I think I'm not feeling well today because this video is going to be relatively optimistic. No negativity, no doomsaying, and even a few solutions.
Not typical of me, you must admit, something must be wrong.
Before we go into the topic of the video, a few service announcements.
The video itself deals with personal growth, psychological development, maturation, thriving, coping with life's exigencies and challenges. Don't you just love these ten dollar words which no one understands, not even me?
Alright, let's proceed. In the video I will be talking about various directions in the future in psychology, in neuroscience and technology which will allow people to evolve much more rapidly, to mature, to develop psychologically and to thrive in a variety of extremely difficult, ever increasingly more difficult environments.
The service announcements.
Number one, advertising on my videos. That's not me, that's YouTube. For 13 years I've been fighting YouTube, refusing to put advertising on any of my videos. I've had 50 million views. That's the equivalent of half a million dollars. That's the money I gave up.
And yet, at the end of 2020, YouTube unilaterally changed the terms of service and imposed on content creators advertising even when they had declined, even when their settings forbade advertising. So YouTube had ignored my express wishes, my settings, communication with them and they just went ahead and placed advertising on my videos and for one and a half years they refused to share any revenue from the advertising with me.
I just want you to understand what kind of bullying entity, antisocial, by any definition, YouTube is, and all tech giants actually. YouTube is no exception. Google, do no harm.
One of the greatest jokes of the 20th and 21st century.
Next, I may be in Hungary in July. Will you be in Hungary in the first two weeks of July? If yes, listen to this. I'm planning to visit Budapest, one of the most beautiful cities in the world. Budapest is still in Hungary until Russia decides otherwise. So I'm going to be there during the first two weeks of July.
Now, I'm available to give AA lecture, a series of lectures, and I'm available to participate in a questions and answers session, but there must be a minimum of 30, that's three zero, participants. I will do it for free. I will not charge for the lecture or the lectures or my participation in any type of organized event, gratis, free of charge, no cost. I will not charge you a single foreign.
The only condition is that the event is video recorded and that there are 30 participants. The only condition is actually two conditions.
Trust me and my sly coming.
So write to me here or via email samvaknin at gmail.com if you're interested to organize such an event with my free of charge participation.
Another thing, counseling. During my stay in Hungary, the first two weeks of July, I'm available to give one-on-one counseling that is for a fee. You have to pay for it.
So write to me here or again on my email samvaknin at gmail.com if you're interested in having a personal individual session with me.
No, ladies, not what you're thinking. Your mind isn't the gutter.
I mean counseling.
Okay. Onward, Jewish soldiers.
Yesterday, News Intervention, which is a major news website in East Asia, had published the eighth interview with me. They're conducting a series of 10 interviews with me.
The previous interview, by the way, was about the gender wars and its garnering great interests. So I would advise you to go to the News Intervention website, newsintervention.com surprisingly, and look up my previous interview on the gender wars.
This recent interview published yesterday is about psychological growth.
And now what I would like to do is simply read to you the questions and my answers so that you can be privy to my newfound of optimism.
The interview was conducted by the long-suffering Scott Douglas Jacobson. And his first question was one fundamental aspect of life is change.
All this begins with emotions and motivations.
What are the basic emotions and motivations behind human action?
Professor Shmuel Sam Vaknin, which happens to be me. I'm a professor of psychology and the author of Malignant Self-Love: Narcissism Revisited. This was my answer.
Emotions are a subspecies of cognitions.
And I referred in the text to a video. All emotions are directional, the goal-oriented. All emotions induce action. All actions result in change.
Therefore, syllogistically, all emotions lead to change and are transformative. That's the good news.
Jacobson, why are emotions primary for action? Why do they prime us for action?
Vaknin, non-emotive cognitions. Cognitions which are not emotions. Always subject to cognitive distortions and biases. Such cognitions are altered by the action of psychological defense mechanisms.
They lead to a departure from reality and impaired reality testing. Now that may come as a great surprise to you, but cognitions, classical cognitions, thinking often leads away from reality. These cognitions are not non-emotive cognitions, cognitions which are not emotions. They are not helpful when it comes to survival.
In a way, cognitions are a negative adaptation from the point of view of evolution.
Emotions of the other hand are more directly accessible to the mind in a non-intermediated way. They are not subject to many defense mechanisms.
Emotions are less prone to mislabeling in mentally healthy people. Emotions are more a more reliable guide and a trustworthy compass.
Consequently, emotions are more intimately and immediately linked to actions.
Jacobson, what are the types of changes possible to the human nervous system now? Whether introduced experientially, experimentally probably, chemically or otherwise.
Vaknin, the human CNS central nervous system is largely neuroplastic, changes in response to stimuli. The CNS, the central nervous system, is responsive to repeated identical stimuli and learning. It is closely integrated with all the elements of its dual environments.
The internal environment, for example, the gastrointestinal system, as well as the external environment. Every single dimension and manifestation of the human experience can be reprogrammed efficaciously using chemical substances, foils, light, sounds, words and other inputs from the environment.
Jacobson, how far could functional, reliable manipulation of the structure of the nervous system be taken in this century, the 21st?
Vaknin, wondrous, contemplative, and wise answers.
We are on the threshold of being able to create designer CNS, designer nervous systems, which will be responsive to idiosyncratic job descriptions and incorporate adaptations reactive to specific environments.
Similarly, soon we will learn to induce neural growth, even in the brain, and we will learn to grow brains in a dish. Finally, within a few decades, we will be routinely backing up our minds into external storage, the way we are doing with our smartphones today. Applications would be able to tap into these uploaded consciousnesses. Applications would be able to tap into these uploadeds and to data mine them for commercial and medical purposes.
