Self Help In The Age Of Neo-liberalism

Discussion in 'Health' started by Jamesu, Nov 2, 2019.

  1. Jamesu

    Jamesu Member

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    Self Help & Neoliberalism
    It seems as though we have entered an age of Self Help. Whether you call it self help, self actualization, self improvement, self discovery, the terms are fairly synonymous with one another. Self help is generally the use of one's own efforts and resources to achieve things without relying on others. The ambition and support around self help generates a great deal of corporate attention, which in tern - organizes a a marketplace, assimilating values across the market group which demands paths of action. Now, the term "Neoliberalism" in the context of this discussion will describe the modified form of liberalism tending to favor free-market capitalism.
    I've outlines the basics syntax for which I will follow with my findings which intent to explain what I have learned on the subject of self help in the age of neoliberalism.

    The blind economic pursuits of neoliberalism have found self help as another market of desperate consumers
    One needs to come to understand how the systems of power opposes the self in the 21st century. Neoliberalism as the ubiquitous mode for economics in the west typically operates by means of the human being as an object of exploitation to which the structures of power assume respondent. Now, this runs by means of deploying “big data”, which streams in through the new private sectors of the digital economy. Neoliberalism furthers 20th century liberalism by tapping into the psychic realm and exploiting it, with the result that, as Han colorfully puts it, “individuals degrade into the genital organs of capital”
    In Byung-Chul Han's book "Psychopolitics - Neoliberalism and new technologies of power", Han describes the corporate workshops, self management plans, motivational retreats and seminars on personality or mental training as being conducive to the elimination of any and all functional weakness or mental obstacle to attaining a means to ascend the economic system towards a totality of control and domination . "The neoliberal imperative of self-optimization serves only to promote perfect functioning within the system. Inhibitions, points of weakness and mistakes are to be therapeutically eliminated in order to enhance efficiency and performance. In turn everything is made comparable and measurable and subjected to the logic of the market. It is not concern for the good life that drives self-optimization. Rather, self optimization follows from systemic constraints - from the logic of quantifying success on the market". Now, what this comes to mean is that our desire for self improvement; whether mental or physical (in the form of health and fitness), is reduces to an objective of economic cycling, therefore not actually aligning with the the individuals aspirations in an empathetic and authentic sense, but in terms of economic acceleration and optimization.

    Group think does not care about you - It cares about your contribution: The witch hunt
    Now I would like you to consider the implications this point for those who search for self improvement through self help. Many will come to find the internet rich with resources to accelerate this ambition into what I will call a bionic relationship with a marketplace. The commodification of "help" does not interpret the individual as an individual, but as and autonomic point which responds to "personalized" aid. One example of this is the trend of Kombucha. Five to ten years ago, the majority of people out there had never heard of kombucha. Fast forward to 2018, and this fermented beverage can be found in refrigerator cases at convenience stores, major grocers, and everywhere in between. The rise of Kombucha as a healthy alternative was said to be successful, as quoted from a RealBusiness article: "We are very low in sugar, one of the lowest on the market, our flavors are unique and we are 100 per cent organic. Our product also tastes great, which not all kombucha brands can say they do." This exemplify how market forces have played a roll, not surprisingly, for there ability to be a viable alternative to soft drinks, which became increasingly difficult to fashion as sugar became enemy number one. And so we see how the feedback between market forces effectively produces objects of desire that coincide with the improve the self.

    Hypothesis
    Finally, I would like to explicate how this relates to one of Ray Peats most publicly unacceptable opinions: Serotonin, the monoamine neurotransmitter is responsible for increased likelihood of hypothyroid, stress-susceptibility and other adverse effects. How is it so that we can have a neurotransmitter, well known to be associated with reward, learning, memory, and numerous positive physiological processes, be so antithetical? The reason may be quite uncongenial... My hypothesis is that the psycho-physiological state which is most subordinate to neoliberal control is also the state associated with high serotonin. to determine how various phenomena relate in terms of origins and results, sometimes the connection between cause and effect is clear, but often determining the exact relationship between the two is very difficult. Which is why I bring I'm posting this piece. I would like to explore the threads between neoliberalism, self help and serotonin, which I see as being instrumentally associated with one another. I believe Ray Peat and this forum generally concurs with one another on the adversity of high serotonin effect. The role it plays within the human body is far to complex to be simply labeled good or bad - It exists for a reason in the body - The bodies main objective is to survive and reproduce - therefore we should assume that the state of any endogenous biological processes or systems is for this soul purpose - to survive. Serotonin, like PUFA, appears to be pro-hibernation. We should consider the implications of the "hibernation" state, It would have certainly been useful for humans to have this ability to adapt to cold, stressful environments.
     
