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This is Part 2 of the Truth Perspective's discussion of Dr. Kazimierz Dabrowski's Personality-Shaping Through Positive Disintegration, published by Red Pill Press. We covered several aspects of the book and the theory, including its implications for politics, the similarities to ponerology and the work of Gurdjieff, the subject of psychopathy, and we read some key passages from the book. Part one of the discussion can be found here. The book is currently available on

During the second half of the show, we talked about some important news items from the previous week, tying them into our observations on positive and negative disintegration and how that might relate to various countries and the personalities involved..

Running Time: 02:04:00

Download: MP3

Here's the transcript of the show:

Harrison: Hello! Welcome back everyone. This is The Truth Perspective. It is June 13th. I'm your host Harrison Koehli with my co-host Elan Martin and we've got SOTT editors Caroline and Shane Lachance.

ALL: Hellos.

Harrison: Welcome co-hosts. Today we are going to be continuing our discussion from last week, picking up where we left off, talking about some stuff we didn't get to, maybe talking about some stuff we did get to and expanding on it. And that topic is the new book published by Red Pill Press, Personality Shaping Through Positive Disintegration by Dr. Kazimierz Dąbrowski, first published in 1967 but just as relevant today as it was back then. In fact I think it's even more relevant because the world has gone even more downhill since it was published in the '60s and we could use a little personality shaping individually and collectively. We'll get into that too, near the end of the show.

Shane: What's nice about the personality shaping is we talk a lot about the aspects of ponerology and just how devastating it is on society and all of us, and it's nice to have another picture where we're looking at the destructive part of poneroloy and then there's also this constructive part of building the personality so it's nice to have that aspect to look at, to balance things out.

Caroline: Yeah, it gives you a bit of hope and it also gives you the idea that no matter how destructive and oppressive your environment is, and lord knows it's a depressive, destructive environment around us, that anything can be material to improve yourself if you have the will and the understanding.

Harrison: That reminded me of a quote. This is from the book. We're going to be reading some more quotes from the book and discussing them. So he's talking about having an educational team. We talked about the advisor last week, basically just a mentor or advisor to help people through the process of personality shaping and helping people through the struggles that they have in life and learning how to deal with what's going on in their heads, their emotions and getting a handle on them and realizing what it all means and how to put it all together.

So he's saying that an educational team is fundamental:
...not only for the development of the individual himself but also for the whole society since the possession of the greatest possible number of matured personalities by a society is decisive for its proper development, for its place in the family of societies, for its future.
So a kind of global perspective on personality development, which we talked about last week and just hinted at it right now, is that without people who are themselves developed, society won't be developed and if society is to progress as opposed to regress and destroy itself, we're going to need some people who can be called persons, who can be called humans because as it is, we've talked about it a lot, the leaders of society, governments, education and academia, wherever you go, you find people just aren't very good people.

Caroline: The other problem with that is that when you do end up with someone like that, with a Martin Luther King or anybody else who pricks the conscience of the society and makes them uncomfortable, since our first goal seems to be our comfort, it is very easy for that society to turn on these would-be advisors. They don't see the value of them.

Elan: When you mentioned Martin Luther King, what comes to mind is that there are so few people who have fully developed personalities in the sense that we're probably thinking, or at least very highly functional beings or people who have consciences who are willing to take it to its logical end. Having said that, if there are even just a few of them, or a few more in the world, it reminds me of that JFK quote about how a single person can make such a huge difference and maybe it would only require a few more.

Shane: It's funny that we have to go back in history to find these leaders, at least in the United States history because we don't see them, in the US anyway, today. We only have the leaders of the past, talking about JFK and Martin Luther King.

Caroline: Yeah, it's almost like society's been structured to damp down and obstruct the development of anybody who could fill that role.

Harrison: Dąbrowski talks about that, how it is that the lowest level of humanity that tends to aspire to positions of power.

Caroline: What does that sound like?

