How do we overcome what can’t be changed? - Politics Forum.org | PoFo

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#15050243
What does a human being do when there is nothing to be done? A misfortune has occurred, the situation cannot be put right, it is hopeless, the whole of life is bereft of meaning, it seems as though nothing and no one can be of any help... But time passes, and we see the same person cheerful once again and full of hopes. How has he managed to emerge from the crisis, to pass from grief to happiness?

Vasilyuk, who was mainly concerned with psychother- apy, noted that some situations require a type of work other than practical or cognitive work. Macduff, for example, when faced with the murder of his family, engages in cognitive work to understand what happened and reaches his conclusion: “What, all my pretty chickens and their dam/At one fell swoop?” This cognitive work, however, is of course useless to solve his situation. Then Malcolm suggests that he undertake a practical activity, that is, that he kill the tyrant Macbeth: “Dispute it like a man.” Macduff accepts (“I shall do so”), but he knows that this will also be useless to fix his situation, as no practical activity can bring his family back. His situation requires him to undertake another type of work: “But I also must feel it as a man.” This work, which Macduff calls “feeling it as a man,” is what Vasilyuk (1984/1988) called perezhivanie.

- http://lchc.ucsd.edu/mca/Vygotsky-Vasilyuk_Perezhivanie.pdf

When faced with situations of immense loss and challenge to our life projects? What is the means which allows a person to cope if not come through the experience reasonably alright. Are all such things a trauma which we merely manage to persist through life having experienced, just extra baggage?
#15052809
Stop modelling it as a problem, it is this that seems to set in motion the almost irresistible path of working towards a (final) solution, which is an urge on our part that we would do well to reflect upon. I first started regarding this as a 'modelling' problem after reading John Michael Greer's essay Problems and Predicaments.
To regard it as a predicament is to reframe things so we hopefully don't get too hung up on 'overcoming' things, which can lead us down an obsessive path.

I know that a predicament is still a type of problem, but this approach stimulates our creativity a bit more as well as getting us to consider our place in the scale of things.
#15053179
In the Tantric approach to Kali, the goal of the devotee is to be reconciled with death and to learn acceptance of the way things are.

In The Counselor, a 2013 Ridley Scott film about a drug dealer’s attorney (Michael Fassbinder) whose first attempt at a drug deal goes horribly wrong, the counselor asks an acquaintance what he can do to fix the situation. He is advised, “You are now at the crossing. And you want to choose, but there is no choosing there. There's only accepting. The choosing was done a long time ago.”
#15053617
The human psychology is adaptable. The human psychology is fixated to the environment. That is an evolutionary characteristic.

The universe is a destined existence where everything is fixated. Psychologically "Overcoming" what cannot be changed is a psychological characteristic of a transition of a previous phase to the next phase. Having the previous phase's psychology while existing into the next phase will result in a psychological desire of "Overcoming."

Humans want what is around them. Humans do not choose what they want. Humans' physical nature chooses what they want. Humans want to eat because they need to eat to survive. Humans want to have air so they do not suffocate. Humans want water so they do not get dehydrated.
#15053644
SSDR wrote:The human psychology is adaptable. The human psychology is fixated to the environment. That is an evolutionary characteristic.

The universe is a destined existence where everything is fixated. Psychologically "Overcoming" what cannot be changed is a psychological characteristic of a transition of a previous phase to the next phase. Having the previous phase's psychology while existing into the next phase will result in a psychological desire of "Overcoming."

Humans want what is around them. Humans do not choose what they want. Humans' physical nature chooses what they want. Humans want to eat because they need to eat to survive. Humans want to have air so they do not suffocate. Humans want water so they do not get dehydrated.

Except that humans aren't reducible to biological instincts as such base drives undergo sociocultural changes, the same general desire takes on a specific social form and means.
https://www.marxists.org/archive/zetkin/1920/lenin/zetkin1.htm
Of course, thirst must be satisfied. But will the normal person in normal circumstances lie down in the gutter and drink out of a puddle, or out of a glass with a rim greasy from many lips? But the social aspect is most important of all.


Lev Vygotsky is an example on the differentiation between the biological base which is general to mankind universally, but also the sociocultural development which changes and develops qualitatively new qualities in man on that biological base. He for example emphasizes self-mastery through signs, the development of the intellect in combination with language.
http://www.unilibre.edu.co/bogota/pdfs/2016/mc16.pdf
When comparing the principles regulating unconditioned and conditioned reflexes, Pavlov uses the example of a telephone call. One possibility is for the call to connect two points directly via a special line. This corresponds to an unconditioned reflex. The other possibility is for the phone call to be relayed through a special, central station with the help of temporary and limitlessly variable connections. This corresponds to a conditioned reflex. The cerebral cortex, as the organ that closes the conditioned reflex circuit, plays the role of such a central station.

The fundamental message of our analysis of the processes that underlie the creation of signs (signalization) may be expressed by a more generalized form of the same metaphor. Let us take the case of tying a knot as a reminder or drawing lots as a means of decision making. There is no doubt that in both cases a temporary conditioned connection is formed, that is, a connection of Pavlov’s second type. But if we wish to grasp the essentials of what is happening here, we are forced to take into consideration not only the function of the telephone mechanism but also of the operator who plugged in and thus connected the line. In our example, the connection was established by the person who tied the knot. This feature distinguishes the higher forms of behavior from the lower.