  2. yerrag

    yerrag Member

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    So, self help based on false understanding due to propaganda by the shapers of neoliberalism leads people to dependency and become tools of the existing order to satisfy their dependency. The more one yearns to integrate into the universe, the more one becomes integral to the depravity that comes with civilization.
     
  3. OP
    Jamesu

    Jamesu Member

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    "The more one yearns to integrate into the universe, the more one becomes integral to the depravity that comes with civilization." - right. I think this statement summaries the tensions between spiritual life and materialistic life through civilisation. Regardless of where you live or who you are, you will yearn for spiritual growth and expansion. I think that civilization, as it currently exists within developed nations, actually operate through propaganda - As you've said, propaganda shapes us, which I think is predicted upon this idea that you can inform a culture towards a set of values to create a unifying narrative. I would also say that propaganda is also instrumental to populism and collectivism, which assimilate the masses of individuals into autonomous voter within the given structures.

    I'm starting to understand why anyone would want to be anarchistic...
     
  4. lampofred

    lampofred Member

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    Synchronicity? For the past few days I've been really considering how self-help is actually a sign of depression/high serotonin. Happy people who are satisfied with themselves and their lives won't feel the need to change who they are in the form of constant improvement. For example they will only care about health if there is a specific problem to fix, not out of a sense of needing to "optimize" themselves. Unfortunately this means I've had pretty high 5HT levels throughout my life so far...
     
  5. OP
    Jamesu

    Jamesu Member

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    Interesting observations. I agree with most of what you've said. I'd like to add though that it's strange to me that the self optimisation/ self help community seldom expresses negativity towards the systems which they live within. What is It about the self that needs helping? A human life is a natural phenomenon, like a bolt of lighting, cracking through the sky, it's variable. That's a little stretch from what's being said, however to the point I'm trying to illustrate - why create a world that doesn't harmonise with our positive and negative circumstances. It's as if the system can only handle people with a positive charge? Negativity in our lives just places us in depression and Burnout, we can't even outlet anger, sadness or grief in a productive manor?
     
  6. No_Energy

    No_Energy Member

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  7. Tristan Loscha

    Tristan Loscha Member

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    good thinking and analysis!
     
  8. Gone Peating

    Gone Peating Member

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    We all have things that are wrong with us. Pride is usually at the base of all my issues I have come to realize.

    The problem is not so much that people recognize something is not quite right within them, moreso a lack of truthful and qualified people around to help guide them. Still, this is no excuse (that there are con artist self help scammers such as Tony Robbins) for giving up on improving yourself and saying "Whatever, who cares what anyone thinks! I'm perfectly imperfect" or something to that effect - that's grossly proud and arrogant.

    The most important thing imo is dedication to the truth and to avoid self-delusion and thoughts of grandeur at all costs. And then also cut off excessive attachments to any physical things to the best of your ability as well within reason
     
  9. yoshiesque

    yoshiesque Member

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    I havent read this yet. But for years I've always thought the following:

    - most self help content is the same thing worded differently. Copying products and terms from others
    - the leaders/gurus just want your money and focus on marketing to get rich. They value themselves when they often don't have that great experience/intelligence to call themselves that. They become Narcissists and consumers see them as gods when they are not
    - the consumers just keep reading self help stuff and attending seminars trying to achieve permanent change that never happens
    - consumers become delusional from self help promises and lose grip of reality (things like having a great purpose, that happiness isn't everything, teamwork in life is critical for our society to thrive etc all go out the window)
    - self help just makes u focus more and more on ur problems and u become a selfish person over time.

    And this is how we yet again contribute to a society that becomes self centered rather than caring about the people around us or the new people we interact with.

    I see so many new yoga/meditation/life coaches emerge on Instagram all with no real experience or education, just alluring photos and memes to get customers.
     
  10. yerrag

    yerrag Member

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    Just imagine in the near future how we would need to be hermits if we were to escape from 5G imposed on us. The more people crowd into cities and live in boxes in tall buildings, the more people resemble caged mice, but in a mass experiment on 5G.

    The more I fantasize of establishing a new colony in the mountains but not start a new religion (lest be called Jim. Jones II) but just be closer to our true nature.
    So true. I was big on self-help in my teens. I didn't really have an identity borne out of my lack of confidence. As I came out of my shell, I slowly lost the need for self-help guidance. It felt more and more I'm wasting my time on learning common sense, as if I'd have to be out of touch and be so underground to find them of any value. And I began to appreciate the Tao. It's inside us. We have the gift inside us.
    All of it is old repackaged as new eye candy.

    I find that life is like working out muscles. A steadily increasing exposure to stress that develops. Being pampered and spoonfed hampers development. No one has to subject another one to stress, just as when we work out our muscles. We get exposed to it as a matter of course, as our nature would. But it's the modern experts training parents to be good parents that make them bad parents - the most destructive self-help that destroys our own nature and our development.
     