Harrison: This is ponerology. That's what Lobacziewski talked about. But when you think about the consequences of that and what that actually means, you've got this whole system that is based on the lowest level of human development and it's like you were saying Elan and Caroline, when someone comes along that goes against that, naturally they will be opposing intrinsic, essential parts of that system because they are fundamentally different and at odds with each other. So that will target them as an enemy of the system. It's like the Matrix; whoever goes against that system gets targeted.

So it puts the person with an actual developed personality into a dangerous and weak position because they're going up against everyone, essentially.

Caroline: Plus there's always that existential fear of those in power, the fear constantly of losing that power, so they're alert to these threats because on some level they know that this sort of magnetic, developed personality that offers these options of hope and improvement will attract others who have that nascent in them and that's a bad position when you've got a position you're trying to hang onto.

Shane: At the same time, when we have these psychopaths in power, when there's no real vast understanding of psychopathy and when that also meets lack of understanding about our own development, when people are in crisis, they're going to seek some type of stability. The psychopath presents this false picture, but that's what's present, this immovable rock. And people will latch onto that because 1) we don't understand our own development and 2) we don't understand what we're relying on.

Caroline: Yeah. They have no internal conflict so of course they look confident, they move forward and they make decisive judgments and decisions and everybody goes "Oh, I want to be like that" but they don't understand the interior structure that creates that and how destructive it can be because there is no sense of deliberation or wondering or questioning your motives or the consequences of what you do. They just see the outer shell that says "This person's got it together. I want to be like them."

Elan: By the same token, among people who are fully developed there is an attraction or a recognition of someone like a king, like a JFK, like a - dare I say - Putin and people strike up an intense loyalty to this person. So maybe it's even on an unconscious level that they're able to recognize a few things but like you were saying, Shane and Caroline, there's also for lack of development, vulnerability among many people to get sucked up into charisma and perceived strength and know-how.

Caroline: Well, the two look eerily like each other and without the ability to discern or at least see if words and actions match up and the consequences of those words and actions. Stalin was a decisive dude too but that didn't work out so well. So it's having the ability to make comparisons over a period of time to say whether or not this is the true or the false confidence and leadership.

Harrison: Yeah, that's one of the problems fundamental to the theory, not a problem of the theory, but that comes out of looking at things in this way, from positive disintegration, that a person can only really see what's at their own level. I read that quote from last week about the perception receptors; we can only perceive a certain segment or slice of reality, depending on the level that we're at. So to a person who just hasn't developed him or herself very much, they won't be able to tell the difference very well between a strong psychopathic leader and a strong developed leader.

Caroline: It's tricky.

Harrison: Yeah, it's a tricky situation. Well, not necessarily because if a good person is in power they will be doing good stuff, so regardless of whether people can see it or not, or the difference between the two types, they're still getting stuff done.

Shane: Like they say, hindsight's 20/20 and looking back at episodes in history we can see when JFK came to power it was remarkable because the country was pushing for war and war was right at the brink. All Americans were really into it and in a very, very short time, when you look back at JFK's speeches and his talking about peace and that this peace was a real possibility, he changed the tide of American thinking in a remarkably short amount of time. I don't know if you could describe JFK as a fully developed personality in the Dąbrowskian sense, but he did have a conscience and when you have leaders like that, they inspire conscience in others. I think Gurdjieff defined a remarkable man as somebody who can inspire consciousness in others. We can see that snowball effect happen when these types of leaders come to power.

Caroline: And also possibly that those who were clamoring for war were part of the system and part of the government. He was able to reach past and down to the average citizen who really wasn't all that keen on the idea, and inspire them. This, of course would then threaten those in power because their chances of being re-elected if this had carried forward were just about zero. So of course you're going to protect your position.

Harrison: I'm going to do something that we neglected to do last week and actually give a description of the book itself that we were talking about. In Personality Shaping Through Positive Disintegration the main concept is about personality and how to get it; what is personality and what are the methods to get there and then what are some examples of it.

