Category Archives: Theories

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.

Axé.

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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.

Axé.

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Comment écrire

The way to write is to write 2.5 hours in the morning and do things that strengthen you the rest of the time.

But those are just practicalities. At a deeper level, you have to fill the project with yourself, as Proust might have said, and pull it onto your ground.

I find myself unable to work efficiently on Vallejo because I withdraw. I withdraw because I feel I am being crushed by the mountain of work on him that I am not interested in, but should theoretically control and address when I would much rather read him alongside other things. Outside as well are the shouting voices of various supervisors telling me to write more and faster (from an era when in fact I was writing more and faster than they, I must point out).

Now that I see the reason my mind seems to scramble is withdrawal, I may be able to improve the situation. The other thing I notice is that I do not seem to think Vallejo projects are my friends. Vallejo materials only seem friendly when I look at them as an amateur or fellow traveler. I find I must keep reminding myself that even at a professional level, they are my friends. This is somewhat odd, I find, but it is true.

#OccupyHE

Axé.

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The mistreatment

It is like self-injury, or is self-injury. It has been happening since Reeducation said (or seemed to say, or communicated) I did not deserve to be enjoying life as I was, to be in as good health as I was or to have achieved the things I had.

I should stop following any Reeducated recommendations.

I should also give myself credit: I am working on something now that throws almost my whole life in my face. I could: give myself credit for this on the one hand, and on the other remember that objectively, it is just a little project.

I feel healed now.

But the mistreatment has a payoff, namely, that one gets to become ill, and to recover. (That is as though one only deserved a nice day as compensation for suffering. It also means one is convalescing instead of living well. The cycle is: self-injure, convalesce, repeat.)

That means it is a strategy for hobbling. And I would love to see what I would be like, and what my life would be like, unhobbled. But on the other hand: if I were only self-injuring moderately, I would not notice it and others would not, but I would still be undermining myself. It is almost as though I had magnified the phenomenon so as to be able to see what it is.

The destructive aspect of being ill and recovering: one does not get to do the things one could do if well.

The constructive aspect: one gets some time to think, time to see what underlies, and time off the straight and narrow (because otherwise one is doing what one should and what is correct and practical … since what one wants does not appear to available or attainable …).

The straight and narrow path I seem to be rejecting by engaging in self-harm: doing as one is told.

What I would like: not more obedience but rather, the vista of life unhobbled, life without self-harm.

My problem, still, is still about granting myself authority of any kind, and allowing myself to be at the center of my own life.

Why do I engage in self-harm? So that my mother will love me. Which I need her to do since I need her shelter.

But my mother is dead.

I must reoccupy good living. When I used to live well, treat myself well, enjoy life, be good to myself, do things during the day that advanced me, it was not because I was on the straight and narrow but because I was on the path of pleasure.

I would like to see what life is like without this. Not just a few days — I do manage that often enough — but months on end.

Yet it still feels as though Reeducation had killed the person who did so many beautiful things, the subject of those acts.

But one of my friends signs all correspondence, “Onward.”

Axé.

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Notes on things I agree and disagree with

Pace Reeducation, passing emotions are not necessarily, yea most likely not “the real you” (if such a thing exists), and they are certainly not more valid than more lasting feelings or considered views. And considered views, for their part, are not merely things one has been taught to believe — they are considered views, noget helt andet.

The idea that one should identify only with passing emotions and consider “false” anything more lasting or more thought-out will, if applied seriously, eradicate the sense of self.

I am not one of those who says “work” is less important than “life,” but I do think quality of life has to come before everything.

Research is what makes academic work run. It is what makes it interesting, and it is what gives you the feeling of progress and change, but it is also what makes everything else possible.

However, the idea that you should sacrifice quality of life for the sake of a research field is pernicious and it also fails: you must maintain the person who does the research.

Repetitions: the things that keep happening to me, and that dog me, always have to do with not countering or not having countered various forms of abuse or oppression enough. With having internalized them, and then struggling with them. With remaining silent.

The question is not how one is “dysfunctioning,” or how one is victimized, but how to maintain integrity. (That, integrity, is one of the main topics in this weblog from time immemorial, as we know.)

I need daily support on these matters so this post and list will serve for that. I also think academic work has to be approached from the point of view of reason. That should be obvious but is not if you work in a heavily politicized hall of mirrors and have had the supremely  anti-intellectual Reeducative program following you.

If you allow yourself to make use of reason, and I do not mean false reason, then you can be calm. And for me calm is the most important thing: academic work became so fraught when so many extraneous things were transferred onto it. Formerly I would have said it was unwise not to remain in good shape to work, and to transfer extraneous things onto it. I would have said those things would make progress unlikely, and should not be done.

#OccupyHE

Axé.

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How to fix things

…by practicing mental health hygiene. It is not all one must do but hygiene is not mere obedience or compliance. And it does not work in a day but it has a cumulative effect, if only that of not being destructive.

The trick is not to say it is all one needs, or not to allow anyone to say this. It is only a basis for things. Claiming that hygiene was enough is one of my past errors–it is akin to the claim that standard academic advice is enough. This, I see, is one of the reasons I self-destruct by, for instance, not keeping food in the house, not sleeping enough, or whatever it is: I am dissatisfied with mere hygiene because it is insufficient. This does not mean it is not necessary, of course, and I see why I am so angry with mental health hygiene now.

Here is the hygiene exercise du jour: work for three hours without yelling at myself or berating myself for any reason, and without allowing myself to become engulfed in self-doubt or sadness. It is because these feelings overtake me that I get enmired (and allowing such feelings to overtake me is of course something I had inculcated in Reeducation).

It is interesting that I had to LEARN to allow those feelings to overtake me: before Reeducation I would have dismissed them as irrational remnants, which they are. In Reeducation those remnants had to be one’s TRUE feelings but in yoga or Buddhism, for instance, they would just be vague passers-by, illusions.

(In Christianity, I notice, people struggle with demons but I like the idea of illusions much better. It is far more fun to simply let an illusion pass than it is to lock oneself into a struggle with a demon.)

ADDENDUM: Dumping guilt has to be one of the first hygiene moves. In my case also, feeling guilty disables me (via fatigue) such that I am not able to come through on things–which exacerbates guilt. And it is strange, I never used to feel guilty about academic work. People would say they felt guilty when taking time off, for instance, but I never did, because I was not then in an abusive relationship with it. I am subsumed in guilt nowadays, though, and on this half masochistic and half liberating weblog I try to deal with it.

Axé.

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I also think this

If I stop accusing myself of procrastination and avoidance and recognize that these things are not rooted laziness or adolescent-style “rebellion” but fear, and they are also misguided efforts at protection (against yet greater self-abuse, I might add), it might help.

What can I do for me today? Be gentle. I am so violent with myself, it is frightening. Just the thought of being gentle, the possibility of it, brings instant calm and clears my mind.

(It is true that after a certain point I did not lead the life I wanted but the life others chose. I am not going to torture myself about that, either. I will remember it is not my fault that, since earliest memory, my priority could not be choosing what I wanted and had to be compliance. I will remember that I knew this was a problem and sought help for it, and was sincere.)

I can achieve calm if I remember to be gentle. So that is what I can do tomorrow: not ask what I can do for ME today, or “be good to myself” since I do not entirely understand that, but just be gentle.

Axé.

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