection of inspired teachings, to be sure. The insights are always right, and the theories are usually at least partly wrong. Maybe helpful. Ok, well I'm going to keep writing here and I'm still thinking about anxiety. What is it? Too harsh to just call it fear? Or is it true? Surely it's a process full of deliberate effort, like digging a giant ditch and casting up a wall of earth. Takes a great deal of effort and sweat. But what pride will be had when. . .I should say, what satisfaction will be had when the victory is won! Perhaps I am able to see some small victory already. But it must be necessary to know where to cast the earth and not just dig willy nilly, filling in where one has dug just a moment before. That's what I do, I fear, oftentimes. My goal is to know how to direct my actions, or where to cast my earth, in order to waste less time and effort and make a more direct and steady course to my goal. The old crow is getting slow. The young crow is not. Of what the young crow does not know The old crow knows a lot. At knowing things the old crow Is still the young crow’s master. What does the slow old crow not know? —How to go faster. The young crow flies above, below, And rings around the slow old crow. What does the fast young crow not know? —Where to go.1 From <https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/study/general-conference/2011/10/counsel-to-youth?lang=eng> For me I suppose that's getting to bed earlier, taking breaks, exercising and eating well, practicing slowing down and enjoying stuff and people... I do read about these experiments involving mutilating the brains of animals and it troubles me a bit. Our curiosity exceeds our desire to leave the poor animals at peace, or something. I suppose it's meant to be for a good cause in the long run. . . I still don't like it, though. Well have I progressed with anxiety? Can we still say it's an unfortunate thing that happens to some people and our job is to do the best we can with it, while not making excuses, humbly, and we'll be judged on what we do with what we're given? Surely that's all true. But that's not enough. Not if we want to really understand it. Maybe we should admit that we can't judge in any given case how much a person can help or not, and that's not necessarily the point. I suppose we can detect sometimes if a person is making excuses and warn against that. But what of the mechanics - can't we understand the mechanics of it in a way that is super helpful and maps out for a person what can and does happen and just make them aware of it? With a true understanding you won't be overly condemned, and you won't be overly excused. You'll just be informed. No one will be telling you, "you are doing this all yourself and you need to stop it," and no one will be telling you "you are a pure victim in this thing and there's nothing you can do." Because neither is true, is it. Yes, there may be too many voices saying the latter, that we are just victims, and so the inclination of some will be to swing the pendulum the other way and declare that we are all responsible. But the truth is somewhere in the middle, right, and we can't judge exactly in every case how much a person is capable of stopping it. Surely this
29 minutes | Jul 12, 2020
25: Paradoxes Aren’t Real
(Full Notes) Tuesday, May 19, 2020 It is a choice or is it automatic? When is it a choice and when is it not? Tuesday, May 26, 2020 Remember Jordan Peterson's two true perspectives? The one is like a right-wing point of view. And the second is like a left-wing point of view. Surely this is the same as the objective vs subjective I kept seeing as an undergraduate philosophy student. Thursday, May 28, 2020 I’m thinking of the two sacrament meeting talks I heard in New York that one day - both on finding peace. One person said how the only way to find real peace was through Jesus Christ. The other person said how you might need to go on a walk, etc. - whatever you need to do for you to find peace. And I believe both speakers were right. But you can see, can’t you, how one perspective seems a little opposed to the other. How do you heal mental illness? Or address it, at least? One person might say pray and read the scriptures - in other words, strengthen yourself spiritually. This is the perspective that mental illness is a spiritual thing and needs to be addressed spiritually. Someone else might say to take medication and exercise and sleep and eat right. This is the perspective that mental illness is a physical thing. You know what I’m going to say next, right? That