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Change Your Inner Dialog, Narrative Plot

Uploaded 12/30/2020, approx. 44 minute read

There is a constant dialogue going on inside your head. It is between you and your introjects, the voices inside your mind.

Some of these voices represent your parents, other voices represent powerful role models like teachers, and some voices represent influential peers.

But all these voices are there.

Your abuser's voice is also amply represented and amplified. All these voices populate what I call the ego system.

Yeah, it's a little like eco-ecosystem, but it's an ego system.

Within the ego system, everyone is constantly entumaled. Everyone is arguing with everyone. Values clash, beliefs contradict each other, information comes in which challenges some assumptions, undermines some others and buttresses some of the beliefs and the aforementioned values. It's in constant flux. It constantly deconstructs and reassembles.

And this enormous racket, this enormous roaring circus goes on inside your mind at every given moment, even when you sleep, when it manifests via dreaming.

What can you do about this in a dialogue? Is it good for you? Is it a pathological feature or fixture? Is it, on the other hand, possibly a very healthy artifact of consciousness and sentience?

And what is the role of memories? How is your identity formed? Does your identity, the core immutable personality that allegedly you have, does it interact with this dialogue? Is it influenced by it? In other words, does this dialogue change you? Or do you affect this dialogue? Do you remove this dialogue from reality? Do you keep it apart? Do you sequester it?

It's not an easy issue to discuss. It's not an easy issue to discuss because it has emotional overtones, reverberates emotionally. It causes emotional dysregulation in many people.

But it's also not an easy issue to discuss because the very concept of inner dialogue is in great debate.

Now, people like Freud, for example, followed later by Jung and others, they postulated that there are constructs within the mind, there are structures, and that these structures are the ones which interact with each other and create what appears to be a dialogue or a polynom.

Others, other people, other scholars disagree. They have dispensed with the tripartite mechanical analytical models of psychoanalysis and psychodynamic theories, and instead they describe, they say that what goes on in the mind is not fixed structures which communicate with each other. It's processes. In other words, the mind is not a piece of land. It's more like a river.

Okay, enough philosophizing. Let's get to the point.

Your inner dialogue has two features which you should really, really seriously consider on the way to healing.

The two messages. The first message is, be somebody. Don't just freeter your life away. Be somebody. Become someone. In other words, become distinguishable. We even have a word for it.

Individual, indivisible, like atom. Stand out. Stand out, be remembered, have a legacy. Create something. Even if the only thing you create is children or your skill or something you have taught someone, leave something behind. And while you're alive, be memorable.

That's the first message.

The second message is, do something with your life. Make something of your life.

Now, stop here. Just stop, will you? And think for a minute.

If I tell you, be somebody. Be someone. Stand out.

What am I telling you, actually? I'm telling you, do not be yourself. Do not be yourself. Be something that conforms to the expectations, the values, and the reward system of your environment.

To be somebody, to be someone, that's not for you to say. That's for people around you. They're the ones who are going to say, they're the ones who are going to say, yeah, well, he is somebody, he is someone.

It's a social verdict. Society passes judgment over you.

So the meaning of being somebody or being someone resides not with you, resides with society. So be somebody simply means don't be yourself. Be what we expect you to be.

And when I say do something with your life, make something of your life. It's like life is some kind of raw material. It's a kind of passive object. It's like Michelangelo used to say that when he sees a slab of marble, he sees the statue inside the marble. He just has to release the statue from the marble.

So your life is like this slab of marble. And all you have to do is sculpt it, mold it. It's up to you, in other words. You are in the role of an artist, a creator, and in many ways a godlike creator. It's a very narcissistic notion, but it's also very demeaning and very debasing because life is so much more than raw material. Life is such a miracle, such a wonder, and to reduce it to a commodity, a commodity whose main role is to elevate you, to make you somebody, to make you someone, a lever to accomplish things which society will judge, you know, estimable.

And this is to subject yourself to socialization in its most pernicious and insidious form.

Indeed, we are all encouraged, encouraged by society to position ourselves relative to others. This is called relative positioning.

And the most extreme and sick form of relative positioning you can find on social media, where everyone compares himself to everybody else. How many likes did I receive? How many people watched my video? How many people commented, etc.

Relative positioning. Numerous studies have demonstrated since 2008 that relative positioning is the main engine of anxiety and depression. The rates of anxiety and depression between tripled and quantupled among users of relative positioning, of social media, and its relative positioning.


Also, relative positioning creates conditioning, operant conditioning. It transforms you into a salivating dog. It creates an addiction, but worse than addiction, creates conditioning.

So here we go. We have an inner dialogue that is essentially dictated by society, its expectations, its mores, its values, its beliefs, as a form of social control to channel you, to make you conform, to make you perform. And you internalize these voices via the agents of socialization.

Socialization is a process whereby society invades your mind. And society uses everyone, parents, role models, peers, teachers, uses everyone to invade your mind. You are under pressure to conform. You are under pressure to collaborate with institutions.

