This piece said that to be a human being is to make self-concept and self-image for one’s self and to make concept and images for other people and for everything in one’s life. It says that most people have normal self-concepts and self-images whereas a few have neurotic and or psychotic self-concepts and self-images. Those with neurotic self-concepts need to understand their desire to be better than other persons and work to shrink their inflated egoism to humble proportions. Psychotics, it says, that at this time medications are our best bet in helping them bring their grandiose self-images to manageable proportions.
Human Beings Are Concepts And Image Making Creatures
Ozodi Thomas Osuji
Human beings, especially in childhood create self-concepts and concepts for every person in their world and for everything they see. They also create images for themselves. The human child, before age six has posited a self-concept and translated that self-concept to a self-image; he also creates concepts for other people and everything he sees and translates those to images. He has a self-concept and self-image; he has concepts and images for other people and for everything in his world.
Once the self-concept and self-image is set it becomes something to be lived to. The child subsequently lives according to the concept of his self he set before age six. As it were, he is now in bondage to his self-image, image of other people and image of how society and things ought to be. He looks at the world from the prism of his self- concept and self-image; he seldom sees things as they are for his self-concept and self-image colors what he sees.
The human being defends his self-concept and self-image and image of things (the ego defense mechanisms are means of defending the self-concept and self-image). Normal persons generally have flexible self-concepts and self-images and their ego defenses tend to be flexible hence they tend to be relatively happy and peaceful. In neurotic and psychotic situations, on the other hand, the self-concept is made ideal and the person becomes enslaved to trying to attain the rigid and inflexible self-concept and self-image (he wants to become mere ideas, not his real self which is his body and spirit).
In neurosis, the child looks at his body, does not like it and makes an image of it that to him seems better, ideal and perfect and pursues those idealized self-concept and self-image. The ideal self-image is who he wants to become but is not who in fact is.
Who in fact a human being is, is an animal body with a mind that makes self-concepts and self-images. Human beings are concepts and images making animals; they are not their self-concept or self-image.
The self-concept, even in normalcy, is false yet the individual devotes his life trying to bring it into being and defending it, feeling angry when other people do not relate to him as if he is the self-image he made for himself.
In making images the individual builds on what he knows; he never makes images of what he has not seen (so images have to do with seeing). If you have seen a person or a house you can use that to make images of people and houses (in your dreams at night you make images of things you had seen but now do so to suit whatever you want to see; for example, in my dream last night I had an image of a huge cathedral that I looked into; if I had not seen a cathedral before I would not have been able to do so…people in primitive societies cannot make images where they see cities but ones where they see huts, trees and animals).
On earth we make images of everything we see. Animals too make images of themselves and what they see in their world. Light makes images of whatever it strikes on, so inanimate things also make images.
Since images require concepts it is interesting to wonder whether animals and light does think since they too make images.
Without a self-concept and self-image to defend one would not live on earth, even animals have self-concepts and self-images that they defend with food, eating to be alive on earth.
In normal persons the self-concept and self-image is flexible and adaptive; it changes to suit the changed world the person finds himself; in neurotics the self-concept is rigid and inflexible and does not want to change; it is defended with the various ego defense mechanisms; the neurotic person wants to change reality, the world to suit his self-concept and self-image.
The individual who is inflexible in defending his self-concept and self-image usually feels tense, stressed and anxious from all the fears he experiences defending a false idea of his self and fighting those he feels are denigrating his imaginary big self.
WHO ARE WE REALLY?
The individual is a biological animal; his known real self, as scientists tell us, is his body; his brain produced his mental processes; his mind and mental self-image appear epiphenomenal.
Empirical observation shows us that human beings are image making creatures. In fact they can make images that seem real but are merely fictional.
Much of human civilization is an effort to live up to images people made for themselves and for things. Great achievers posit big images for themselves and how things ought to be and try attaining them. If you want to build a house or a business you must first conceptualize it, image it and then build it. Our cities and industries were first conceptualized in the mind, imaged and then built. Our ideas of heaven and hell are all concepts and images of those, none real and correct.