it’s both? It’s ok, then, to say it’s one or the other, as long as you don’t exclude the other, and say that it’s just one. Surely this is the case. But why not better to just say right off the bat that it’s both? (Have I said that it’s just spiritual? Maybe. I’ll correct it.) Friday, May 29, 2020 And this is how philosophy can help psychology. How many people are out there saying it's one of the other, and not both! When God gave us the account of the Earth being created, why didn't he give us something that matches more what we see? It is not because it’s the spiritual account, from the spiritual perspective? Doesn’t preclude the natural, it’s just the spiritual? This I don’t know - have to think about it. Sunday, May 31, 2020 This pattern is all throughout philosophy - seeming paradoxes, that aren't really paradoxes of course because there's no such thing as a real paradox, only seeming paradoxes. All throughout life. Meant to be that way. It's a pattern where two ways of looking at things seem incompatible, and people will fight wars over it, but really both sides have their valid points, and you don't have to make the other side ridiculous in order to maintain your side as true. For psychology at least one of these patterns is "whether" anxiety and depression are spiritual or natural. Chosen or caused. Psychological or physical. The spirit or the brain. I have made the differentiation between spirit and matter, that is, spiritual matter and physical matter (because that's what they are…) But I wonder if I shouldn't be talking about intelligence in the place of spirit, at least sometimes. Our spirit body is directed by our intelligence, or the germ in us that knows and that is conscious, and that acts upon everything else, including our bodies. Should I admit that there are three types of things - intelligence, spirit, and physical matter? The latter two are matter, the first, I don't know exactly how to describe it except how I have. It is our intelligence - that which knows and is conscious and acts. It has existed from all eternity, and will for all eternity, only because of God it takes on a spirit body and then a physical body as it progresses to become more like God, the literal Father of our spirits. Maybe I should be talking about our intelligence more, not just our spirit. More specific.
22 minutes | Jun 30, 2020
24: Depression is Natural and Spiritual
(Full Notes) Sunday, May 3, 2020 Well it looks like as it went I just couldn't feel good about saying that anxiety is sin, and that depression is sin. Couldn't feel good about it. I guess that tells me I need to get off that track, don't be thinking that, or saying that. So I won't. And I want everyone to know that I can't feel good about it, so I don't want you to worry about it either. So don't. So then what does this say about anxiety? That all the psychology books are right, that basically anxiety is just inappropriate amounts of fear? Monday, May 4, 2020 But they're missing something, right? They're missing the ingredient of self-deception. Right? Wednesday, May 6, 2020, my kids' birthday Did this just happen or did heaven intervene? Isn't this the same question as some others we've been considering (what?)? My BACnet network is now working, I found out from Brandon. I went ahead and said a prayer of thanks anyway. You look at things from one side and it's all caused by God. You look at it from the other side and there's a natural explanation. Sunday, May 10, 2020 Jordan Peterson says he could have told his client how they were a victim , or he could have told them they were pathetic and need to take more personal responsibility or something, and both would have been true…. Both sides of the political spectrum might have their true enough points… Sunday, May 17, 2020 Then why do we tend to see things from one side or the other? How was the Earth created? Did God do it or is there a natural explanation? Well both are true, right? God works by natural means. Is depression a lie from the father of all lies? Or is it the result of brain chemicals? (See how philosophy is good for understanding psychology?) Is it a spiritual sickness, or is it scientific, explainable by natural science? Is it spiritual or is it physical? Was the Earth created spiritually or naturally? We know it’s both! So in this light isn’t it so much easier to see how it’s wrong-headed to think that depression is just one or the other? Just natural and not spiritual, for example? Or the other way around? And of course the same with anxiety and everything else.