Things like mass media and social media are there to keep you in check. And if you didn't believe this until now, the pandemic has revealed the inner workings of these allegedly neutral free speech institutions. They are not, they are levels of social control. They have political agendas and other agendas, which are ulterior and divorced from their stated mission.

So the inner dialogue is egodystonal, it's ego discrepant and it's ego congruent. In other words, it creates ego destiny, almost never ego-syntony.

Because the inner dialogue sets a bar which you can never attain, it sets you up for failure. Failure is the main engine used by society to prod you on, to make you work, to force you to contribute to society's goals, not to yours, God forbid. You are a creature of society in the sense that your mind is a hive mind. It's populated by hundreds of voices, none of which is yours.

So the first thing that you could do is borrow a technique from cold therapy and it's called map of happiness. Write down everything without which you cannot be happy.

Now, pay attention. Not everything that makes you happy, but everything without which you could not be happy.

Let me give an example. I like red wine, you may have noticed. I also like coffee, you will notice now.

Fine, but I can be perfectly happy without red wine and without coffee, without both. So they will not make it to the list, they will not make it to the map of happiness, but I cannot survive a day without books. I will die, I will shrivel, I will vanish without books. So books make me happy.

But without books, I could never be happy. I would like you to make a list of things without which you could never be happy. Could you be happy without your spouse? Could you be happy without your children? Could you be happy without your jobs? Could you be happy without your books? Could you be happy without your social media? Could you be happy without your friends, your neighborhood pub, whatever, just make a list of things, not of things that make you happy, but things without which you could never be happy. And then find the common denominator.

For example, if what makes you happy is, I don't know, travel, watch programs on National Geographic and History Channel and so on and so forth, then maybe the common denominator is knowledge. If what you like is to travel and, for example, casual sex, you're promiscuous and without that you couldn't be happy, maybe the common denominator is freedom. If what you like is flashy cars and to do shopping, of course the common denominator is money.

So begin to delete, begin to minimize your list, find the common denominators, what underlies the various manifestations, the various things without which you could not be happy.

These common denominators are the preconditions for your happiness.

Later on as we progress, you will discover that the main role of your inner dialogue is to suppress precisely these conditions for happiness.

Because if you reach happiness, you lose ambition and you lose incentive. To work, you are disincentivized.

Now society wants you to work, society wants you to produce and even more so, society wants you to make enough money to consume. These are the engines of society. It needs you to be in a constant state of unhappiness, of lack, of wish, of need, unsatisfied, ungratified need. It needs you to be incomplete, it needs you to be restless, it needs you to seek and never find. It is this path, this journey of seeking and never finding that constitutes and underlies social institutions, especially institutions in capitalist society, in materialistic societies.

I said before that modern civilization is a death count. Modern civilization needs you to die in increments and profitably so.

If your inner dialogue is eliminated, if your introjects are suppressed, if you know exactly what are the preconditions for your happiness, the things without which you could not be happy, then you will have attained happiness and the minute you're happy, trust you mean, you become inert. You don't want to mess with the state of happiness, you don't want to experiment, you don't want to perchance break it apart, break the magic, dispel this state of satiety and gratification. You don't want that, this blessed state.

So a state of happiness is exactly as Eastern philosophies have told us for thousands of years, a state of non-motion. For what I call, as you will see much later, nothingness.

Now society abhors nothingness. Society abhors a lack of motion. Society constitutes itself on permanent, perpetual mobiling, permanent motion, permanent consumption, permanent, I mean, people are encouraged to go out, to spend money, to meet each other. Society relies, as any device or machine does, as any technology does, society relies on constant operation.

Society is not your friend, is not your friend. And the agents of society, including your so-called friends, including your own family, they are very frequently the agents of unhappiness, their demands, their expectations, their values and their beliefs, rarely, entirely 100% with yours. Theyyours.

They drag you down, they distract you, they divert you, they are not helpful.


Before we proceed, I would like to discuss language and games.

There is a hypothesis called linguistic relativity. It's also known as the Sapir Wharf, W-H-O-R-F, the Sapir, S-A-P-I-R, Wharf Hypothesis or Wharfianism. It simply suggests that the structure of our language affects our worldview.

Our worldview, our cognition, the way we think, the way we structure our thoughts, the way we try to map our thoughts onto reality.

In other words, our theories of the world, our theories of mind, our working models, internal working models, all these are critically dependent on language.

There's a debate, does language determine these models or does it influence them? That's besides the point. Language is a critical, critical component and makes a critical contribution to the structure, the content and the operation of everything we think we know about the world and how we verbalize it and how we think about it.

So language and world and worldview, veldtanschau and cognition, they are inseparable. Your perceptions critically depend on your spoken language.

And so if you want to change your mind in the good sense, if you want to reach a locus of happiness, if you want to alter your locus of control from external to internal, for example, which is a healing process, if you want to change your life for the better and change the way you think about life, render it more functional, if you want to accomplish all these laudable goals of self-completing, becoming whole and healed, you need, first of all, to change your language or at least to understand what in your language constitutes an obstacle to these accomplishments, personal accomplishments.