The book starts with the first chapter being the definition of personality. There Dąbrowski lays out how he defines personality and the different traits that it has. For Dąbrowski personality has certain universal and eternal qualities or traits. These are qualities that will be found throughout the history of human individuals.

Caroline: Regardless of their culture or nationality.

Harrison: Right. So there is this normative, universal ideal of personality. Now of course it will take very different forms in certain senses, depending on the time and culture you're born in, but those will be secondary to what is going on beneath the surface of that. Dąbrowski isn't a moral relativist. He's not a post-modernist.

Caroline: Thank god!

Harrison: Yeah. So don't worry about that if you have as big an aversion to those ideas as we do. What are some of those qualities? There are certain mental attitudes or qualities. He gives a few examples like multi-lateral knowledge; an interest in a whole variety of different sources and bits of information and knowledge, so it's not limited to one certain hobby or one certain interest. You'll often find that with people. You'll meet them and they're interested in one thing and really only one thing. I've met a couple of guys who are just interested in guns and hunting and that's it. It's all they'll talk about. They're not interested in anything else and it's pretty much for their entire life, that's it. And they'll watch TV or something and have their favorite shows.

Caroline: And they'll be watching shows on guns and hunting.

Harrison: Yeah, exactly. But a personality has a much wider range of interests because you need that really, if you're going to be doing anything helpful for the world. You need to be interested and knowledgeable about the world, people and about yourself. So that gets to a couple of the mental qualities; knowledge of the self and knowledge of others because they're intimately tied together. You can't have a great knowledge of others if you don't have a great knowledge of yourself. So how are you going to realize what another person's going through if you can't visualize it or experience it yourself, or if you haven't experienced it for yourself, or if you don't know something about yourself, how can you see it in another person. It's just another part of the expansion of the base of your knowledge.

The third quality he gives is independence in thought, feeling and action. So to be able to think, feel and act, not based on what anyone necessarily tells you to do, but from your own forces, from your own rational deliberation and based on conscience, to be able to make a choice that your whole society might be against, your family and friends might be against but you know it's right so you go with it. Again, that is a quality that is lacking in most people. Of course everyone thinks that they do exactly what they want to do. We've talked about that before, but unfortunately it's just not true. We can read some quotes to get into that later on.

The second broad category is moral or social qualities. He talks about honesty, the capacity for honesty with others and one's self. Of course we've talked about honesty with everyone not necessarily being a good thing and that's true.

Caroline: Maybe it's the ability to measure how much honesty is appropriate.

Harrison: Yeah. I think the most important part of this is probably the honesty towards one's self, not telling yourself lies about yourself to the world. To be able to get through all the self-lies that we tell ourselves about why we're doing what we're doing, what we're actually doing, lies about our relationships and motivations and just everything about our lives, because we lie to ourselves constantly. That's a big part of what Gurdjieff was talking about. You can also find the ideas in modern cognitive psychology too. Timothy Wilson has written a couple of great books about it.

Caroline: Strangers To Ourselves.

Harrison: Yes. How we think we know what's going on in our minds and why we do things and more often than not, if not always, it's not for the reasons that we think. We come up with stories for ourselves and rationalizations to explain why we're doing what we're doing that have no real resemblance to the truth.

Elan: So what does that look like for us when we lie to ourselves? When does it come up? Everyone's on the hot seat right now.

Shane: If there's this internal conflict when it presents itself, we have this choice to make; whether to recognize that there is this hypocrisy inside, there is this conflict, to suppress and deny it and lie to ourselves about it, that this conflict does exist.

Caroline: Or tell yourself a comforting story that explains why the thing you want to do is the right thing to do.