16 minutes | Jun 14, 2020
23: It’s All The Same Stuff
(Full Notes) Thursday, April 23, 2020 So apparently we can sin ignorantly (see the angel’s words to King Benjamin and President Benson and who knows who else.). And the atonement of Christ covers for it (“his blood atoneth for [their] sins”). What does that mean? It means for one thing that a thing can be wrong to do whether we know it or not. The law exists independent of our knowing it. And it displeases God whether we know it or not. But since the atonement covers for it (if we don’t realize it, that is) because of the atonement of Christ we are not condemned. Not because we are not doing wrong, but because the atonement covers it. Does sin cause anxiety and depression? Well it’s a trap, right? Look into me in every thought, doubt not, fear not. Surely where anxiety is there faith is not, and where depression is there the spirit of power and of love and of a sound mind is not. How can we not be going against the will of God when we are in these states? Am I wrong somehow? It is a trap, though. It is a temptation we are all subject to. God understands. And the atonement of Christ atoneth for our sins as long as we are trying and sinning in ignorance. But are these things not sin? Do these things not go contrary to the will of God? And isn’t that sin? Am I going too far here, guys? Maybe it’s unproductive to condemn ourselves for sinning when we’re trying our best at least right now. But isn’t it technically sin to doubt and fear and not to look into God in every thought? My thinking is that we sin all the time without even trying and that’s just how life is, even the best of us. We can’t sit and think we don’t sin. We all do, all the time. We’re imperfect, and we’re just sinning all the time. Right? In our thoughts, in our hearts, in our actions, in our inaction, and in our half-hearted action. We’d go crazy if we focused too much on how much we’re sinning. That’s what I think. But we are. Thank the heavens for Jesus Christ and his atonement. That’s all covered for, if we try, and When we talk about sin we don’t necessarily talk about it that way, right? We talk about it as if sin is a big bad thing and we’re going to hell if we do it. Well we all do it, all the time. God will beat us with a few stripes, we may think, and at last we will be saved in the kingdom of God. No, if we sin it had better be in ignorance or else we can’t be saved in the kingdom of God, only on conditions of repentance. So again, do we sin when we struggle with anxiety or depression or whatever? I can’t decide. I kind of think so, but it’s ignorant, but I don’t even know that. You can be in the midst of that stuff and somebody can tell you or you can read, “look into me in every thought, doubt not, fear not,” and still struggle even with your best efforts, right? I don’t care, I’m going to try that. God will help me. And with His help and according to His will I can make it out of this trap. Saturday, April 25, 2020 How about the story - neither did this man sin nor his parents, that he was born blind, but that the works of God should be made manifest… - or whatever. Our choices can have a role in that stuff, or they may not. And how do we know? We don’t. Hmm. I ask for clarity on this all. Sunday, April 26, 2020 Is a person sinning who has Anxiety? Well I know you can have anxiety or depression and be temple-worthy. Looking at that question it seems silly. That’s not what it’s about, right? Is that a “philosophical question”? The question is framed wrong? But it would have an answer, right? Maybe that answer is maybe, maybe not. Hmmm! Ugh, this is hard! But I bet an understanding of this will carry over to other things. Speaking of knowledge of other things carrying over - was reading in my book about how electricity works. Wouldn’t it be awesome if you could spell out how some of these spiritual laws work? These laws of psychology? Diagram them, quantify them, formulate them, etc? Can that even happen? Is that possible at all or is it just a pipe dream? Thursday, April 30, 2020 I don't have a burning thought, just want to sit and maybe work through something. Still don't know what Anxiety is. What if the bad, maladaptive anxiety really is the same exact stuff as the good, adaptive kind, just more of it? I don't get it. Why is it so different, then? Can't get there from here. And why isn't it correct to ask if a person is sinning who has anxiety? I guess if I were to answer for myself I'd say the Lord doesn't want me to worry about that - to worry that I'm sinning or whatever. He doesn't want me to feel condemned, because he doesn't condemn me. He is encouraging to me, I feel like - to look unto Him, to doubt not, to fear not. Excess laughter is sin. What else is sin? Countless things, right? Like King Benjamin says? The Lord doesn't want me to worry about it like I am. But I do sin, like all the time, surely, right? But the Lord, for me, doesn't want me to worry about that. What does that say? Maybe it says I shouldn't obsess over whether a person, whether myself or someone else, is sinning, when they have anxiety or are depressed. I might have to settle for now with "I don't know." Maybe the answer will come along the way, but maybe I can