Of course, society makes sure that the language is constructed as an obstacle course so that you never reach a state of total happiness, total contentment and lack of ambition and lack of motivation to act. Society doesn't want that. Society doesn't want you to be happy with iPhone 11. Society wants you to buy iPhone 12.

Now how to make you buy iPhone 12?

By altering the language, by changing the language, by choosing words which resonate with you in ways which alter your worldview, which force you to act.

We'll come to it in these series of videos later.


And then I want to mention the concept of game.

Eric Byrne, he wrote the founding text of transactional analysis. It's called Games People Play, one of the most brilliant books ever written about psychology and human affairs.

And this transactional analysis, which in itself is a very fascinating treatment modality, psychotherapy. I'm not sure they would be happy with these labels, but that's what they are.

He says that there are two types of people who adamantly and proudly refuse to partake of games. And so these two types of people, they won't play the game. They refuse to be integrated into the ludic exchanges, the ludic exchanges, the exchanges of games. They refuse to play the game, it's quite a long story short.

That's the narcissist and the psychopath. They are defiant. They are contumacious. They hate authority. They won't accept.

And so they are out of the game, out of the game, observing the game, out of the game, obstructing the game. They're out of the game because they have their own game. They make the laws.

When the psychopath and the narcissist refuse to play the game, they put a wrench in society's workings.

Is this a good thing? Up to a point. And that's why narcissists are overrepresented among creative people. People who destroy and disrupt the old in order to create the new.

What Schumpeter called creative destruction.

So narcissists and psychopaths, up to a point, are actually positive people because they provide us with an external gaze, with an external point of view. And suddenly we see the society's game for what it is.

Manipulation.

The problem with narcissists and psychopaths is that they go too far. And they go too far at our expense. At the expense of normal people.

Because they don't have empathy. And they don't have emotions. So they don't care. They don't know where to stop. And they don't care to stop. So they become predators. They start well. They end badly.

Narcissists and psychopaths would not play the game called sex. They would not play the game called intimacy. They would not play the game called family with a woman or someone.

So when they refuse to play the game, your only way is to opt out, to resort to other playmates. When they refuse, when they decline to play business or when they decline to play friendship with someone, very often the rejected parties revert to another part.

These are ineluctable self-inflicted losses. And gradually they warp, they thwart and they stunt the minds and lives of narcissists and psychopaths.

In his seminal survey of grandiose psychopathy, The Mask of Sanity, Harvey Kleckner branded this kind of non-game a rejection of life itself. The only game narcissists and psychopaths will participate in is let us all pretend that this is for real. A delusional shared fantasy with limited longevity and guaranteed expiry.

A psychopath's only concession to human intercourse is a zero-sum, let's play my game, you give it all and I take everything you have and then some.

So it is true that narcissists and psychopaths challenge the game and in this sense they have a positive contribution. We call it creativity, imagination.

But then they take it too far. And again the narcissist game is let us all pretend that this is for real, it ends badly.

And the psychopaths game is zero zero-sum. Play my game, you give it all to me and I take everything you have and then some. That's not a game, that is pillage and plunder.

Why I'm mentioning this? Because it's easy to say the inner dialogue is a societal implant. I'm rejecting it, I'm not going to abide by it, I'm gonna be my own man, I'm gonna be authentic. I'm gonna have an authentic inner dialogue. And I'm gonna reject my introgents and what they say because their voices are not friendly, they don't have my best interest in mind. And I'm going to reframe and recreate an inner dialogue which takes into account my happiness. All well and dandy.

But be careful not to become a narcissist or a psychopath in this process. Because narcissists and psychopaths start exactly the same way. They reject the inner dialogue which is dictated by society and socialization agents.

But then they go too far, don't go too far. While you should understand that the voices inside your head are alien to you and they don't seek, they don't have your best interest in mind. They have their best interests of society in mind.

You should understand this.

The solution is not to become a narcissist. The solution is not to become a psychopath. The solution is to become your own, your own person by adopting nothingness which is something I will explain much, much later in future videos.


So don't say, Sam, you are pushing us to become narcissists, you're pushing us to become psychopaths because defiance and hatred of society is rejection of life.

Like Cletley said, no, it's all I'm saying. On the contrary, I'm encouraging you to embrace life. What I'm saying is to purge your mind, to purge your mind of voices that are not you.

This is called an existentialist philosophy and psychology, lack of authenticity, inauthenticity, bad faith. This is what I'm telling you.

And of course the alternative to being authentic is not to be a narcissist or a psychopath. In many respects they are not authentic.

For example, the narcissist lives in fantasy land. That's not being authentic. That's totally denying who you are. The narcissist is a void, an emptiness. And the psychopath is a predator.

If you can't have any meaningful interactions with other people, you won't as well die. Meaningful interactions with other people are very critical to who you are.

