History of Madness – Track 3-4

Professor Keirsey had his lecture course on Madness taped on cassettes in 1982.  This post is the fourth (there was no third)  audio track.  More audio tracks will follow.

Track 1:  The beginning of History of Madness lecture course

He surveys the idea of madness “as far back as we can go”.  At the end of the course, he talks a little about his theory of madness: which he called at the time, “Wholistic Theory of Madness”  based social field theory and Temperament.

Once asked what was the most important thing he wanted people to get from his work, he said:

“I want people to understand that there is no such thing as madness.”

david_keirsey_in_library

Dr. David West Keirsey

Track 3-4:

The revolting Freud.  Madness is defensive.

“These strange antics were seen as functional.  The mad act had a job to do.  It served a purpose. It had an end. It was manufactured by the person to accomplish something.”  …

“This behavior makes sense. … It’s a message.  … The reason is to protect ourselves.” …

“Do we protect ourselves, this consciously, …?  No, It’s all unconscious.”

“People do crazy things to protect themselves.”
— Dr. David West Keirsey

Freud added that defensive behavior was to protect the “libido.”

The steps toward the Wholistic Theory of Madness.

Adler: Defense of Pride (Self-Esteem, Self-Regard).  The start of the social theory of madness.  Kretschmer: Schizophrenic and Cyclothymic.  Sheldon.  Character theory of madness.

Bateson and Haley: Toward a Theory of Schizophrenia.  Social field theory of Madness.

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History of Madness – Track 2

Professor Keirsey had his lecture course on Madness taped in 1982.  This post is the second audio track.  More audio tracks will follow.

Track 1:  The beginning of History of Madness lecture course

He surveys the idea of madness “as far back as we can go”.  At the end of the course, he talks a little about his theory of madness.

Once asked what was the most important thing he wanted people to get from his work, he said:

“I want people to understand that there is no such thing as madness.”

david_keirsey_in_library

Track 2:  Witches and Sorcerers. 17th century the advent of Mesmerism. Somnambulism, 19th century. The belief of illness.  The idea of suggestion.  Hypnotism.  The Classifiers.  Greeklish.  Bad Organs.

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The History of Madness — Track 1

Professor Keirsey had his lecture course on Madness taped in 1982.  This is the first audio track.  More audio tracks will follow.

He surveys the idea of madness “as far back as we can go”.  At the end of the course, he talks a little about his theory of madness.

Once asked what was the most important thing he wanted people to get from his work, he said:

“I want people to understand that there is no such thing as madness.”

david_keirsey_in_library

History of Madness, Track 2

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The Premise

“The history of philosophy is to a great extent that of a certain clash of human temperaments. Undignified as such a treatment may seem to some of my colleagues, I shall have to take account of this clash and explain a good many of the divergences of philosophers by it. Of whatever temperament a professional philosopher is, he tries, when philosophizing, to sink the fact of his temperament. Temperament is no conventionally recognized reason, so he urges impersonal reasons only for his conclusions. Yet his temperament really gives him a stronger bias than any of his more strictly objective premises. It loads the evidence for him one way or the other, making for a more sentimental or hard-hearted view of the universe, just as this fact or that principle would. He trusts his temperament. Wanting a universe that suits it, he believes in any representation of the universe that does suit it. He feels men of opposite temper to be out of key with the world’s character, and in his heart considers them incompetent and ‘not in it,’ in the philosophic business even though they may far excel him in dialectical ability.” — William James

Like William James and his colleagues “in the philosophic business,” we “trust our temperament,” and “want a universe that suits it.” But also like his philosophic colleagues, when we interact with our colleagues, we try “to sink the fact” of our temperament. But, alas, and again like James’ colleagues, our temperament gives us “a stronger bias” than our “objective premises.” Yet more, we are prone to look upon those differing from us in being “of opposite temper” as “out of key.”

