Thursday, 16 April 2009

Transgression and Addiction

As you may know if you have read some of my previous posts I am very interested in the psychology of virtual existence and so my ears always prick up when someone says something about SL which I have heard said before, and like Jacob and the angel, I try not to let it go before I have extracted a “blessing” (insight) from the thought process.

Well I have heard, several times now, people leaving SL saying they have to break this “addiction” and get on with their lives. It is a statement that always has a hollow ring to it, and these sort of things I like to get my teeth into.

Good job for example that Beethoven or Mozart didn’t “get over” their addictions to music and scribbling, or the world would be a poorer place.
[But then we know that in our culture Art Is Not A Proper Job, and we are all artists and designers, whether we realise it or not. From Day One decisions have to be taken on what type of Ruth you will start your Second Life with...and so on and so on. Every decision is a partially conscious, partially unconscious decision...and that is Design. (Here is not the time or place to discuss design theory, but my conviction is that it is this process of decision-making towards a final aim that is at the core of all design work.)]

Anyway... Avalon said to me something to the tune of.. addiction is used as a way of excusing behaviour you don’t want to claim as your own. Like when people get drunk and allow themselves to do things they wouldn’t permit when sober....
and bells in my head went off...

Talking of the conflict between conscious and unconscious elements of the Self, (like yin and yang, human and avatar)... Dr Jung says....
“When this confrontation is confined to partial aspects of the unconscious the confrontation is limited and the solution simple: the patient, with insight and some resignation or a feeling of resentment, places himself on the side of reason and convention.”
He means that if you can’t stand the heat, you get out of the kitchen. Addiction is then the excuse you have for being in the kitchen in the first place. The unwanted sides of your psyche that have manifested get repressed again, and you go back to “normality”.

I wrote before about fear and shame, and how these two Guardians stand between us and true self-knowledge. I mean here by ‘self-knowledge’, a deep co-existence of conscious and unconscious sides of our nature rather than a superficial appraisal of the ego.
In my opinion, nothing, absolutely nothing, is as important as the integration of conscious and unconscious parts of our psyche. This process Dr Jung calls Individuation. There is little difference between the monks of old who, locked in small rooms, examined their inner natures and those of us exploring our natures in SL.

Why and how I believe SL to be a truly healing environment is an ongoing project that my thoughts and words try and chip away at like a marble sculpture. More will no doubt follow....


1 comment:

  1. I must say , i feel i have learnt an increadible amout while being in SL , not just the machanics of the environment but about my self and the way i interact with others. socialisation and my ability to enginer my self around a situation has been greatly enhanced in a way that dont think i would have found in RL indepenantly.
    I totally agree with the important connections between concious and subcosious thought. before SL my head space was not in a perticuly bright spot ....I had no self esteem ...then suddenly i was meeting new people who appreciated me for who i am outright without mentioning RL at all.... i was me pixi a gardener of my world , the place i had seen in my dreams and my imagination was rekindled... ( i must say doing psychedelics had a similar effect ) but that is not the reason why my "world" is how it is ...its because it is my world (me )I think therefore i am :)... and SL i "became" for others too.
    SL is the best therepy ever ...thankyou for letting me know myself again :)