But don't let these interactions be dictated by outside forces, expectations, mores, values, beliefs, dictates, rules, laws, threats. Structure these interactions with other people based on who you are. And structure identity, your essence, on the principle of nothingness.

We are now discussing how to practice nothingness.


The first stage was to identify your shadow.

And this is the second stage. Heal your inner dialogue.

So there are many stages. We can't get directly to nothingness.

You need to go through these stages first because otherwise you will not be ready mentally and psychologically to accept the principle of nothingness.

For example, you may have narcissistic defenses. You want me to be nothing? I'm somebody. What do you mean? I'm not nothing. I'm not nobody.

These are narcissistic defenses. Or you're gonna have psychopathic defenses. You're gonna say, F you. I'm not gonna be a nobody. I'm not gonna be a nothing.

Ironically, the very rejection of society is a social role model. You think you're rejecting society, it makes you a rebel? Well, a rebel is a role dictated by society. Society has a place for rebels, a place for dissidents. We are all captured in the social cage in this experiment, the Calhoun experiment with rats and mice.

So don't think that being a rebel or being a dissident makes you stand out or makes you be your own man or your own, you know, it's not true. Nothingness is totally different. It's not about rebellion and not about dissidents because rebelling and dissenting is defining yourself via social roles and in contradistinction to society.

The rebel is defined by the very thing that he rebels against.

Okay, we need to think of the inner dialogue. We need to scrutinize it as we would scrutinize a scientific theory.


The first question we need to ask is a question of attribution.

The inner dialogue is mine or others. These voices in my head, this sentence that just popped into my head, is it what I would say or is it what my mother used to say when I was a kid or is it what my teacher once had told me or is it what a group of my peers forced me to do and to say when I was younger.

Are these voices authentic? Are they an integral part of the fabric that is I or are they imports, alien, foreign goods? That's the question of attribution.

The second question is egosyntony.

These voices, do they make me feel uncomfortable, unhappy, discontent, frightened, pining, tragic, destroyed, depressed, dysphoric, anxious? If they do, something is wrong with these voices and even much more so something's wrong with the fact that I'm listening to these voices, interacting with them, considering what they have to say.

These voices are bad for me, they're wrong for me, they have no place because inner voices could be critical, inner voices could disagree with you, inner voices could show you another way but if they do it with love you will never feel any of these negative emotions. Negative emotionality is when you perceive a threat, when you're threatened you react with negative emotionality including anger and rage.

So really friendly inner voices, they're like good friends, they will give you good advice and sometimes this advice you're not going to like this advice and sometimes this advice would be critical, would criticize you but it's going to be done with love and empathy and compassion and you're going to feel it.

Voices that lack love, empathy and compassion are not your friends.

So egosyntony is a critical test, not happiness.

Happiness is a goal, happiness is like money, you know it's a goal. I'm talking about the means, egosyntony, to feel comfortable in your own skin.


The third test is fuzziness. Are these voices clear or are they ambiguous? Are they easily decipherable or are they equivocal? Do they leave place for multiple interpretations or are they prescriptive?

They suggest a way forward which is you know laser-like, focused. Are they goal-oriented or do they just you know decompensate you and disintegrate you and attack you?

Fuzziness is a critical issue. Voices which are not good for you, voices which are your enemies, introjects which are there sadistically, the inner critic, the sadistic superego, they're fuzzy actually. They're fuzzy also in the sense that you can never satisfy them. Never mind how much you accomplish, never mind how much you obey them, never mind how much you try to conform, never mind how much of an introject pleaser you are. You never make it. You always fail. You always fail these inner voices. You always disappoint them. They always mad at you. They always criticize you. They always humiliate you sadistically and so on.

So these kind of voices you need to eradicate.


So what are the hallmarks of a healthy dialogue and I will show you in future videos how to construct a healthy dialogue, a healthy inner dialogue.

What are the hallmarks of a healthy inner dialogue?

The parts of your mind that talk to each other.

How do we know if the dialogue is healthy or actually a figment of pathology? If it leads to unfavorable outcomes, if it is not self efficacious, if it detracts from your agency, if it reduces your intimacy, this is a sick inner dialogue, pathological inner dialogue.

How do we distinguish this kind of unhealthy inner dialogue from a good productive, forward moving healthy whole, wholesome and complete inner dialogue? How do we tell them apart?

Well these are narratives. Inner dialogues actually are about constructing narratives.

Even in movies we have dialogues between characters but the dialogues between the characters in movies drive the plot forward. There is a plot of your life. Your life is a story unfolding. As the story unfolds various characters constitute integral parts of this story and they talk to each other and it is this uninterrupted stream of communication that actually constitutes the yarn of your life, the fabric of your life.

So we need to inspect the plot, the narrative and here are the hallmarks.

Here are the tests of a healthy plot integrated, integrated inner dialogue which I remind you is authentic. It's your voice. It's not fuzzy, not sadistic and is egosyntonic. Makes you feel good with yourself.