Though we may prefer to be seen as “objective” by pointing to “this fact or that principle” as our reason for pursuing a particular agenda, our temperament inexorably inclines us toward using particular methods to achieve particular results.

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Rational Maverick

Originally posted on Please Understand Me:

In Memoriam

It is the first anniversary of my father’s death.

david_keirsey_in_libraryProfessor David West Keirsey
(August 31, 1921 – July 30, 2013)

I always imagined that Paradise will be some kind of library — Luis Jorge Borges

I was born into even a better paradise.  My father was wordmeister (a studier of words) and a personologist (a studier of persons), and a book reader: A Rational Maverick.  And I was just like him — well sorta’.  He was born in the 20’s and I was born in the 50’s.  Two ages of innocence:  he after WWI and me after WWII.

He had different upbringing than me, but we were of the same Temperament (Rational), Role (Engineer) and Type (Architect).  A kind of a natural science and engineering type of person: a nerd, in modern argot. I naturally graviated towards being a scholar in quantitative reasoning and the use of words

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The Revolution of Corrective Counseling

[Editor: This is one of the last pieces of my father’s writings]
[Editor: HyperLinks added]
[Pillars of Madness]

This revolution revealed to those who cared to look that every successful method of corrective counseling owed its success, not to the factor guessed at by its inventor, but to the unintentional “prescription of the symptom.” Logical investigation of successful methods invariably led to the same conclusion: each useful method in its own way entails “symptom prescription” as practiced by Milton Erickson. It was clear to those who studied Erickson’s method of encouraging clients to practice their symptoms under his supervision that Rogers’s reflection, Kelly’s role assignment, Stampfl’s implosion, Wolpe’s reciprocal inhibition, Ellis’s insane sentencing, Moreno’s role directing, Adler’s logical consequences, Berne’s permission, Glasser’s bite-sized assignments, Skinner’s rewards, Eglash’s restitution, and even Freud’s free association, each contained an inadvertent ingredient of symptom prescription.

The word ‘symptom’ takes on a special meaning in the context of social field theory. Physical disabilities are said to be “diagnosed” if and when their physical “symptoms” are detected. Distracting tactics are “diagnosed,” which is to say inferred, when their disconcerting symptoms are detected, the diagnostic task being that of determining what distracting tactics an “identified patient”—a client—is deploying when under threat of being found out as unworthy of care. Each client has a repertoire of distracting tactics for self defense—

▪ Idealists depersonalize self [flutter, swoon, sunder, sacrifice] to gain alienation
▪ Guardians demobilize self [complain, dawdle, moan, sigh] to gain exemption
▪ Artisans beguile self [defile, deprive, risk, disgrace] to gain deception
▪ Rationals besiege self [repeat, horrify, avoid, blank] to gain cancellation

It’s not too difficult to tell the difference between these tactics. Once we determine which is being deployed, then we can take over that tactic by prescribing it. So instead of prescribing the symptom prescribe the tactic.

But with a twist. Just as our clients must continue to twist family conventions, so must we encourage them to do so, not for their covert objective, but for our overt objective. Also, and equally imperative, not involuntarily. but deliberately.

The crux of the matter, then, is to take over purposeless-spontaneous behavior and reframe it into purposeful-deliberate behavior. But why? What is gained by this takeover and reframing of our client’s distracting tactics? The reason is that deploying tactics deliberately and purposefully cannot be in the service of the hidden aim of shame concealment, cannot, that is, serve as a defense. Nor can our clients’ claim that they can’t help doing what we told them to do. After all they agreed to and were therefore obligated to continue twisting whatever family convention they were in the habit of twisting. When a distracting tactic doesn’t work it is simply forgotten. That is, if it does not provoke a negative response on the part of family members, then it is of no further use. If using the label affixed to them by an official as a substitute for a confession to their hidden offense—unworthiness—no longer affords them an excuse to put off facing the tasks of living (no excuse needed since they’re required to act that way), then repeating the confession is no longer of any use to them. Both tactics, provocative twisting and substitute confessing, have been co-opted and thereby rendered useless.