move on without knowing that. I know I definitely feel like I'm probably sending the wrong message to tell other people that. Hmmm. Ok, that was good. What about anxiety? I feel like I have to back up from this broken bridge and try another route or something. What is anxiety? What is anxiety? Depression is a condemnation of the self, a rejection of the self, a failure to forgive oneself, right? And I know I'm fearing too much, and I know I have anxiety. I know I fear too much because I know the Lord wants me to forsake my fear. Anything I need to forsake? Yes, Clayton, your fear. Well anxiety is built out of fear, right? What would Ryan the therapist say? I don't know - he said when I talked to him that one time kind of how anxiety and depression are related. There's a discouragement to depression, right? Is that part of it, or just a by-product? (I don't know.) Sheesh, I can't get anywhere! Maybe that's bad to say. I know for me the general message from the Lord is that I shouldn't worry about it so much. I worry about everything too much I guess, whether good or bad - just worry about it. Too much. He doesn't say don't worry about it "in the wrong way," He says don't worry about it so much. Or maybe He just says "don't worry about it." I'm worrying about all the wrong things. Worry about it, but don't worry about it. Well how am I supposed to help anybody if I can't figure this out? How am I even supposed to proceed with my podcast if I can't figure this out? Why can't I figure this stuff out? I'm sure I can. With the Lord's help I can. Can't be that hard. But what is it????? Another thing I know I’m supposed to do is enjoy stuff. Enjoy people, enjoy my work even. Let my love flow. And I'm supposed to go out of my way a little more to do things I enjoy. Still not doing so good with that. But I am musically collaborating with my sisters weekly, so I think that's part of it. Need to do more. I'll have to think about that. But what does that say? In general, I mean. It says that a person like me needs to do things they enjoy, to do some serious self-care. Kelly is the same way. She needs to do that, too. Maybe there are lots of people like me and Kelly. Interesting that she does her thing with social media, that what she does probably speaks to her and people like her. What I do probably speaks to people like me. Not everybody's like me. But surely the principles are static, if they're true, they're true. But you have to take the thought all the way. What am I going to do for my podcast? This stuff seems a little like drivel. I don't want to waste anybody's time. What is anxiety? Let's pretend for a moment that it's made out of the same stuff as light-duty, regular run-of-the-mill, ordinary, healthy, no-big-deal anxiety. All the same. Just a matter of quantity. Let's pretend that for a moment. Some is good, more is bad. Some is good, less is bad. Is that the case? Less than a normal amount is bad, too? Well probably, right? In that case, fear isn't good or bad in itself, it's just whatever. It's neutral. You're supposed to have some. And when the Lord says, fear not, He doesn't mean that fear is bad in itself, that any fear at any time is wrong, but that…what? "Look unto me in every thought. Doubt not, fear not." There's doubt in there, too, by the way. Does that pertain to depression? Doubt? I don't know. Let's look at a pattern real quick. The question is the problem of evil - why do bad things happen to good people and God doesn't stop them? The question has something wrong with it, first of all, right? Well anyway I know the answer I felt inspired about in my little blue book in the testing center was about the allegory of the olive tree where the Lord did everything he could for his vineyard but it kind of did what it wanted, to a degree. The Lord couldn't force it. To bring forth good fruit. I don't remember exactly what I said, but it was about that scriptural story or whatever. How does that answer the question? Well doesn't it say how the question is wrong? The question assumes God can stop people from doing bad things to each other, for example. Friday, May 1, 2020 I'm thinking about this thing where fear is not good or bad in
22 minutes | Jun 4, 2020
22: The Status on Anxiety
Full Notes: Tuesday, April 7, 2020 What I’m talking about, self-deception, is not a contributing factor to mental illness. If it were a contributing factor you could take it away and still have mental illness. No, it is common to all cases. It’s common to us all. Again, it’s like internal combustion in gasoline engines, or lift for something that flies. There all the time. Therapy is probably great, I guess, but isn’t therapy really hard to do for some people, and maybe less effective for some people? Wouldn’t some people sooner self-medicate before they go make an appointment to talk to somebody and spill their guts out to a stranger? Not saying they shouldn’t do therapy, just saying some people find it harder, for one reason or another, and that’s why many people don’t. Even if they “need it.” Maybe some of those people would listen to a podcast, though, or read a book. Or watch YouTube. Maybe some people would rather do it in private than do it with a therapist. Just a thought. Thursday, April 