Man actively creates the reflexes which then becomes a compulsion for his activity, we aren't merely our immediately biologically given instincts but conditioned reflexes, many of which we actively construct based on our training/development with our caregivers through childhood.

Though the overcoming I'm concerned with isn't say the distance between one's needs and self ie I feel hunger so I then go eat. Rather it's of an emotional character but integral to one's personality overall.
As the example in the OP of MacDuff, it isn't something that can be worked through in one's activity as no change in the world objectively changes the problem although one's actions might play a role in the emotional aspect, just as thinking about something over and over may have little bearing on solving it as it's not a cognitive problem, it has no rational solution as problem-solving another task.


And to the previous posters, I don't know to what extent I find answers satisfactory. The point of accepting things is, of course, an important guide, learning to accept what is can be the source of great frustration, but when the problem is denial itself, saying acceptance is the answer doesn't necessarily provide a guide to overcoming the need for the denial.
This would not be the answer I give the mother who digs up her dead infant to hold and pretend isn't dead. She, of course, needs to accept the reality but even once accepting this as fact, it may not still be essentially overcome or resolved.
And I don't think the thing I'm talking about is something that can be dismissed as simply not a problem. The issues many people come to a psychologist/counselor or whatever which aren't a simple matter that need a bit of encouragement or practical advice any decent friend might provide are things which are difficult to ignore. Difficult because they clearly interfere in the person's well being, many may go on living but in terms of living a quality life unburdened by such an experience which tends to have some pathological effect in their personality, it requires some intervention and collaboration between the person in someone else in many cases.
The person who has no problem from a terrible experience has no need for therapy.

One can, of course, function well enough in going to work, raising a family and still be fucked up from the suicide of a family member. They may not ever work through and get over it exactly, to be at peace with it and die with such an issue. But if they were to pursue some means, what would the process entail? Or what is even entailed in the person that it doesn't arise as a pathological matter.
#15066771
I’m thinking that whilst the past of course cannot be changed. One can change the effects of of the past.
[url]davidhjacobsphd.com/how-does-change-occur-in-psychotherapy/[/url]
If it is granted that self-feelings and so on are sequelae of lived/felt experience in critically important relationships, then it follows that therapy can only be a corrective emotional relationship if the therapist becomes very emotionally important’”and of course if the therapist is actually able to offer a potentially healing relationship. I don’t think old injuries can be negated or undone or emotionally neutralized in therapy. I have heard many clients lament that the past cannot be undone, and I agree. Many clients follow up with the comment that there is no use talking about what has occurred in their lives because nothing can be done about it. This seems to be a huge dilemma because there is no doubt that old psychological injuries are exerting a detrimental influence in the present and presumably will continue to do so unless something occurs to mitigate their influence. From my present vantage point I would say that although nothing can negate or undo the past, it is possible that a relationship in the present can modify core features of a person’s psychic organization (self-feelings, etc.). That indeed is the aim of psychotherapy.

Its not so much one simply reasons ones out but changes through positive experiences that help challenge ones personality.
An experience cannot be considered merely in terms of the intellectual perception. That would be accounted for in merely describing it but this doesn’t necessarily help and can be a detriment to have someone simply describe terrible things they’ve experienced. But the importance of talking through something is about the actual relationship with the person which is developed through such conversation. Hence the truism in therapy that the relationship between client and therapist is the most powerful predictor of change than of the method necessarily used.
#15066832
Hindsite wrote:Many overcome what they can't change by sticking their head up their ass. :lol:
Putting your head up your ass is how you avoid dealing with change, not overcome it.

Everything can be changed. People tend to resist change, out of fear, ignorance, or both.
#15067091
Suicide seems crudely to be a extreme effort to escape suffering rather than wanting death itself.

At present I’m interested in the sort of working through things emotionally, which isn’t purely feeling but it isn’t something resolved by reason alone.
[url]lchc.ucsd.edu/mca/Vygotsky-Vasilyuk_Perezhivanie.pdf[/url]
In William Shakespeare’s The Tragedy of Macbeth, the tyrant king of Scotland cruelly kills Macduff’s whole household, including his wife, children, and servants. Macduff learns about the murders through the words of his cousin, Ross, in the presence of Malcolm, the legitimate heir to the crown.
...
Malcolm: Dispute it like a man.
MacDuff: I shall do so; /But I must also feel it as a man.
(The Tragedy of Macbeth, Act IV, Scene 3; Shakespeare, 1907, p. 90)
...
Macduff, for example, when faced with the murder of his family, engages in cognitive work to understand what happened and reaches his conclusion: “What, all my pretty chickens and their dam/At one fell swoop?” This cognitive work, however, is of course useless to solve his situation. Then Malcolm suggests that he undertake a practical activity, that is, that he kill the tyrant Macbeth: “Dispute it like a man.” Macduff accepts (“I shall do so”), but he knows that this will also be useless to fix his situation, as no practical activity can bring his family back. His situation requires him to undertake another type of work: “But I also must feel it as a man.”

