Monday, December 1, 2014

DANCING IN THE LOOKING-GLASS SELF: MY FIVE SENSE WORTH



The Looking-Glass Self is a social psychological concept put forth by Charles Horton Cooley (1902), who claimed that a person’s self grows out of interpersonal interactions and the perception of others.
And before I continue, I’ve no doubt he borrowed this phrase from Through the Looking-Glass, and What Alice Found There (Lewis Carroll).   

And Alice found lots of fictional characters there including Humpty Dumpty, the Red Queen, the White Queen, the Jabberwock, and the Tweedle brothers. However, Lewis Carroll’s epilogue at the end of the story suggests that he found, through his Alice in Wonderland tales, that life itself is but a dream. 

Hmmm … perhaps this is true.  Perhaps life itself is a dream.  If true, then the perception of our lives is really just a reflection of our interpersonal relationships according to our limited physical senses.  Accordingly then, the meta-cognition of our lives is really just one big imaginary introspection, of which I shall explain forthwith.

How do we come to know and understand ourselves? Our self-awareness, our self-esteem, and our self-expression is entirely based upon the influence of our immediate social experiences.  And our social experiences are mostly understood through our senses.

I, not unlike the majority of other humans, have a multitude of senses.  For the purposes of this essay (I’m submitting purposes to suggest that this essay is filled not with just a purpose, but rather purposes) I shall relate only to our big and oft talked about five senses while relating to our lives the meaning of some random quotations drawn from the theme of thousands that are readily (through Google) available:  sight (opthalmoception), sound (audioception), taste (gustaoception), smell (olfacoception), and touch (tactioception).  The construct of our lives is, I believe, a bricolage of these five senses.


  • SIGHT


People’s minds are changed through observation and not through argument (Will Rogers).

Action really does speak louder than words. Anyone arguing politics or religion knows this.  Those who are on the left stay on the left; and those who are on the right, stay on the right.  Ask any Democrat or Republican. As for religiosity there are the devout and the dissident, believers and non-believers.  Sometimes there are converts from left to right and right to left, from believer to atheist and atheist to believer, but these are exceptions to the general rules of politico and church.
As a good soldier I willingly march for commanders who demonstrate their leadership through their actions.  For those bosses who lead with their lips, rather than march I offer little more than lip-service.  


  • SOUND

If speaking is silver, then listening is gold (Turkish Proverb).

I make my living as a professional listener (daytime counselor and evening hypnotherapist).
Though I’m a decent listener, as soon as I gather the gist and theme of my client’s story, I tend to move the client into action mode.

I quite love listening to people’s stories, the exception being those tales told by shaggy-dog story tellers.  If the story teller is one who goes on and on and on, in hopscotch fashion about nothing (for the listener) and everything (seemingly for the speaker) this is what I refer to as a shaggy-dog story tale.  (I think the reference originates from the 50’s movie, The Shaggy Dog, a light and entertaining story filled with fur nothing much else).  I do have my strategy for shaggy-dog story tellers.  Should they ever offer pause (pun intended), I take it and exit.


  • TASTE

This vodka tastes like I’ll be texting you later (someecards).

For me this pithy phrase has a double entendre.  It could mean that once I’ve had a drink, anything else on my agenda will just have to wait.  Drinking takes priority to everything.  Or it could mean that once I’ve had a couple drinks, I’ll be thinking of you and will soon be texting for a booty call.
When I was younger, the latter was more than likely to happen, rather than later and now in my life when I just get sleepy and want some shut eye.


  • SMELL

Take time to smell the roses (Bernard Kelvin Clive).

I always put time into the hypnotherapy contexts of time expansion and time condensation.   

Time expansion is when your alarm does not ring to wake you in time for work and then your car won’t start and then you are waiting for that city bus that should arrive and every minute feels extended to five minutes and …

Time condensation is when you’ve met a new love interest and go to a romantic evening dinner and five hours of delightful chat seems but a five minute fillip in time.  To enjoy a seemingly amaranthine existence, we need to stay a-go-go.  Sadly, for those who are not a-go-go, they’ll more sooner than later be a no-no.

Hypnosis is based on time expansion and condensation.  Each of us has the power within to slow or speed up the clock.  Strangely, if you want to time to fly by you just have to do nothing.  Just sleep in on the weekends and make every day a lazy day and time will become a blur.
Conversely, if you want to slow the clock, get up early and fill your day.  Maybe go for a workout, then go for breakfast, then send an email, then go to work.  If you want to slow the clock and seemingly live for forever just follow my advice and fill up your life.


  • TOUCH

By the pricking of my thumbs,
Something wicked this way comes (Second Witch in Macbeth).

By this time in one of the Bard’s best, Macbeth has become so wicked that the witches can actually feel his presence approaching.  Remember early in the play (A drum a drum Macbeth doth come) when Macbeth is still innocent and the Third Witch acknowledges his arrival through a drum roll.

There will always be people who seem icky, and there will always be people who seem to excite. This is our nature.  Allow me to expand.   

To lust is in our nature.  Lusting for sex or for power on occasion can be considered healthy.  To be lusting always is not healthy, and so to act solely on sexual arousal is definitely unhealthy, to the point of sickening really.  (I’m speaking of amours in relation in to mental health, not physical health.  As a matter of fact, from the sensual point of view, amours may be physically healthy for all the parties involved.)

Generally speaking, most of my clients search without rather than within for reasons explaining their social dysfunctional issues.  In the search for themselves, their real selves, this not so strangely, makes good sense.

I do believe that we simply (simply – ha!) embody the expression of all our experiences, and that our experiences are always based interpersonal relationships. 

Are we human, or are we dancer? (The Killers song).

Life, itself, is a baptism of fire.   
If we’re not dancing near the flame ... 
If we're not dancing in front of the social looking-glass … 
We are dead.  
MY DRAWING (DANCING) SELF AT THE MARKET
      

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