9, 2020 Again, not that more people maybe shouldn’t do therapy. But you might reach more people that way. Plus not everybody has an issue at a “clinical level”. Many people might struggle with depression or anxiety or whatever, but it might be “sub-clinical”. Surely this is a spiritual thing. Surely depression is a spiritual sickness. And same with anxiety. May have physical factors, I guess. But surely it’s a spiritual thing. Why do I say that? I guess for me there is an attitude issue. There is a lack of faith. There’s a gratitude issue. There’s a lack of forgiveness. There’s a lack of hope, which is despair. The lack of faith is doubt. The lack of confidence is fear. Doubt not, fear not. Look into me in every thought. I’m sure I don’t look into the Lord in every thought when I’m struggling with depression and anxiety. What does LDS social services say about this all? How do they handle it? (What are they called now, by the way?) Monday, April 13, 2020 Find a way to illustrate how sometimes you can't do much in the moment of great alarm, but you can in other moments. It's true, right? How do you illustrate that? Tuesday, April 14, 2020 How about tending to a plant? Allegory of the Lord's olive trees. Should I edit the Spirit episode to nix the unenlightening discussion on Christ and the legion of spirits, and put in instead how in ways we don't understand we are influenced by both good and evil spirits. I have to imagine that's how we are tempted/influenced to do bad things, and that's how we get stuck in traps of bad behaviors, etc. Evil spirits don't just help us in that process, they are integral to that process. And also good spirits have their part to play in our protection and who knows what else. We are surrounded. Both by the good and the evil spirits. And our choices make us subject to the evil spirits, who have the power to captivate as we subject ourselves to them. This is how I imagine it. Friday, April 17, 2020 Peace and happiness. Happiness and peace. Don’t those correspond to depression and anxiety? Those are the two things we want, right - peace and happiness? And the absence of peace is anxiety, and the absence of happiness is depression? The opposite of hope is despair (and despair cometh because of iniquity…). The opposite of faith is fear. What am I getting at, here? I don’t know. But we all want peace and happiness. And instead we get anxiety and depression. Depression is misery. It’s not just the absence of feeling. I’ve been wondering if depression doesn’t describe more than one thing. Because there’s absence of feeling, and there’s misery. There’s being out of touch with yourself, and there’s acute misery, right? I don’t know. All I know is I need to have more fun in my life. What was that elder describing on my mission? It was basically depression, I’d say, but it was more about being out of touch with myself. What was that? What is that? I’ve been calling it depression. But then what’s the more acute misery? Tuesday, April 21, 2020 Ok, what is anxiety? If you read any psychology book on the matter we’re on the subject, it will tell you that anxiety that troubles us is no different than the normal healthy kind that we experience that keeps us out of danger and keeps us being smart. I just don’t know that I think it’s really the same thing. Seems to me like this bad, damaging, maladaptive kind of anxiety is different. It’s born of a lie. That things are going to be bad and we can’t take it and it will be the end of the world. There’s a lie behind this stuff. There’s not a lie behind driving safely. It’s distorted. It’s maladaptive. That means it’s not helping us, and we’re going in the opposite direction of what we should. So I guess to me it seems like there’s a qualitative difference to this kind of anxiety. I could be wrong. But it seems like there’s just a qualitative difference. What do you guys think? If we figured out the depression is in essence the lie that you are not worth anything, and anxiety is the lie that your world is going to end, and depression is a rejection of the self, or a failure to forgive yourself, Then what is anxiety? There’s got to be an answer. There’s got to be a way to understand this. No anxiety is definitely fear, right. Man, I don’t know why this is so hard for me to wrap my head around. But I will celebrate when we figure this out. Anxiety is fear, or giving into your fear, and chronic anxiety, or the pattern of anxiety that we see, is an inset, established, biological practically or really actually form of the shorter term thing. Just like the shorter term depression is dissing yourself, and the longer-term is all the results of that, anxiety in the short term is fearing, and then the long term is all the yuckiness that goes along with that. Seems like these spiritual principles have a little lag time or something. To what can we liken that? We will keep working on this question. It’s an important one – the relation between the immediate action and the long-term condition. I wish I had the answers to these questions right now, for your sake, but I don’t. And that’s what this podcast is. Maybe one day I’ll have a podcast where I disseminate information without asking any questions, but it’s not now.
