Notes on “soul murder”

The term “soul murder” could fit. The feeling of having been killed. That is why I started this weblog as the weblog of someone speaking from beyond the grave.)

It is hard to do academic work in field because the person who did that was killed.

Or, as I said many years ago, went into hiding.

In any case the important thing today is that I did write a few sentences and I did not self-destruct.

The point, as we know, is not what can be done to you, but what you can be taught to do to yourself.


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Un dimanche, and a self-indulgent, self-involved post. Or not: it starts out with consumerism, yet ultimately it could be a psychoanalytic post.

The weather is pleasant today and I could suffer less than I do. I have paid off a card and so in shopping news I ordered jeans and a bag, that I needed, and decided to buy glasses, that I need, and all of these things are for work. I have also located a bicycle, although I cannot afford it until next summer.

I have decided against a desk or a chair for the foreseeable future. I have further decided that I am in a phase of disliking to write and I need a pomodoro. (No, I do not, because it ticks — and I invented that “technique” before it was marketed, anyway — I should just start to do it and be  bullet-biter.)

I dreamed this morning of my mother. I asked her why she wanted me to do nothing for myself and nothing for her, yet not to leave her side. She said that what she needed was for me to stand within her line of sight and look wise.

That would be quite something for a psychoanalyst to study. I am thinking about my major in college, chosen because it was a compromise between my own interests and the family’s. I needed a major that interested me and that they would not be abusive about or hurt by. Later on I could do another set of degrees, chosen in absolute freedom, I thought.

And this has never been quite possible, but something like it may become possible one day.

My favorite book is Go Tell It On the Mountain. This is a reason to reread it and discover new reasons why this is my favorite book. I know it is because it is the book that always comes to mind when people ask what books are important to one. Today, when answering that question, I said the additional books I wanted to read were by Braudel, Fromm, Huizinga, and Marx.

That gives an idea of my actual major, perhaps, although not a complete one.

I want to read. I want to finish this paper so I can get back to my real project. That I have this thought is exciting.


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But, on the other hand, I love research

…and the time for that, and the validity of the research identity, and the authority to do research, are what Reeducation took.

I am not sure I agree with everything in this post, or identify, but it is of interest and I do not think Vallejo had the idyllic childhood they say he had.


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Pour penser

My explanation for this record is unsatisfactory: I simply never saw the point of school. I loved the long process of understanding. In school, I often felt like I was doing something else.

There is a great deal to say about various points made in this piece. A side comment from me is that perhaps one of the reasons I like to go on language immersion is that it is so escapist. A way to withdraw. Also a venue in which I can be extroverted, but in a way I like. And a venue in which I can recreate myself.


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That academic allergy

Working in a profession which you have been shamed for having and where you have also been shamed for being competent, and which you have in addition been shamed for being willing to consider as one option among many.

This multiple shame factor is so great as to be paralyzing and the time I spend fighting it is not “procrastination”. I have a nice psychologist with cognitive behavioral and “mindfulness” training and a good Ph.D. He points out that the lost time is a source of anxiety and that it augments pain, and these things are true. Yet that is where some time has to go as long as I am shackled in the way I am. What he does not see is that that pain, no matter how bad it is, is nothing compared to what it is to walk into the space of multiple shaming unprepared and unprotected.

Decades now trying to recover from Reeducation in the recommended ways. What others think will be “too painful” is something else.

[P]eople are attacking the minutiae because addressing the global stuff is too heavy. Or it might be too painful to recognize the structures of abuse and ill health that are dominating one’s life right now.

That is interesting because what I find more painful and also time-consuming is finding ways not to address the “global stuff,” or finding ways to conform to or compromise with those (practitioners) who think it would be too painful. I am clearly in a minority, wanting to get to the heart of things and move on.

I had a conversation with a colleague tonight who thought the administration was not being demoralizing intentionally. I said yes it is; it is just trying–and apparently succeeding, in your case–to convince you that it wants to improve morale. It wants to improve your morale as an employee, not as a faculty member.



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That Socialist Songbook

It seems that many of the freedom songs we studied so assiduously in early elementary school were actually from the Socialist Songbook. The plot thickens, and I am not complaining.

There is this: “Ain’t going to let electric prodders / turn me ’round / I’m a marching to freedom land.” That is from the 1950s, in the United States.


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So many people are so mechanistic, and so superficial (and such blowhards)

This article, which I got from Clarissa, misses the point once again. Of course it is good to get up and do things, including when you think you do not feel like it or find it difficult to begin. This fact has never been in question. Neither has the idea that you should work on your project every day.

I remember a discussion about mood and work I had in graduate school. It was a beautiful day and I wanted to spend some time outdoors, for the sake of the beauty but also because it would be good for work. The other graduate student said: “But it is nice indoors, as well.” WRONG … you should not repress doing what will be good for you.

I said yes, it is nice indoors, but I am tired and the outdoors will refresh me, which I need in general, but especially because I want to do 2.5 hours of work today. The other graduate student said: “But are you in a state to even think about doing work today?”

She was right if she was talking about taking a day off if you are really not in a state to do work but that was not the situation on that day. This was the first time I had ever heard of making one’s mood an excuse for not working, or having it be a block, and the concept seemed so foreign and also unnecessary.

It is of course true that the difficulty starting work, or bogging down in a project, is painful and the pain and difficulties compound, making things more and more difficult. “Just starting” can sometimes help with this although the “loop” is hard to cut once it has formed. Advice on how to do things is also good for people who do not start because they do not have instructions or know how to generate them.

This is of course not good for trauma. The usual advice, such as “write before you are ‘ready’,” does not work if not being ready means you have insufficient access to self. It is even counterproductive; in my case it means I bog down.

On starting immediately: I still do start immediately and my project is, first, to shed my public role and return to myself, and next, to start excavating the hidden self that used to do and to some extent still does a certain kind of work.




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