Re: [xmca] V: ":There Are No Coincidences"

From: Mike Cole <lchcmike who-is-at>
Date: Tue Feb 26 2008 - 14:56:11 PST

OK, so here is to me the most compelling example of "controlling yourself
from the outside" but it is not a happy
story....... I saw Persepolis last week and was reminded of it.

During the Iran-Iraq war when Saddam was our buddy, Iranian teens were
convinced to lead donkeys across mine fields. How did their far seeing
elders' arrange for them to do this?
By giving them a plastic key to heaven with all of its "out of this life"
rewards. The kids were able to use this "neutral Stimulus" of the method of
dual stimulation to keep on walking forward when their donkey's terrified,
ran away.
These young, compared to the donkey's were exercising
extreme self control from the outside, which invaded their bodies via the
symbolic artifact.

Asses to asses and dust to dust,
It higher psychic functions
We all should trust?


On Tue, Feb 26, 2008 at 2:45 PM, Martin Packer <> wrote:

> The manuscript is sent, and my life is lighter by about 500 pages. So back
> now to freedom and necessity. In the article I propose that central to the
> conception of history that V seems to have drawn from Marx (and/or Engels,
> Hegel...) is the notion that humans can reach a point where we come to
> understand the laws, the objective tendencies, that move history, and by
> doing so we can break these laws! What was necessity becomes freedom,
> indeed
> necessity provides the basis for freedom. It is by discovering the
> objective
> laws of our own existence that we are able, through using them, to
> transcend
> them.
> What I then tried to show is that V had a very similar way of thinking
> about
> children's development. (In fact he drew an explicit parallel.) I think
> this
> has been missed because the underlying conception of history is not well
> known in the west. Here too there is a break, a leap, from necessity to
> freedom. This is especially emphasized for adolescence, but it is evident
> elsewhere in development too. The qualitative leap to the higher
> psychological functions is a result of self-mastery: of control of ones
> own
> natural psychological functions. This is the person acting on themselves
> (which necessarily follows upon action on others, and vice versa). In
> order
> to form scientific concepts, the developing human *needs* to control their
> own behavior. I quote Norris Minick's translation of Thinking & Speech (p.
> 63).
> " The higher form of activity is present wherever there is mastery of
> processes of onešs own behavior and, first of all, its reactive functions.
> In subjecting to his will the process of his own reactions, man enters in
> this way into a substantially new relation with the environment, comes to
> a
> new functional exploitation of elements in the environment as
> stimuli-signs
> which he uses, depending on external means, and directs and controls his
> own
> behavior, controls himself from outside, compelling stimuli-signs to
> affect
> him, and elicits reactions that he desires."
> Martin
> On 2/23/08 3:15 AM, "Paul Dillon" <> wrote:
> > This problem of the freedom of the self and history's inexorable
> process was
> > for noone else a greater preoccupation than for Sartre, whose Critique
> of
> > Dialectical Reason" will certainly come to be appreciated "as time goes
> by".
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Received on Tue Feb 26 14:58 PST 2008

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