Even when the voices disagree with you or criticize you you still feel good because you feel that you're surrounded with friends. You're surrounded with voices who seek to help you, love you and empathize with you.


Okay so here are the tests.

First of all the plot and the narrative must be un-omnic. In other words the plot and the narrative must be all-inclusive. It must encompass, integrate and incorporate all the facts known about you. Every single incident that happened in your life and every interaction you had with everyone. Everything you have learned, everything you have acquired, everything you have lost, everything you have forgotten, everything unconscious and conscious, everything must be integrated into the plot and the narrative so as to yield a healthy inner dialogue.

One of the major problems in psychopathology is that people exclude big parts of their psyche via dissociation for example. So dissociation is an engine of disruption.

When we ignore, deny, repress, forget, dissociate, refrain badly, wrongly, counterfactually, adhere to fantasy and denounce and renounce reality. When we do all these things, when we become partial, partial human beings, not whole, that creates pathologies.

So a healthy narrative with a healthy inner dialogue is omnicompetent, all-inclusive, doesn't have a shadow area or a dark side that is utterly inaccessible and that is very big.


Second thing, it must be coherent. It must be chronological, structured, causal, adhere to causation. The links must be clear. A leads to B for good reason.

Your life must make sense and it must make sense, sense in every possible way and to do this must be coherent. It must be also consistent. Your narrative, your inner dialogue must be self-consistent.

The sub-plots of your narrative cannot contradict one another, cannot go against the grain of the main plot. Your narrative must sit, all the parts of your narrative must sit well together so that the various constructs in your mind and the introjects can communicate based on a common plot, on a common narrative within the same movie.

Or as we say, you must be on the same page.

The various parts of your personality, of your psyche, whatever you want to call it, they must be on the same page and we call this consistency or self-consistency.

But they must also be consistent with observed phenomena. Both phenomena related to you and phenomena pertaining to the rest of the universe are the people.

So you can't have a plot or a narrative or an inner dialogue that's okay internally but conflicts with reality. It's counterfactual, it's conspiratorial, it's fantastic, it's delusional or, in extreme cases, psychotic. All these are pathologies.


Next, your narrative plot and inner dialogue, they must be logically compatible. They must not violate the laws of logic, both internally and externally. Internally, your plot, the story of your life, the dialogue between the various introjects and entities, they must abide by some internally imposed logic.

Even crazy people, like people with psychotic disorder, there is logic to their madness, in their madness. And it must be externally logical. There is totalitarian logic which is applicable in the observable world.

So logic is critical. Some people call it rationality but there's a difference.

Next thing, your plot or narrative or inner dialogue, they must be insightful. Even, I would say, diagnostic. They must inspire in you a sense of awe, a sense of wonder and astonishment, which is the result of seeing something familiar in a new light or the result of seeing a pattern emerging out of a big, big data, a big body of data.

Insights, patterns, they must constitute the inevitable conclusion of the aforementioned logic, the language, and the inexorable unfolding of the plot.

Put simply, your plot, your narrative, your inner dialogue can go only one way. There's only one correct way, not hundreds correct ways. This is one huge mistake of modern Western psychology.

Modern Western psychology gives the impression that self-actualization can go any way, that there are like a thousand pathways to happiness and all you have to do is choose.

This is the consumerist approach because a typical consumer has multiple choices and then he can choose this smartphone or that smartphone, this television set or that television set, this vacation destination or that vacation destination.

So because we are used to choice, we tend to erroneously believe that the path to happiness is one of many and we can choose path numbers.

It's like there's boxes, you know, in a quiz. You can choose what's behind door number one or what's behind door number three and we're likely to get the same result.

Wrong. Wrong. The logic, the insights, everything leads to your particular idiosyncratic path.

That's why I am dead set against prescriptive public intellectuals and philosophers and coaches and self-titled experts when they tell you this is what you have to do. It's nonsense because every person has his own 12 rules. Every person is his own path to healing. It's impossible to generalize. If you generalize, you're wrong.

That's why psychology can never be a science. One of the reasons, one of the many reasons, it can never be a science.

The insights, they're the inevitable inexorable conclusion of the logic, of the language and the plot unfolds as it should.

When you obstruct this, when you divert the plot, when you reframe it, when you delete it, when you forget it, when you...

It's a pathology. It's sickness.

Next thing, your narrative, your plot, your inner dialogue must be aesthetic. It must be plausible. It must feel right. There must be beauty in it. It shouldn't be cumbersome, clunky, awkward, discontinuous. It should be smooth, parsimonious with minimum assumptions. Simple. Simplicity and beauty are the hallmarks of the right life, eudomania, the right, the worthy life.

The worthy life, as Diogenes would have told you, is a barrel.

All the sages in human history, there's no exception, all the sages in human history gave up material possessions and wandered to the forest, to the deserts, to the mountain tops.