19 minutes | May 22, 2020
21: Fun More Seriously
Monday, Mar 23, 2020 They were talking about the brain today, on my psychology podcast. People. More research is needed, he said. More research is always needed. When are we going to understand the brain, I ask you? Does the brain really cause our behaviors like you’re thinking? Or doesn’t it reflect our behaviors? Don’t we cause our behaviors? I think we do, more than “the brain”. Just a personal opinion. What does it mean to look beyond the mark? It’s the same as seeking for things we can’t understand, is it not? Surely. And why do we do that? The answer is right before us, if we’ll have it, isn’t it. It’s easier than we’re thinking. We over-complicate things. That’s what we do, isn’t it. Some of us, at least. This is it. We have the answers not that far from us sometimes, but we don’t want them. Is that what I do? Friday, Mar 27, 2020 But is it possible that as a society we could all be missing the mark together on a subject as big as this? Well we do with religion, right? We can all miss it together. But not everybody. Necessarily. Some people might know the truth, and it's just the general population that's missing it. But with depression and anxiety, seems like there's no group of people that get it, even an enlightened group. It would be on the internet, right? Somewhere. Surely somebody can figure it out and the word can spread, even if to a small number who are willing to hear it and understand it. Here's the thing. Satan is involved, and self-deception is involved, but the person isn't necessarily condemned before the Lord. We can't judge, right? You go against the light, you self-deceive, and your path is darkened. We're all fallen. We all fall short. We are all in need of the atonement. Why do we need to judge each other? We can say in our hearts that another has caused his own difficulties. Well that may be true, right, but isn't it the same with our own difficulties? Surely it's possible for us all to cause some of our own difficulties. And some not. We want to say officially that nobody causes their own difficulties, but that's not true. Sometimes we do. But that's no reason not to have compassion on one another. Right? Because don't we all do the same, in one way or another? We all do it, from the least to the greatest. Just not Jesus Christ. We talked about "What can we do?" What do you think we can do? What's the answer to that question? Or the answers? Is it many possible things, and they may be different for each situation? Surely that's it. But surely we can also find some commonality in our answers and give suggestions to each other. Which we do. Saturday, Mar 28, 2020 I want this podcast to be more fun. I imagine more laughing. Do I need Skye? Or do I need to be more relaxed when I do it? Tues, Mar 31, 2020 Isn’t anxiety just a big excuse? Think about addiction. There is something appealing about anxiety and depression. There’s a reward, make no mistake about it. Addiction needs a reward. Well anxiety and depression have rewards. The excuse is the reward. Excuse for what? In the case of anxiety, for not doing what you need to do that’s hard and requires ignoring your fear. In the case of depression the reward is the excuse for being happy. That’s why it’s expressly miserable. That’s the definition of depression - misery, the opposite of happiness. Misery gives us our excuse for…not being happy. It can be hard to be happy. It requires giving up our pride sometimes. Giving up our misery can be hard, it can take a hard swallow of pride. We can humble ourselves by being happy, by being grateful, by realizing how blessed we are. Surely this is it. This mechanism of self-justification and self-deception is hard to pinpoint - what the excuse is and what the deception is. It’s a little hard to think about. Can I make some headway that way? Find the pattern, the universal description? But depression is a big excuse. And anxiety is a big excuse. Not like we think maybe, but it is. Excuse for what? For not being happy, and for not being peaceful, respectively. It can be hard to be peaceful. You don’t get to have the excuse of