Spiritual psychologists tell us that there is spirit and that the real self is spirit; scientific psychologists tell us that the real self is animal and that that is all there is to them. Physical scientists tell us that Spirit is no more than concept and image projected out, an out picturing of the concept of the self and both are not real.
In my opinion scientific psychology is more accurate in describing people’s empirical selves for they are biological creatures.
I behave as my father behaved in relevant ages showing that my body (which is like his body) determines what I do. Even my tendency to have fantastic images of myself, other people and society is due to my biological heritage for my father and grandfather had similar images. Some people have minor image making minds hence tend to achieve little in life, whereas others have a tendency to positing big images and achieve much in life.
By the time I was ten years old I had posited an image of myself as holding a PhD and teaching at Universities and attained both still in my twenties. The self-concept and the self-image determine what people do and how far they go in life.
All human beings have self-concepts and self-images. The only option we have is to make sure that people’s self-concepts and self-images are healthy.
Some people tend to have neurotic and or psychotic self-concepts and self-images. Regardless of whether their self-concepts and self-images are normal or neurotic or psychotic people behave in accordance with them.
Normal persons, that is, those with humble and flexible self-concepts and self-images generally get along with other people.
Psychotic persons drop out of society and live in their fantasy world where they are the greatest persons in it; they build their world to serve their grandiose self-images.
Neurotics have deluded self-images and pursuit of them tends to harm other people. For example, Adolf Hitler (he was a neurotic; he was not psychotic) saw himself as a little man; he had tremendous biological issues; food made him feel dis- at- ease (hence he became a vegetarian, did not drink coffee or smoke…the man’s body could not handle all sorts of food); all told these biological issues, by age six, made him feel inordinately inferior and inadequate. Before he was a teenage (age thirteen) he rejected his body and initial negative self-concept and compensated with a fictive self-concept that said that he is the most powerful man on earth (neurotics with superior intelligence tend to do this whereas neurotics with low IQ tend to live on the margins of society).
Having posited a humongous and ginormous self-concept and self-image, Hitler believed that his teachers were not intelligent enough to teach him so at age fourteen he dropped out of school and simply read whatever he wanted to read. Today we would diagnose him as having oppositional defiance disorder (opposition to authority figures).
In 1914 the First World War came and Hitler immediately signed up and from all indications was a brave soldier. Germany lost the war and that enraged him and he joined forces with extreme German nationalists working to resurrect Germany and to ferret out those who were responsible for her defeat and punish them. He identified Jews as responsible for Germany’s defeat and wanted to stamp them (vermin he called them) out of the surface of this earth.
In 1919 Hitler joined the nascent German nationalist and socialist party, aka Nazi party and since he considered himself superior to all people immediately worked his way to the top of the party. He and his clique arrested and punished anyone who opposed him.
In 1933 he became the youngest ruler in the Europe of his time (at age forty four he was already the chancellor of Germany). As he said, it is all due to the triumph of the will to power. In his youth when he lived at flop houses in Vienna, reading every book on philosophy and German history he could lay his hands on he had read Frederick Nietzsche’s Thus Spoke Zarathustra and embraced its philosophy of will to power, on not allowing any one to tell one what to do and doing one’s own thing, of being the uber man, the powerful; man in charge of one’s life, not the contemptible normal folks who like camel squat down and allow society to place the heavy burden of culture on them and made them internalize it and behave like slaves.
Hitler had to be his own man, a free soul. He, however, perverted Nietzsche and Arthur Schopenhauer (his other philosophical Mentor…he had read Schopenhauer’s world as will, idea and representation) to mean to dominate people.
Hitler’s self-concept and self-image was predicated on feeling superior to other persons; there had to be superior and inferior persons. With that neurotic self-concept and self-image that man, clearly a genius (I estimate his IQ to be over 140…I reach that conclusion by reading his Mein Kempt and His Table Talks) he set out to kill those he deemed inferior persons: Jews, blacks and Eastern Europeans, Slavs. By the time he was done he had killed over six million Jews and only God knows how many black folk and over fifty million Slavic persons in Eastern Europe. The point is that the man had neurotic a self-image (he was not a psychotic for no psychotic could be in politics and accomplish what Hitler did, conquer European and dominate it for twelve years; psychotics tend to drop out of society and on the margins live out their imaginary big selves…the schizophrenic actually believes himself the greatest man on earth!).