[url]lchc.ucsd.edu/MCA/Mail/xmcamail.2015-11.dir/pdflWFn_ejqBT.pdf[/url]
Experiencing is capable of accomplishing an upheaval in human concepts, views, attitudes, tastes, positions—in everything that a person cannot change through efforts of con- sciousness or will power. If a person has suffered a loss, it is futile for people around him to explain to him, or for him to explain to himself, that it was inevitable and part of a natural pattern. And it will be futile for him to try through will power to take control of himself—he will have to go through the agonizing process of experiencing and let the work of experiencing take its course in his soul, and only then will he be able to feel the meaning and fullness of life again.

Denying emotions and leaving them unspoken of seems to make them overwhelming and unclear.
By talking or writing about something we make what is implicit in experience explicit, we find unexpected lines of thought emerge. Although the role of talking about some experiences is ambiguous.
https://www.marxists.org/archive/vygotsky/works/1930/mind.htm
Let us take another element, from the opposite end of psychology, but demonstrating the same thing with no less clarity. Objective psychology in the person of Watson attempted to approach the problem of the unconscious. This author distinguishes verbalized and unverbalized behavior, pointing out that part of the processes of behavior are accompanied by words from the very beginning. They can be caused or replaced by verbal processes. They are accountable, as Bekhterev said. The other part is nonverbal, not connected with words and therefore not accountable. In his time Freud as well proposed the feature of the connection with words and pointed out that the unconscious is formed by precisely those ideas that are disconnected from words.

Several of Freud’s critics who are inclined to equate the unconscious with the unsocial and the unsocial with the nonverbal also pointed to the intimate link between verbalization and the conscious awareness of processes. Watson, too, sees in verbalization the main distinguishing characteristic of the conscious, he openly states that everything which Freud called unconscious is actually nonverbal. From Ibis statement Watson draws two conclusions that are highly interesting. According to the first one, we cannot remember the earliest childhood events, because they took place when our behavior was not yet verbalized and therefore the earliest part of our life will remain unconscious forever. The second conclusion points to a weak point of psychoanalysis, which is that the physician attempts to influence the unconscious, i.e., unverbalized processes, by means of a conversation, i.e., by means of verbal reactions.

But talking can be useful, its just that the making explicit isn’t always the means of resolving it, awareness doesn’t suffice just as reason doesn’t either. Especially when its an experience so painful that the experience is unbearable to recall.

[url]davidhjacobsphd.com/how-does-change-occur-in-psychotherapy/[/url]
What occurs in therapy obviously is a lot of talking, but putting it that way obscures the more important and potentially salutary features of what is occurring: social interaction, relating, and relationship development. It is crucial to be able to discuss what goes on in therapy in a manner that emphasizes direct personal experience rather than in a manner that puts the spotlight on cognition and related matters (instruction, education’¦). Think of a couple on a date. There is a good deal of talking but emphasizing talking has the effect of downplaying other features, for example, each person has an experience of how interested and attentive the other is being. In this case one might say talking is only one of the ways that each person is conveying their degree of interest and attention to the other person. A transcript of what was said on the date would probably not reveal that much about how each person felt about the other’s level of interest and attentiveness. The point is that conversing with another person is never devoid of personal experience and some conversations are experienced as enormously important and impactful (I’m sorry but I’ve found someone else). Talking may not even be a part of the most impactful things that have happened to you (e.g.,dad leaves without any explanation and you do not see him again for a long time).

I have been trying to prepare the ground for saying that it is the experience of the relationship with the therapist rather than his insights, cogent observations, advice, instructions, etc. that actually make a difference over time. Advice, instructions, suggestions, etc. make little or no impact on what I think is really the matter, namely negative self-feeling, underdeveloped ability to self-comfort and self-soothe, and basic mistrust and fear of other people and of being vulnerable. This is why advice, suggestions, etc. have such little effect over time and why the recipients of advice, instructions, etc. fail to follow them for very long.

This affirma something important I’ve felt but struggled to articulate in regards to the tension about talking to someone about their traumatic experiences and not wanting to simply hurt them by having them recount them. But there is a difference in a lawyer forcing the victim to recall their own victimization and someone who the person trusts and wants to share something that has all sorts of feelings imbued with it. Its the relating to a person that is important even though both are verbal interactions, the actual quality of the interaction is quite different.
#15067124
Wellsy wrote:Suicide seems crudely to be a extreme effort to escape suffering rather than wanting death itself.


Very true. Suicide takes a lot of strength. Killing yourself isn't easy. You must be a lot of mental disfunction (suffering) to consider that a means of escape. Especially as time and talking about the problem usually solves all ills.

Nonetheless to answer the thread title and to echo what has been said, you cannot undo what cannot be changed but you can change what is to become. And that is how you overcome it. Death can be overcome by new friends, debt by bankruptcy or hardwork, breakup with dating, arguments with sorry, your boss with a new job etc etc etc.
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