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Complete Psychological Topics 1: Chapters 8

 

by Ben Huot

July 15, 2012

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Table of Contents

Chapter 8
Final Insights

by Ben Huot

8.1 Too Literal

8.1.1 Background

Why so Different?

One of the things, that has continued to perplex me, throughout my life, is the explanation of why I am so different, than everyone else. Part of it, I now know, is due to my mental illness, service in the military, and level of intelligence. But those factors are not enough, to explain my perspective, on the world. One of the ways, in which I am different, than most other people is that I know things, that no one else seems to understand, and things everyone seems to understand, I have immense difficulty in wrapping my minds around.

What Being Literal Means

One of the things, that my parents keep on repeating, is that I am very literal. I just recently have realized what they meant by this. I know my parents would have explained it, if I had asked, but I just didn’t think to and they thought I knew what they meant. This literal interpretation, of everything, has had more impact on my relationships, than any other factor has. It is hard, to explain, what being literal is, but I think it is related to my binary view of the world. This is similar to what people often differentiate different views of ethics being either black and white or shades of grey. But I am using this analogy, in terms of broader thinking, than just ethics.

Rationale

I think this comes, from my aversion, to thinking of myself, as being arrogant. I like to make things simple enough, so they can be understood, by the average person. I really despise elitism. I am on the side of the poor, the discriminated against, and the powerless. This is probably because I thought of myself, as being under the same situation, at one time. None one was there to help me, so I want to be there to help others, so they don’t have to go through it alone, too.

8.1.2 How it Works

Effects

Because of this combination, of both wanting to be intellectual and being a man of the people, at the same time, I ended up, with a bizarre combination of: precise, thorough, rigid, consistent, logical, simplistic, and extreme patterns of thinking. I have tried, to find a way, to be smart and still be populist and see others, in the same way. This combination is probably rare, except for: revolutionaries, prophets, serial killers, and cult leaders. I think I will end up better, because of my willingness to follow rules and my aversion to physical pain and isolation.

Examples of Being too Literal

When people asked me to do something with them, after I had first met them, in a number of cases, it didn’t work out for me, so they didn’t ask again. I took the invitation literally, but they meant to show an interest in me, so that when they didn’t ask me again, it wasn’t because they didn’t like me - it was because they thought I had rejected them.

Just like I feel pressured into doing things, so that when I run into someone and they ask what I am doing, that I have things to share. I then get so busy trying to do things, that I end up not seeing them again. But, I realize now, that they didn’t expect me, to do anything, and I actually was doing way more, than they were anyway.

When I talk to someone about something academic and they don’t tell me, that they don’t understand, I think that they do understand, but they likely feel the need, to hide their lack of understanding, because they think I will take it as a sign of weakness in them. I think many people I run into think I am elitist or have high expectations of everyone, because of my degree of motivation to learn.

How Others Perceive This

This inability, to see things symbolically, is something, that most people do not have a problem with, so many times people might have thought because I was so smart, but appeared unable, to grasp the most basic things, they thought of me as an idiot savant (someone who is very good at one thing, but can do little else). The other things that people used to explain this was to think I was crazy or messing with them.

8.2 My Motivation

8.2.1 The Military Factor

My Pain is Not that Great

One of the things, that people have a hard time understanding, about me, is my immense motivation, to pursue interests that are: extremely demanding emotionally, take up a huge amount of time, and make me no money. I think the motivation comes, from the perspective I have had, when in the military. I know, that as difficult as things are for me, they are much harder, than that, for most people, in the world today. I also had experiences, in doing things, in the military, that are much more scary, than anything, in causing me physical pain.

Damage to Self Esteem

Many things, in the military, that I was very afraid of, I had to do anyway and I was treated like I was of no more value, than a piece of meat, at the same time. The drill sergeant of my platoon treated us like we were worthless, for our entire Basic Training. One of the things, that made things even harder was my lack of sleep, during Basic Training and Advanced Training, in the military. I got, at the most, 7 hours of sleep a night, during Basic Training, and then, during the first month or two of my Advanced Training, I only got 3 hours of sleep, at night.

No Control Over Anything

I have always needed, at least 12 hours of sleep, to feel rested. When I was in the military, I never felt safe. I felt, that I was constantly being evaluated and could have anything demanded of me, at any time. I had no power, over anything, in my life. At the same time, I knew that, as tough as the training was on me, that during a war conditions could cause a exponentially greater amount of pain. The only possible way, to get out of something, the NCOs tell you to do is by your own death.

8.2.2 Making Sense of It All

Causes and My Response

This tremendous amount of stress, combined with my genetic predisposition to mental illness, and my very sensitive personality are what caused me to get diagnosed with Paranoid Schizophrenia. My mom has always thought, that, one of the reason why I was able to do so well, was that shortly after getting out of the hospital, I began again reading philosophy and my decision, to not just give up, was the catalyst. My not giving up comes from my inability to comprehend what giving up means or how to do it.