Neurotics are operating in reality but do not like that reality; they see ugly reality, such as imperfect people, and use their powerful imaginative minds to come up with alternatives to it, and pursue those ideals. Neurotics are able to test reality; the problem is that they do not like reality and want to change it to their liking (hence they cause other people problems in trying to change them to suit their ideas of perfection).
In my writings I pointed out how an obscure African tribe called Igbos have neurotic self-concepts and self-images and even though empirically they are not better than their neighbors they go about masquerading as superior to their neighbors and in the process calling them awful negative names and even killing them (as when Major Nzeogwu killed Hausa and Yoruba leaders in 1966 without killing Igbo leaders…he did what he did because in his neurosis he believed that Igbos are special and superior persons whereas non-Igbos are ordinary; thus killing non-Igbos was not a big deal to his neurotic mind).
Many Igbos are clearly neurotic and have neurotic level of delusion disorder (at Hitler’s level) hence we need to heal their delusion and bring them to the point where they see themselves as the equals of all people, not any ones inferior or superior person.
Those who pursue superior self-concepts and self-images are dangerous to their neighbors. This is why we need to understand human self-concept and self-image making propensities and make sure that folks have healthy self-concepts and self-images.
Individuals inherited bodies play roles in their self-concepts and self-images making. Neurotics tend to have inherited problematic (weak) bodies that make them feel inordinately weak and they retitute with desire for big self-concepts and big self- images and pursue them and in the process either achieve a lot or harm other people. As we know, Hitler inherited a body that caused him loads of problems and as a result he felt inferior and compensated with a self-concept and self- image that fancied itself better than other persons. In pursuit of his imaginary big self he accomplished a lot and, unfortunately, killed many people. The neurotic Igbos I see around me inherited problematic bodies, feel inadequate and restitute with pursuit of big selves and tend to accomplish a lot but unfortunately cause those around them a lot of harm.
We need to correct the self-concept and self-image of neurotics. Normal persons already have positive (that is, humble) self-concepts.
Psychotics probably cannot be healed (at least I did not heal any of them in twenty five years of working with them) and all we need to do is give them neuroleptic medications to try shrinking their grandiose self-concepts and self-images down to neurotic and or normal self-concepts.
In sum I urge the reader to examine his self-concept and self-image and make sure that it is normal, that is, it is humble and sees itself as the same and co-equal with all people; if you have a tendency to feel better than other people you are neurotic (these days called the various personality disorders) and need to correct it so that you accept our equality.
Ozodi Thomas Osuji
March 28, 2012
What Is The Real Self That The Real Self Institute Is Teaching?
I establish Real Self Institute to teach about peoples real selves (this is the goal and mission statement of Real Self Institute, RSI). The most natural question is: what is the real self it is teaching? Is the animal self the real self or is spirit the real self? If spirit is the real self where is the proof for spirit’s existence? One must make sure that one is not deceiving any one. One must teach only the truth.
Science has improved our lives by stating the truth and never allowing itself to give in to sentimental but false hopes. On earth science is the best methodology for understanding phenomena.
Those who talk spirituality often engage in wishful thinking that does not improve our lives.
The bodily self is animal self but there is an unknown spirit self that we do not understand. Therefore, we must have a science of bodies and a science of spirit recognizing that spiritual science does not cure physical (medical) disorders. We must give to Caesar what is Caesar’s and to God what is God’s. The two do not mix; the methodology of the one does not apply to the other; science requires a specific methodology, one that observes things and verifies them and puts people in charge of what they are doing. The methodology of spiritual science does not lend itself to our control for it asks us to stay out of the way, remove our ego thinking and keep silent and allow the Holy Spirit to use us as it sees fit. Science makes people take charge; spirit asks people to give up charge and control and allow themselves to be controlled by spirit (in religion you pray to unseen spirit to guide you; in science you take control of your life).