Elan: Well, when I review this material and I think of wanting to lie to one's self, I think of personality and ego, I think of times when I might be over-sensitive to something or mis-perceiving what someone has said or not said and then deciding that they're evil, mean or inconsiderate. Maybe on some level there is a level of truth to lack of consideration on the other person's part, but certainly as you were saying, recognizing the conflict, recognizing "Oh, this is what I'm feeling right now, it's really uncomfortable but I can decide how to think about it in the moment or work through it, or come back to it later and not deny that these are the thoughts and feelings I'm having regarding it." That's uncomfortable because it's so much easier to project the blame on the other person.

Caroline: You feel good.

Elan: You feel good. It's expedient.

Harrison: It's also hard to admit to ourselves that we don't necessarily have the best of intentions. This comes up especially in relationships, any kind of relationship. We might say something that can be really mean or criticize someone for something and they say "Well, why did you say that?" And you think about and come up with a perfectly good reason for saying it of course.

Caroline: "I was just trying to help".

Harrison: Yeah. When actually there's a lot more going on beneath the surface, one of which is that you probably just don't have a very good idea of healthy social interactions and to realize that something is really inappropriate to say in a certain situation; you don't know how to say it right.

Shane: We might have mentioned in one of the previous shows, that we don't know how to express our emotions about things that bother us or things that come up. When we bury those things, it's going to come out in other ways. It's going to come out through covert aggression or snide little remarks. It comes out that way because there's something there and if we can learn how to say "Hey, you know what? This made me angry and this is why", that can be a huge thing.

Caroline: You're asking to remake society then because anybody who might even want to do that, if they don't have a safe environment to do that in, you might gain a little bit from the internal understanding that yes, you have these feelings, but if you have no way of resolving or dealing with them or airing them out, then I suppose that little bit of understanding is better than nothing, but it doesn't deal with so much as it could have, in the long run.

Elan: And yet the hope is that in responding in such a way, it would elicit an effort, or not, but that's the hope that in being sincere and not going on the attack, there is a response in kind that comes to a greater understanding, a higher level of communication.

Caroline: This would be where the role of the advisor comes in. The advisor would be someone who was at such a level of development that they could take this communication and not be offended. See it for what it is, and offer the guidance to deal with it properly. You get back to the whole idea of a village to raise a child, that not only would you have your parents but you would have an entire circle of these people who have an understanding, who have a further level of development who can help you along. So many people don't have that. It's sad.

Shane: In therapeutic settings where your traditional talk therapy and other types of therapy don't work, often what's very effective is group therapy. This doesn't necessarily mean a group of psychologists sitting around, although maybe it should. But it's the person's peers. They're basically saying how the person is acting, how it affected them and what their perceptions are. We could probably take note of that and apply it in our own lives and things would be much better. But we're told "brush things under the rug", "turn the other cheek" and all these other thoughts that just end up suppressing the problems.

Harrison: Just to give a real concrete example, you just mentioned a group of therapists all doing group therapy together, but if you look at social work or just a person who on the surface is doing something for others and giving their lives for others; it could be through social work or therapy or any kind of philanthropism. If you ask that person why they're doing it they may have a very high opinion of themselves or a high opinion of what they're doing "Oh, I'm just doing it because I care so much about other people and I just want to give so much".

That may be true, but it may not, especially when we look at therapists and psychologists. Many of them aren't doing it for the reasons that they may tell themselves or think. It could be that, first of all in school they realized that they liked psychology and just drifted towards that profession. Or they might have had a drive to do it for the prestige or the money because that is a position of power over a lot of people's lives, to be able to arrange them and experiment on them in certain ways in order to change them. Ideally it should take a lot of responsibility to put yourself in that position and do the job responsibly, but that isn't always the case. So this can be an example of a lie to the self "Oh, I'm doing this for the most noble reason and I just have the best intentions for what I'm doing" when really the motivation for why you're actually doing it is inherently selfish and egotistical.

That's just one example of a lie that a person can tell themselves about why they're doing what they're doing. It's a way of phrasing things to yourself, to put yourself in the best light possible because we don't like to see ourselves in a negative light. So we're kind of our own best PR teams.