Now, this is not to say that tactical takeovers and reframing are easy to do. They are not, even after long practice and careful redesign of takeover and reframing procedures. Moreover, we cannot rest our case with having taken over our client’s distracting tactics. Something else must be done, especially in severe and enduring cases. What that is, is that we must arrange for our clients to make a positive contribution somewhere in their own social field, a contribution that can serve as a platform, however narrow, from whence to start building positive self-regard, remembering as we should that it is negative self-regard that got our clients into a demoralized state in the first place.

Milton Erickson, William Glasser, and George Kelly, each in his own way, developed methods for encouraging clients to take small steps toward doing something worthwhile, such as to gradually make them worthwhile in their own eyes. To acquire this sort of technology the reader is advised to study the methods these men have devised, especially those found in the case reports of Milton Erickson.

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Defending One’s Self

DEFENDING SELF

EACH PERSON WANTS HIS OR HER WORTHINESS VALUED

IF IT IS NOT VALUED, THEN THE PERSON FEELS SHAME

WHEN A PERSON FEELS SHAME, THAT PERSON DEFENDS SELF

BY EMPLOYING A SAFEGUARDING ROLE AND A DISTRACTING RITUAL AND, IF LABELED MAD, THEN A DISARMING CONFESSION

1) Safeguarding Role

2) Distracting Ritual

3) Disarming Confession

SAFEGUARDING ROLES ARE ENACTED

DISTRACTING RITUALS ARE ENTRANCED

DISARMING CONFESSIONS ARE CONCEDED

ROLE ENACTING

TO ENACT A ROLE ONE PUTS ON A SHOW. ONE ACTS-AS-IF ONE IS NOT ONESELF, BUT SOMEONE ELSE, PRETENDING TO BE OTHER THAN ONESELF. ONE IS AN ACTOR, ON-STAGE, A SPECTACLE, SEEN AS AN IMAGINARY BEING, A SUBJECT OF INTEREST RATHER THAN AN OBJECT OF CONCERN. UNREAL, PUZZLING, MYSTERIOUS.

PRETENDING, ONE IS RELIEVED OF RESPONSIBILITY

RITUAL ENTRANCING

TO DEPLOY A DISTRACTING RITUAL ONE ENTERS A TRANCE STATE OF CONSCIOUNESS, AND REMAINS ENTRANCED UNTIL THE RITUAL IS COMPLETED. IF THE RITUAL IS INTERUPTED IN MID-COURSE, THE RITUAL IS STARTED OVER AT ITS BEGINNING, AS IF IT WERE NOT BEING OBSERVED. NOTE THAT THE ENTRANCED PERSON IS NOT PLAYING A ROLE AND IS NOT CONCEDING A CONFESSION, BUT, LIKE A MARIONETTE, IS MOTIONING IN OBEDIENCE TO ALIEN STRINGS.

ENTRANCED, ONE AVOIDS ABANDONMENT

CONFESSION CONCEDING

TO CONCEDE A DISARMING CONFESSION ONE SURRENDERS TO AUTHORITY. IN SO DOING ONE ADMITS THAT ONE IS PLAGUED BY WHATEVER SICKNESS AUTHORITY NAMES. ONE IS HELPLESS IN THE GRIP OF AN IMPLACABLE ILLNESS. ONE IS THE VICTIM OF A STRANGE DISEASE. THEREFORE NOTHING CAN BE EXPECTED OF ONE HENCEFORTH.

HELPLESS, ONE ESCAPES FREEDOM

RELIEF FROM RESPONSIBILITY, AVOIDANCE OF ABANDONMENT, AND ESCAPE FROM FREEDOM─THESE ARE THE HIDDEN GAINS OF SAFEGUARDING ROLES, DISTRACTING RITUALS, AND DISARMING CONFESSIONS.

FOR HIDDEN GAINS, DEFENSE IS UNDERTAKEN

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