Why? Were all of them idiots? Why did they give up? Some of them were very rich, some of them like Buddha were princes. Why did they give up all these things? Why did they reduce their life? Reductionism. Simplifying life.

Simplifying, minimizing life. Minimum assumptions, minimum outcomes, minimum possessions, minimum thoughts, minimum principles, minimum.

This is, by the way, the driving force.

In science, we know we have something called Occam's razor parsimony. We know that the theory with minimum assumptions, the simpler theory, Einstein said the beautiful theory is more likely to be true, more likely to correspond more closely to reality. Simplify your life. Make it aesthetic.

Think beauty. Apple's dominance was constructed not on function, but on beauty, aesthetic and minimalism.

The first iPhones, there was no copy paste function. Most of the functions were missing, but they were the most beautiful objects you've ever seen.

And so here we are today, iPhone 12. Parsimony, the plot must employ the minimum number of assumptions, minimum number of entities in order to satisfy all the above conditions.

Psychology has seemed in this sense because we have multiplied entities and we have multiplied assumptions and we are in a bloody mess. That's why this gave room to charlatans and dilettans with or without PhDs, because unlike, for example, in physics we don't have a reducible set of entities and assumptions with which we work, but we keep multiplying them all the time.

I'm as guilty of this as anyone else.

The plot of the narrative of your life and the inner dialogue that is derived from this narrative, they must be explanatory. They must explain the behavior of other people, other characters in your plot. They must explain your decisions. They must explain your behavior. They must account for your conduct, for your choices.

Why did events develop the way they did?

A good plot or narrative, an inner dialogue would give you the answer. It must be predictive, prognostic. Your plot, your narrative, your inner dialogue, they must possess the ability to predict future events. The future behavior, your future behavior and future behavior of other people, significant meaningful figures in your life and the inner emotional and cognitive dynamics of everyone involved, you and others. It must be therapeutic. Your inner dialogue must be a healing dialogue. It must have the power to induce change, to encourage functionality, to make the patient happier and more content. Make you happier and more content. Make youremember, egosyntonic.

You, it must also make you more compatible and happier with others, but not by way of obeying them, conforming. Not by way of denying yourself, becoming inauthentic, not via bad faith, but via a leap of faith, like Kierkegaard.

I think a good narrative, a good plot and a constructive, productive, empathic, loving inner dialogue, they automatically drive you to fit in with others.

Even if you don't comply, you don't conform, you don't obey, you don't submit, you don't subjugate yourself. You still will be sought after, you still will be loved and liked and your company will be cherished.

Why?

Because you're authentic.

People react very powerfully to strong authenticity. It's not honesty, because you could be honest and sadistic, like me. It's authentic.

The silent, strong type. It's like a rock. A rock doesn't talk much.

Well, the rocks I came across, they don't talk much. But you know you can rely on them and you know they're real and you know they're true and you know they're a feature of reality and of the universe and you almost assume that they will always be there, which is wrong, never mind.

And so, you know, such people, you seek their company because of their inner calm, because of what they exude and what they exude is not self-confidence in the Tony Robbins sense and not dominance in the Jordan Peterson sense and not even oceanic feeling in the Sadguru sense or Osho or whatever other.

None of this. What they exude is being. Existence, pure, purified, being.

In other words, they are integrated with the nothingness already. They are not anything that is not themselves. They are merely themselves. They are coterminous and co-extant with themselves.

As far as the rest of the world, it's nothingness because the world, society, human civilization, we tend to analyze people by what they do, what they consume, what they produce, how they conform, how they integrate with others and so on. In other words, we tend to judge even the very existence of people by the impact and influence they have on their environment.

These people don't need to have impact and influence. They don't need the environment. They're just there. They are.

And again, we'll come to that in future videos.

You need to be happy and content with yourself, with others, with your circumstances, but not like an idiot. I'm happy. But happy and content with existence. Existence, I'm very, very leery, very hesitant to use the word that existence is a gift because a gift implies a giver, someone who gave you the gift.

And that's the last thing I want to imply. I'm very much against fantastic infantile delusions like God and angels and other nonsense. But existence is, I would say, the gift that the only gift that you can safely give yourself. You cannot give yourself health. You know what? You cannot even give yourself money. You make money, but it can be taken away or freaked away or disappear or whatever. Power over everything you have and everyone in your life is extremely limited. There's only one thing of which you're in full control and can endow yourself, bestow it upon yourself, your existence. And of course, your existence manifests by a narrative plot and in the dialogue that I mentioned before.

So your mind, what exists is your mind. Your body is a container, very pleasurable container at times, but still a container. The ancients were right about this. The body is not. You can endow yourself with your mind and only you can.

The narrative and the plot, the story of you, the story of you must be imposing. You must regard it as the preferable, best possible organizing principle. This is Leibniz. Leibniz. Leibniz called it the best of possible worlds. You must regard existence and especially your existence as the best of possible worlds, as the organizing principle that you would have chosen if you had the choice.