Why This Had to Happen

My immense motivation has caused me unnecessary pain, but it is likely the reason why I was able, to understand these insights, these last few years. Maybe I needed to work very hard, to understand how to not push myself so hard. Just like I said, that people are not emotionally ready to accept, that we are going to go back to the stone age, technologically, so I think that I may of not been emotionally ready, to accept, that pushing myself less, was not giving up. I guess that my biggest fear is that, if I take a break, that I will never be able, to motivate myself, to go back, to work, on what I find important.

Problem of Suffering

Being a Christian gives me a sense of purpose, to much of the things, that were very hard, for me, to go through, but the idea that God is perfectly good and cares about you is very difficult, to understand, when you have to go through things, very few others have to. One of the things, that really bothered me, throughout my life, is that I didn’t understand some of the things, that I have learned recently and I thought, that if I knew about these issues earlier in my life, then I could have made my life better.

Sometimes Ignorance is Helpful

But, I have also realized, that God might give us ignorance, in parts of our life, when knowing these things, about our lives, would not make them better, because we either could not change those things, about ourselves, even if we knew about them, or that not understanding those things actually made us able, to do things, we would not have been able to do, otherwise. Sometimes, your ignorance can be an advantage, to you in, certain situations.

Difficulty of Explaining Suffering

The way things happen, in our lives, little makes sense of most of it, but that is likely because our brains can’t handle the complex web, of causality, that God works through. And maybe there is no real good answer to why God allows us to suffer, that would be sufficient for us. Maybe the death of Jesus Christ on the cross is the best explanation of why God allows us to suffer - He, at least, was willing to Himself.

Beyond Our Suffering

The other things that I don’t think people realize are: the amount of control God gives, to people, to affect our world good and bad, how much God holds back, from what should happen, as a result of our poor choices, and exactly how devastating sin was, to God’s creation. God actually set up things perfectly for us, by both giving us free will, but, at the same time, not understanding what evil was, so we could have a rational world, have freedom of choice, and the impossibility of doing evil. I guess that explain why we just can’t seem to live by even simple rules. I do know that pain, in any form, is a powerful motivating factor and greater pain generally motivates us more.

8.3 Big Changes

8.3.1 Kinds of Change

Change Causes Stress

Making big changes, for me, usually ends up, in failure, because the rapid change gives me both depression, over what I have given up, and anxiety about having, to commit, to something long-term. Instead of getting less stress, by taking on a new simpler and easier pursuit, I just remove the thing, that gave me purpose and joy. The most stressful thing, to me, is not the stress of dealing with the difficulty in what I have chosen, but starting new, unrelated things. And when I want to make a change, I can do so, only if I have no pressure, to achieve something, or feel like I am under a timeline. The most successful things I have done I did little bits, at a time.

Incremental Change

When I started writing poetry back in 1998, I didn’t plan on writing even one book let alone 52. But, I just kept writing and learning about technology, then I had enough material, I tried putting it together, in bigger chunks, learned LaTeX, and just tried making nice PDFs. When I was able to do that, then I entertained the possibility of writing books. When I tried to write an entire book in a month, I got stressed out, but when I put together my collections and added a chapter, at a time, to one book, I had much less stress.

8.3.2 Avoiding Stress

No Commitments

I have learned not, to make any long term commitments, like signing up for: college classes, volunteer work, social clubs, or even gym memberships. When I have a certain time, that I have to be, at a certain place, on a reoccurring basis, it stress me out and it triggers depression and paranoia. I obsess about having to keep doing the things over a long period of time and have trouble taking it one day at a time.

Having No Plans

That is why I don’t plan out any books or website changes, or keep lists of things to do. I also find most activities much more intense, than other people do. I do better, in controlled settings, like a movie theatre or a library. But, I have the freedom, to not have, to commit, to anything and trading one set of stress for another would not be an improvement.

8.4 New Projects

8.4.1 Rationale

Reaching the Logical End

As I have finished studying virtually everything, that interests me, in the humanities, I have come to a logical end, to my studies. This doesn’t mean that I won’t write, but maybe on different topics, or at least with the addition of subjects to my usual mix.

Consistency with My Worldview

As I like to think of myself as a “man of the people,” I have decided to start learning some things about sports and entertainment. I expect it to take some time, but there are people who follow sports and entertainment that could never understand anything as complicated and subtle as philosophy.

8.4.2 Goals

Good Results

Instead of giving up everything else, that I enjoy doing now, I have decided, to just move, in this new direction, when I feel like it. I might also be able, to both gather enough material and get inspiration, to write a new book, on these new subjects. The two best outcomes would be making it easier to find people with common interests and because I am just very tired, of all the effort involved, in having, to think so deeply and so much.

Making Life Easier

I think, that my interest, in the humanities has made my life more difficult, than it needs, to be. I just need, to remember not to over research it, so that I don’t bring the negative aspects, of more academic pursuits. After all, studying and memorizing about the history and statistics of sports, or the addresses and trivia of all the celebrities is kind of missing the point of watching a game or a show.