  11. lampofred

    lampofred Member

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    I think Tao is just zero 5ht and good thyroid. I think healthy people are naturally unconsciously in tune with Tao, unhealthy hypothyroid people are people who have lost Tao, and enlightened people are the ones who are consciously in tune with Tao. I wonder if we could say Dr. Peat is bona fide enlightened...
     
  12. tankasnowgod

    tankasnowgod Member

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    I think the only people that call Tony Robbins a scammer are those that are completely unfamiliar with his work. If you have never read "Unlimited Power," it is rooted heavily in NLP, and is probably the best practical still in print book about how to use NLP for the layman. NLP is very effective, and I personally think a lot of the books by Bandler and Grinder are even better than what Robbins teaches. It's helped me to organize my own thinking, and to be wary of outside forms of control.

    Of course, there is a darkside, too. Mind control researcher Walter Bowart and CIA mind controlled sex slaves like Cathy O'Brien both have stated that NLP is one of the tools used by the cryptocracy to control others.
     
  13. Gone Peating

    Gone Peating Member

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    There ya go.

    I didn't say the self-help scammers have only bad advice. They need to offer some "good" stuff to draw people in. But it's essentially a trojan horse
     
  14. tankasnowgod

    tankasnowgod Member

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    What makes Tony Robbins a scammer, though? He didn't invent NLP. Nor did he peddle it directly to the CIA and other members of they cryptocracy.

    What makes it a "Trojan Horse?"

    Cathy O'Brien, after being a slave for over 30 years, even recommends on her blog that people learn NLP to help protect yourself against mind control. And NLP wasn't the main tool that made her a slave. That was sex abuse stretching all the way back to when she was an infant, many layers of trauma and torture, and electric shock. That's what it takes to actually break a person and create multiple personalities.

    You can read her blog about NLP and her encouragement to learn it right here- Triggered: NLP An Inside Perspective >> TRANCE Formation Of America
     
  15. CLASH

    CLASH Member

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    @tankasnowgod
    Can you recommend specific NLP books you found the most useful/ insightful?
     
  16. tankasnowgod

    tankasnowgod Member

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    I first read "Frogs Into Princes," which is still, to this day, one of the trippiest books I have ever read. It's translated from seminar audio, and reveals a lot of good techniques to change your mind and thinking, and points out signals almost all people give off unconsciously when accessing certain thought systems. . "NLP Volume 1" is, to me, the best description of how the mind works, and how you can even map out certain thought patterns and decision making processes (despite being named Volume 1, there were no further volumes). And while a bit dryer, "The Structure of Magic" does a great job of showing how language can be very ambiguous, especially when using things like the passive voice. If someone says "It is written," the subject of who or what wrote it is deleted. I'd put those as the top 3, all by Bandler and Grinder (I think Dilts and few other authors are also listed on NLP Volume 1). I think all of those books are out of print, so look for them used. The Tony Robbins book I mentioned above does a good review of techniques, as does NLP- The New Technology of Acheivement, edited by Steve Andreas, also does a good job in that area.
     
  17. raysputin

    raysputin Member

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    The natural progression would then be to help other people...no? If you don’t need to change who you are, you look to what’s due for change in the world
     
  18. raysputin

    raysputin Member

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    By that logic the progression after integrating with the universe would be to reflect on what a horrible person you’re becoming, depraved like you say. And to use consciousness to steer away from depravity and into decency.
     
  19. lampofred

    lampofred Member

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    I don't know, I've noticed that people often help others out of a poor sense of self and a need to derive pleasure from being "good" and "selfless". Not to bring politics into this but just as an analogy the US for example ruined so many countries by excessively trying to "help" them instead just minding its own business. I think true satisfaction/low 5ht is represented by a reduction in the pace of activity, not seeking pleasure/gain for yourself but not feeling a sense of "duty" to "uplift others" either. And I think pace of activity is relative to thyroid function, someone with high thyroid working 20 hours a day would be "doing less" than someone with low thyroid working 1 hour a day.
     
  20. raysputin

    raysputin Member

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    Maybe but I also disagree regarding US trying to help. The US figured out imperialist wars had much better PR if they were reported as humanitarian efforts.

    There are a lot of conversations around the power dynamics of helping someone, you immediately render the one in need helpless. That’s why I hate hearing journalists who claim they “give voice to the voiceless”...if you really cared about another’s voice you’d just listen to them speak.

    doing nothing would be contradictory because you can’t do nothing. I suppose that is what I most clearly identify as being in a flow state, it’s like melting into an experience rather an experiencing life as separate.but even trying to relate in through language just makes it less true.
     
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