Anyhow you would have chosen it. It's a principle that imbues your existence with structure, with order, with meaning, with sense, with direction, with purpose. It puts your life's events together in a way which is the only possible way and the best way at that.

And it's a torch. It guides you in the dark. It's a vademeku.

And finally, the plot or the narrative or the inner dialogue must be elastic. They must possess the intrinsic abilities to self-organize.

Exactly like the brain, neuroplasticity. The plot must be able to self-organize, deconstruct, disassemble and re-organize. Give room to emerging order to new information, accommodate new data comfortably and react flexibly to attacks from within from without.

This is perhaps the most crucial test of whether you have the right healthy and happy narrative plot and inner dialogue or not.

Because when you have a pathological inner dialogue, pathological narrative of lot of your life, you are likely to react aggressively to any of the aforementioned things. You're likely to be unable to self-organize, unable to re-organize, unable to reframe. New data will feel like a threat. Change will feel like an ominous foreboding. Your flexibility is lost. And the attacks will be mounted from inside as well as from the outside.

When you have a rigid, rigid plot or narrative, something's wrong.

Indeed, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual opens the definition of personality disorders. With the word rigid, rigid patterns.

In all these respects, your narrative, your plot, your inner dialogue, it's a theory. It's a theory in disguise. It's a theory of your mind, in other words, a theory of other mentalization, how other people, what makes them tick, what is to be human, what is to be another.

And it's also a theory of the world. And in total, it's what is called internal working work.

Scientific theories satisfy the above conditions as well.

But we must be very, we must be very careful because your plot, your narrative cannot be subjected to the tests that scientific theories are put to. Testability, verifiability, falsifiability, repeatability, they all, I mean, you can't, for example, repeat your life several times to see if your theory is correct. You can't falsify your life in the sense that you can't gamble your life on an experiment which will go wrong. So you can't test your life the way you test or falsify a scientific theory.

There's no experiment that you can design to test the statements within your personal plot, within your narrative. You cannot establish the truth value of your narrative. It doesn't have an objective ontological, onto epistemological existence. You cannot convert your story into a hypothesis or a theorem or a theory. It's not a scientific endeavor. It satisfies some of the same conditions, but it's not a scientific endeavor.

And there are several reasons why you cannot take your plot because there have been schools in psychology like behaviorism. They try to take the inner plot, the inner narrative, the movie of your life and convert it into a science. They said it's all objective. It's all ontological. We can measure, we can test, we can experiment. It's wrong. It cannot be done.

And it cannot be done for the following reasons.

First of all, there's an ethical issue. Experiments would have to be conducted involving you and others. If I want to tell you if your theory of yourself, if your plot, if your narrative is right or not, I have to experiment on you and involve others in the experiment and to achieve the necessary results, the subjects, you and others, will have to be ignorant of the reasons for the experiments and the aims of the experiment. Sometimes even the very performance of an experiment will have to remain secret. We call it double-blind experiments.

Some experiments may involve unpleasant or even traumatic experiences. And of course, this is ethically unacceptable.


Second thing, what is called the psychological uncertainty principle.

The initial state of a human subject, you, in an experiment is usually fully established. But both the treatment, both the experiment, I mean the very experiment, influences the subject.

So you start, let's say I want to test whether the story of your life, your narrative, your plot, your inner dialogue is healthy for you or pathological. And I want to test it in a scientific manner. So I'll interview, I'll subject you to the MMPI, which is like 700 questions, and I will know everything about you. I'll have your complete profile.

The very experiment, the very interaction with me, the very test, will change you. It will change you. You will not be the same person at the end of the experience as you were when you had entered the room.

Experimentation, interaction, discussion, conversation, insights, they transform the subject.

Like in physics, the very processes of measurement and observation influence the human subject and transform him in a way that renders the experiment invalid.

Life circumstances in VCCUs do the same. So I can't test you one day after another, assuming that you are the same person. I don't know what happened to you in between the tests.


The third issue is uniqueness.

Psychological experiments are bound to be unique, unrepeatable. They cannot be replicated elsewhere and at other times, even when they are conducted with the same people. This is because the subjects are never the same. I mentioned it before, yes, I explained it. The subjects change.

This psychological uncertainty principle, repeating the experiments with other subjects adversely affects the scientific value of the results.

So if I want to repeat the experiment with you, you have changed. And if I want to repeat the experiment with others, they are not you. So the experiments have no value.

And then any experiment I would make to determine whether your plot and narrative are okay would under generate testable hypotheses.

Psychology does not generate a sufficient number of hypotheses which can be subjected to scientific testing.

This has to do with the storytelling, fabulous nature of psychology. In a way, psychology has affinity with some private languages or with literature. It is a form of art and as such, it is sufficient and self-contained.

If structural internal constraints are met, a statement is deemed true, even if it does not satisfy any external scientific requirement.

So I keep telling you that you should construct a proper narrative, the correct inner dialogue and so on. And I gave you a list of tests to see whether your narrative is healthy, productive, constructive, sane or not.