So we will be uploading our minds onto a server, and then various applications will be able to tap these mines, these uploaded mines, for commercial and medical purposes.
Jacobson, there's a phrase in North America, you can't change other people. Can these changes internally be facilitated by external sources to a reasonable degree, or is the common sense wisdom truly more wisdom than folly?
The ever-wisened Vaknin. After age 25, people rarely, if ever, change in fundamental ways. It is folly to try to transform your internet partner, for instance, but psychiatry and bioengineering are marching towards artificially engendered changes in personality, character, temperament, and mind.
Neural implants, for example, chips implanted in the brain and swearing the spine, man-machine interfaces, up to the level of cyborgs, total integration between man and machine with artificial intelligence, tailored psychedelics and psychotropics, immersive reality environments like the Metaverse, they will all have irreversible impacts on the brains of willing and not-so-willing, unsuspecting subjects.
Jacobson, we've talked about religion and associated delusions. I love this one.
Some practices within religions induce real, lusting neurological change.
If carving out the nonsense and if keeping the practices, could these practices become part of robust, routine, therapeutic, techniques, modalities, to create changes in patients' or clients' lives, probably already being done?
Yes, this is already being done.
Psychology is a brand of secular religion.
It's not a rigorous science by any stretch of the phrase.
Psychology makes use of many mind-control and brainwashing techniques, long deployed by institutional religions and sects.
Psychology leverages delusions and metaphors, remember the ego, the same way the Church does, and I refer him in the text to a video I've made.
Jacobson, even as a militant agnostic, you note the three thought movements more on the defensive now.
What happens to the central nervous systems of true believers in religions throughout life or in religious conversion experiences? What happens to make religion overwhelmingly enchanting and risen in science, non-starters, injectors, non-starters in general?
Vaknin, I think practice makes neural slaves.
Religion cunningly insists on routines that consume the believer's lives and rewire their brains, routines like prayer.
It becomes, the brain becomes a slave to these routines and religion becomes literally hard-wired.
It is not a question of enchantment, it's more a type of verbal surgery.
Faith is an alien implant that snatches the systems of body and mind. It is an infestation with adherence to delusions, replacing critical thinking.
You can tell that I love religion a lot.
Jacobson, what are the most evidenced means by which to create lasting psychological growth and positive neurological change in one's life for greater mental wellness, in practices, in diets, in activities and hobbies and the like?
Vaknin responding to Jacobson.
The secret is self-love, not narcissism.
Narcissism is a compensation for self-loathing and an inferiority complex.
I'm talking about self-love, profound, all-pervasive self-love.
Self-love is a healthy self-regard in the pursuit of one's happiness and favorable outcomes, and self-love rests on four pillars.
Self-awareness, an intimate, detailed and compassionate knowledge of oneself, a SWOT analysis, strengths, weaknesses, other people's roles and threats.
Pillar number two, self-acceptance, the unconditional embrace of one's core identity, one's personality, character, temperament, relationships, experiences and life circumstances.
Pillar number three, self-trust, the conviction that one has one's best interests in mind. One is watching one's back and has agency and autonomy. One is not controlled by or dependent upon other people in a compromising fashion.
And finally, the last pillar of self-love is self-efficacy, the belief gleaned from and honed by experience that one is capable of setting rational, realistic and beneficial goals and possesses the will to realize outcomes commensurate with one's aims, self-efficacy.
Self-love is the only reliable compass in life. Experience usually comes too late when its lessons can no longer be implemented because of old age or lost opportunities, change circumstances.
Experience is also pretty useless.
Not two people or situations are the same, but self-love is a rock. It's stable, reliable, immutable, unmovable, guide, the truest of loyal friends who is only concerned is your welfare and contentment.
Dazzled Jacobson, what happens to one's capabilities to change one's mind throughout the lifespan?
The ability to change one's mind diminishes dramatically and falls off a cliff after age 25 when the brain is fully formed.
Confirmation bias sets in together with dozens of cognitive distortions such as the Dunning-Kruger effect and the base rate fallacy. It is hopeless.
The adult mind is an echo chamber fortified behind the firewall of reality reframing psychological defense mechanisms.
When is it right or wrong to change one's mind?
Asks Jacobson. And the blackable Vaknin, the only rational test to change your mind. When you should change your mind, the only rational test is whether a change of mind enhances self-efficacy, is positively adaptive.
It is all about survival. If altering your thinking enhances your chances of survival and thriving, you should. And you should change your mind regardless of whether you find the transformation palatable or not, and you should never mind what society has to say.
Only two questions are, will it help your survival and help your functioning and thriving?
Of course, many would disagree with such blatant utilitarianism.
Parents, for example, sacrifice their lives for their children.
Soldiers, and firemen, and policemen do the same for the greater public good.
On the face of it, these are irrational acts that beg for a sea change of mind, and yet these people don't change their minds.
So there is altruism, and they are irrational.
There's a lot of irrational behavior, but the rational answer is that one should change one's mind in order to enhance one's survival and thriving.
Jacobson in a hurry to terminate this interview. Thank you for the opportunity and your time, Professor Vaknin.
Professor Vaknin, as usual, thank you for your thought-provoking questions, and thank you, the viewers, for having persevered and survived yet another Vaknin foray into the Vaknin horror show.
News intervention. Eight interviews with me. This is the last one. Previous one.
Gender wars. The one before. Science and reality. Narcissism. Cold therapy. A whole treasure trove.
So I encourage you to go to news intervention and browse around the Vaknin chest of treasures. Have a nice day there, despite having listened to this video.