Dat Blackguard

My friend and I discussed our problems with the Blackguard. I fear the Blackguard, if unchecked, can become our infernal wind. I do not want to feed that. Rather than discuss him further I am posting brief notes on the ideas we developed here.

Problems we can solve as individuals: dealing with someone who wants to decide who one is and what one does and thinks, and then intervene in that to modify it; dealing with someone who wants access to one’s energy and time, and who tries to manipulate one by stirring up pain from the past.

Problem we would like solved at the level of the unit: being, once again, in a situation where business cannot be done and progress cannot be made because there is a war on or someone is making war. It would be discouraging and tiring to allow this.


10 thoughts on “Dat Blackguard

  1. who tries to manipulate one by stirring up pain from the past.

    These seem to be ppl who try to dominate on the basis of superego. I think that superego is always backwards looking, chastising and berating one for events of the past. If one had a normal relationship with one’s self, one would be propelled into the future rather more, but superego, when fed and enlivened by an enemy-who-pretends-friendship, always getting one looking back at anything ressembling a past error, and trying to improve.

    To be honest, once again, I think there are ppl who do not realise how much their own entire lives are dominated by superego, so that they can’t see the negative effect they tend to have on others around them.

  2. Also you should read Journeying: Where shamanism and psychology meet by Jeanette M Gagan — which explains some things that I stumbled upon accidentally (talk about reinventing the wheel!)

  3. Very good points and we of course note that Reeducation, which was past oriented, was all about superego … while claiming to be about the “true” or “deep” self … !

  4. I have had a couple of acquaintances who have tried to superego me into submission. On one level, I don’t think they understand that they are trying to do precisely this. I think their personalities have become dominated by superego, and they lack sensitivity to a more humane and human sense of nuance. They experience the world in terms of absolutes of black and white, instead. So when something goes badly, it doesn’t seem to them like a situation involving intricate human relations, but rather it seems to be one where somebody has been evil and needs punishing.

    But, reading Gagan, this is the attitude of someone who has developed self-hate. They have experienced themselves as evil because they have needs and desires that the parents have not been able to cater to, perhaps at a very young age. To have needs that have gone unsatisfied — or worse, punished (and not receiving satisfaction is a form of intense punishment, at an early age) — leads to an internal assessment that one is some kind of monster. The superego comes down on one heavily to condemn one’s inner self, which subsequently remains repressed. Instead, a passively compliant external self is created — and this becomes identified as the one true self (although it isn’t). But this external self is ruled by superego, not by human love or responsiveness.

    So there are people who generate this aura of being ruled by superego, rather than by an inner self. To encounter such a person makes me extremely uncomfortable. It’s as if they can take the wind from one’s sails, since their capacity to relate genuinely is almost nil.

    And they will also tend to relate to you as they relate to themselves — on the basis of the harsh and censurious quality of their superego.

  5. “It’s as if they can take the wind from one’s sails, since their capacity to relate genuinely is almost nil.”

    ***This is what that Blackguard is like. (From what it sounds like to me, I think it has to do with lack of attention in infancy or something like that…)

    And they will also tend to relate to you as they relate to themselves — on the basis of the harsh and censurious quality of their superego.

    ***Yes, and with people like this my error tends to be to think that if I can just get through to them we will understand each other.

  6. ***Yes, and with people like this my error tends to be to think that if I can just get through to them we will understand each other.

    From my study today, I have drawn a few more conclusions. It seems that the reason it is difficult to get through to such people is that their sense of their core self is very negative, and thus hidden from their own view to a large extent. They feel that they are abhorrently aggressive, and therefore hateful, and yet they feel that they must also be this way in order to get their basic needs met. (see the reasons as relating to infantile aggression, in the segment from my blog that I will post below.)

    So, they are caught in a state that seems to have no way out, without either you losing out or themselves losing out. At least, this is the way that it must feel. (Either the infant demands to be fed and upsets and inconveniences its parents, or the infant denies its own needs, and the parents are satisfied.)

    So, when you say, “what you are doing is hurtful/inconvenient”, the person just hears you denying them their necessary sustinence for existence. It is as if you are saying to them: “You don’t deserve any of life’s necessities!” when what you are really saying is: “Please respect our social boundaries.” It really seems to them that you are asking them to deny their needs.

    And I think that is why you cannot get through to such people. Unfortunately, this pathological mode of discourse is predominant in terms of thinking of gender, too, where one person asking another to respect their dignity and rights as a human being is taken to imply that the other person is worthless and deserves no love or attention. But that is really a psychological confusion, that is driving such things as the Men’s Rights movement, and so on.

    From my blog:
    Lacan sees paranoia and ambivalence as normal, adult psychological states — (with the ironic proviso that nobody is mentally healthy!).

    I think Lacanian theory is very much immersed in the notion of original sin — hence its attempt to reduce the importance of the place of the Mother (and of women). However, as Gagan points out, the feeling that an infant might develop, that it is “evil” for having desires for being nurtured that overwhelm the parent, involves a self-misunderstanding concerning the nature and meaning of infantile aggressivity — namely that the emotion itself is ontologically neutral, and that, given the right (ie. neutral/receptive) circumstances, the expression of the emotion would enable one to achieve a neutral equilibrium in relation to the world; that is, the emotion would self-neutralise. However, I suspect that Lacan imports too much of a feeling of uncertainty, regarding the infant’s true moral status, into his assessment of the existential state of the normal functioning adult. That is, he doesn’t seem to implicitly understand that the infant subject’s aggressivity would be neutralised, if he were left to the normal recourses of Nature (so long as Nature was allowed to function as Nature, rather than in terms of the constraints of “Civilisation”.) So, Lacan’s next step is very Catholic — and he requires “The Name of the Father” to effectively baptise the infant into a Civilised state that is specifically divorced from Nature (identified as original sin). And this divorce from Nature (as from the Unconscious) creates the basis for Lacanian paranoia in the adult state, and for suspicion of the other (which is all, actually, based on the necessary suspicion that one doesn’t really know what one’s Unconscious is doing — for in the Lacanian paradigm, one truly doesn’t.)

    I think the rigidity of the Lacanian psyche, at the level of adult development, is what produces the discomfort of the ego in relation to the rest of the psyche — since the Lacanian Unconscious is alienated by the structuralistic imperatives of language, imposed by Society (“from above”).

    It is this anti-Natural edifice of linguistic determinism that in fact creates the pathologies that a different approach to culture could easily bypass. The shamanistic paradigm is quite different, since it is seen that a return to Nature is a way to restore equilibrium (as, for instance, between the conscious and unconscious parts of the mind).

  7. Very interesting. I saw this and your blog yesterday but I keep being at these weird Internet stations and not saying much (yet).

  8. O good, it´s you! I can´t get Facebook or Pandagon at many Spanish Internet stations. Good it isn´t about that mystery ex colleague.

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