Okay, so you can apply these tests, an amnetic, parsimonious, this, that. Do you remember?

But what is it good for?

There are instruments and they are used in procedures that induce peace of mind or happiness. So if you have the right inner dialogue, if you have the right plot or narrative of your life, you will be happy. You will be egosyntonic. You will have peace of mind. You will have restored inner calm.

These are laudable goals. They're good goals. Everyone wants this.

But how is this achieved? What's the connection between the plot of the narrative of inner dialogue and your happiness and your peace of mind?

First of all, a good plot, a good narrative, a good inner dialogue helps you to organize the world. It's an organizing principle.

A psychological plot offers you an organizing principle, a sense of order, a sense of meaningfulness, justice, inexorable drive towards well-defined, though perhaps hidden, goals.

The feeling of being part of something, part of a whole. These kind of narratives and plots and inner dialogues, they strive to answer the why and the how of life. They are dialogic.

That's why the inner dialogue is critical in constructing, reconstructing and deconstructing the plot and the narrative.

You ask, why am I suffering from depression, from personality disorder, and how can I successfully tackle it? Why and how?

And then I respond with a plot or with a narrative and it is like you are like this, not because the world is whimsically cruel but because, I don't know, your parents mistreated you when you were very young or because a person important to you had died or was taken away from you when you were still impressionable or because you were sexually abused, etc.

So I provide you with a plot, with a narrative. I organize everything that had happened to you in a way that that renders it meaningful.

You extract meaning and sense from a proper healthy narrative plot and inner dialogue. You are becalmed, you become, you restore inner peace by the very fact that there is an explanation to that which until now monstrously taunted and haunted you. That you are not a plaything of vicious gods, that there is a culprit, a chain of events, a causal chain of being from A to B.

It focuses your diffuse emotions, negative emotions like anger.

Your belief in the existence of order and justice and the administration and order and justice by some supreme transcendental principle, your belief in this is restored.

It's very important for human beings to believe in order and justice.

Jonathan Peterson was right about this. Order is critical, justice is critical, but it should not be generated from the outside. It should be generated from the inside with the help of an orderly plot, just narrative and constructive, loving, empathic inner dialogue.

This sense of law and order is further enhanced when the plot yields predictions which come true, either because they are self-fulfilling or because some real underlying law had been discovered about you specifically.

And then there's the issue of integration. There's an integrative principle.

You are offered through the plot access to the innermost hitherto inaccessible recesses of your mind.

A good plot, a good narrative, leads you to the hidden chambers of your mind and you can finally hear, you can finally eavesdrop on the inner dialogue.

You feel that you're being reintegrated, that things fall into place, that there's nothing hidden or arcane and dark anymore.

In psychodynamic terms, the energy is released from the unconscious in a process called abreaction to do productive and positive work rather than to induce distorted and destructive forces.

A good plot or narrative does another thing. It purges you. It's the purgatory principle.

In most cases you feel, most people feel somehow unworthy, bad, sinful, debased, partly inhuman, decrepit, inferior, corrupt, guilty, punishable, hateful, alienated, strange, strange, derided, I mean your name. Everyone has one or more of these feelings, of these bad, bad, sadistic, hateful, self-loathing voices and introjects. It's impossible to go through life and be surrounded only by loving and pathetic people.

You come across bad people, vicious people, evil people, manipulators, haters and their voices penetrate and sometimes accumulate and so everyone has this.

The plot, a good plot, a good narrative, offers you absolution. Your suffering is expurgated, cleansed, you're absolved, you atone for your sins and handicaps, you forgive yourself for being imperfect and disabled.

There's a feeling of hard-won achievement that accompanies a successfully constructed plot or narrative.

You shed layers of functional, adaptive strategies rendered dysfunctional and maladaptive because, for example, you grew up, strategies designed in early childhood, if they survive into adulthood, that's pathology.

And this whole thing is inordinately painful.

You feel dangerously naked, vulnerable, precariously exposed and then you assimilate the plot. You reconstruct the plot.

Sometimes the plot is offered to you by a therapist or a good friend or a loving spouse or your own children or yourself.

When you have adopted the plot, you enjoy the benefits emanating from what the plot can offer.

Organization, meaning, justification, integration, that's what good plot does for you.

And then you can develop new mechanisms of coping.

What is therapy? Therapy is a mental crucifixion and resurrection. It's the atonement for a patient's sins. It is a religious experience in many ways.

Psychological theories, including your theory about yourself, they are in the role of the scriptures from which solace and consolation can always be gleaned.

Write your own Bible, be your own God, be your own creator, but not in a narcissistic way and not in a psychopathic way and not in a grandiose way, not in a materialistic way and not in an outward-facing way and not in a society-dependent way or a culture-bound way and not just be. Leverage your being, your existence, to become own. Make peace with you. Make peace with you. Smoke the peace pipe and seize the civil war that had been your defining personal history until now.

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