Caroline: Actually Dąbrowski has something to say about it. He says "We can change and improve the group in which we live, therefore only if we know how to develop ourselves, otherwise we vitiate the social work. It turns into pseudo-work, a cover for attitudes and aims which often have nothing to do with real social work." I'm skipping down here. "Among so-called social workers one may distinguish several groups. One group is comprised of people with small capabilities or complete indolence whose inclination to social work is based on an unconscious tendency to seek care for themselves. Another group consists of individuals for whom social work is just an embellishment of their professional work or an opportunity", like board members and philanthropists who want to improve their CV and have another credit. There was a third one and I can't find it.

Shane: So you have these different types going into these helping professions. At the worst there are the pathological types who will seek power over others, as Harrison just mentioned. I think there is that category too where a person might experience various traumas early in life and these things are unresolved; there is maybe this unconscious mechanism where they seek this information but if they don't apply it to themselves, they're going to be harming the people that they're treating because they're going to be projecting their own issues onto them and trying to fix them as a means of not facing their own stuff.

Caroline: Oh my god, that is so much of the whole therapy profession. There's just people who are really trying to fix themselves.

Shane: So when you do go for therapy, it's good to see that the therapist has gone through that process and has done some work on themselves.

Harrison: And then you get into the problem of the psychologists that end up coming up with these grand theories and their theories just reflect where they're at. Of course that will apply to anyone. So this applies to Dąbrowski as much as anyone else, but from looking at Dąbrowski's theory in-depth it looks like he was probably a fairly highly developed individual himself.

Caroline: As opposed to Freud, say.

Harrison: Yeah, because you get to someone like Freud where their entire theory is based on their own inner makeup projected onto everyone. But that's kind of a whitewashing of humanity or even a gross nasty green-washing of humanity where all the nasty stuff within the psychologist's own psyche gets projected out and equalized over all of humanity, which is a total misrepresentation.

Caroline: And made the norm to strive to.

Shane: We actually saw this with Dąbrowski's theory itself, not from Dąbrowski but one of his students, Pachowski, who is known more in the gifted children circles. He has taken Dąbrowski's work and really cherry-picked different ideas and left out whole contexts of the theory that gives it meaning. So one of the things he focused on was the over-excitabilities and described it in terms of "these gifted children will have these over-excitabilities and all these extra energies will be channeled into whatever gifted area". That in itself is an inaccurate application of Dąbrowski's theory but what Pachowski did was remove the idea of disintegration, that there were lower levels. So there was no concept of the personality ideal really.

Caroline: So he was saying these children have this special whatever-it-is. Now when you say gifted does that mean intelligence or music or whatever?

Shane: It would depend on whichever over-excitability the child had.

Caroline: So his theories were couched in trying to cotton-wrap these kids and keep them safe and protected and never let them get into any kind of head-space where they might be depressed or sad and have to deal with themselves.

Shane: Very much. Actually I grabbed an article that talked about Pachowski's interpretation. There were definitions of the various over-excitabilities and then different strategies of dealing with them. The definitions, although there was some influence from Pachowski, they were pretty much similar to Dąbrowski. As an example, there was the sensual over-excitability, "Sensual OE is expressed as a heightened experience of sensual pleasure or displeasure emanating from sight, smell, touch, taste and hearing. Those with sensual OE have a far more expansive experience from their sensual input than the average person."

There's a little bit more, but the strategy for dealing with this was "Wherever possible create an environment which limits offensive stimuli and provide comfort, provide appropriate opportunities for being in the limelight by giving unexpected attention, facilitating creative and dramatic productions which have an audience. These individuals literally feel the recognition that comes from being in the limelight."

Caroline: It's a recipe for spoiling. Oh dear god! The intention's right. These children need their energies to be channeled, but they still have to be people.