being nerve-wracked. You have to face whatever it is alone, with just you and your laziness. “I was lazy, and a little bit rebellious.” Look that up. This is good. (Is not this real?). Thinking about it from the outside though this sounds terrible. How do I say this? With love. It is a trap. It gets worse the more you indulge. I say anxiety is a big excuse, and depression. But remember we are not necessarily condemned by God (right?) There are many reasons we can be in that pattern. But oh, it's there. You can't throw that away just because it's hard. And none of this is an excuse to stop loving anybody. That's always there, too. You can have issues and still deserve love. Everyone deserves our love. Surely the two are true at the same time. That we are excusing ourselves from going against the light in one way or another, and that we deserve love and are loved by our Heavenly Father. It's just the mechanics of this fallen world. Yea, this is going to go over great in the world. And there's a chemical aspect of depression and anxiety, like a bunch of things, and whatever else goes along with it. But I tell you that these things with self-deception are going on too, in every case. Oh yes, every case. Does that mean it's the "cause"? We've gone over this. No, not necessarily. This is a principle, like internal combustion, that is necessary but goes without saying, as long as you understand it. But understand it. Understand it. You would want to know about internal combustion to understand your car, and you might as well understand this to understand psychology. Understand self-deception. Understand there is a light we either conform to or self-deceive. Take it or perish. You never win going against it. But we do all the time, and that's part of life and frankly, it's ok as long as we're trying and if we believe in Jesus Christ and do works meet for repentance then we'll be saved, we'll be ok. But you can't do evil to yourself or anybody else, with impunity. Depression is doing evil to yourself. So since self-deception, self-justification are part of depression and anxiety, how do you combat them? Exercise. Sleep. Eat better. Work on your relationships. All those things they say to do. But just don't expect that you can do them and hold on to your grudge against yourself, or give in to the lie of anxiety. Those things have to be done, too. This is an imperfect podcast… I try to be as right as I can, while treading on some ground that is new. I hope you'll forgive me if I lead you astray in any way. I think, I hope, you understand the nature of this podcast. It's theoretical, it's not meant to take the place of therapy. I'm not saying all the things you need to hear, necessarily. It's imperfect and I'm acknowledging that. Most of all I hope you don't think that since you're doing these things that there's something wrong with you. Believe me, you're very normal. And I can tell you your Father in Heaven loves you, more than you can imagine. Maybe with His help you can deal with this thing. Maybe you'll get a lot better, maybe you will continue to struggle with it for the rest of your life to some extent. I pray you'll be able to get to a point where it will be at least tolerable and you'll be able to perform whatever mission your Father in Heaven has for you on this earth, despite your difficulties. None of us are perfect and many of us have to deal with very hard things, perhaps our whole lives to some extent. Hang in there. Don't stop trying. Maybe pray that we'll get a better understanding of these things. Try to do the things you can do. Your Heavenly Father loves you. Thursday, April 2, 2020 Satan is involved. He sure is. No question about it. Hate to say it, I know it's unpopular, but he is. He's involved. These things are traps. His traps. And his lies. And his power. All darkness is of him. All captivity is of him. You better believe it. Don't have to, but if you want to understand psychology and life then you do. No other way, sorry. (The brain.) None of this means God doesn't love you - He does, and though you may be in a trap, He's there for you, He's with you and wants you to be happy.