Shane: And they have to know how to be able to process and deal with these intense feelings. That's the impression that I had from that, that it's taking away those opportunities to really learn to resolve the conflicts by removing it from the environment.

Harrison: Well from that example and from the other things that I've read about "gifted children" it sounds like what these folks are doing who have latched on to Dąbrowski's theory is taken it's multi-dimensional nature and made it one dimensional and then flattened the multilevel down to one level. So if you take that approach to an over-excitable child sensually, then it's pretty much a catch-all, one solution for every possible problem approach to it. "Well this is what you've got to do." It doesn't take into account any of the specific circumstances of these individual children and what they might need in that moment because sometimes, yes, it may be a good thing to put on a little theatrical production with an audience. Sometimes it might not be. And like you said, sometimes it might be important for them to have some kind of negative stimuli in order to learn how to deal with it. Sometimes if their system is totally overwhelmed by something, then it might be a good idea to calm that down a bit. But it's a complicated process that can't be fixed by this one-size-fits-all approach.

Caroline: And if you're focusing only on the gift or the talent, then you're not creating a well-rounded human being at all.

Harrison: When you were asking Caroline, about the gifted children thing, it seems like when you look into it, or at least from my experience with it, it's pretty much limited to IQ, at least that's the way most people approach it. Then they might bring in little aspects from here and there, but we've got the group of gifted children that may be gifted intellectually or even in another way, but it has nothing substantial to do with Dąbrowski's work.

Shane: With higher levels or conscience. When you were describing the theory, it had this more unilevel description. We were talking earlier about how the psychologists who have these theories may be reflecting their own internal landscape; it seemed that that may be an accurate description of Pachowski. He aligned Dąbrowski's ideas with Maslow's hierarchy of needs and self-actualization. When you look at Maslow's theory, that can apply to somebody who's integrated at a lower level. All those things don't necessarily equate with signs of higher development. One of the levels is esteem, that before you reach self-actualization you must feel self-respected and have approval from your peers and yada, yada, yada. We can see these ideas creeping in with Pachowski's theory, and others too that have really gone into any kind of ideas about child development.

Caroline: It almost sounds like Maslow's top one, self-actualization is where Dąbrowski would start.

Harrison: I don't know. I can't really remember all the details from Maslow. There might be something to that.

Caroline: That might be something we can do. Just to go in another direction, I don't know if you want to move on from here, but if we're looking for examples of somebody who pretty much, from the evidence, did embody this self-actualization or personality development, you would want to look at Julius Caesar. Here was a man who was incredibly intelligent, interested in everything, had the sureness of his own decisions but he was willing to take counsel; all of these qualities that he's ticked off you can seem to find in his life and in his works and he certainly had a huge effect on history.

Harrison: Caesar's a tough case for me simply because all we've got to look at is the external of what he's doing. So of course we can read all that into it.

Caroline: We can project.

Harrison: Unfortunately we don't have his diaries to read to see what was really going on in his head. I agree with you. I think that if you do look at what we can divine or discern about what was going on under the surface we can see that. That's one of the problems with trying to get a handle on this by looking at individuals. It takes a lot of work and a lot of data to be able to look at a person from outside and to categorize this. That's why when Dąbrowski worked with a person individually, he had a whole system of tests; an autobiography test where the person would write down their autobiography, describe their thoughts and feelings about different concepts, ideas and emotions and different kinds of physiological tests, all to get an idea of what's going on with this person.

I'll skip a bit ahead in my description of the contents of the book, but in the last major chapter Dąbrowski looks at five historical personalities, as he calls them. He read a lot about famous people from the past from different fields and then analyzed their biographies to see what he could see in their lives and their diaries about what they were going through and how it applied to the positive disintegration. A few of the ones included in the book, which include a few that were unpublished before, are Michelangelo, Beethoven, Kierkegaard and Unamuno, two philosophers, St. Augustine, a famous Christian theologian, and Clifford Beers and Władysław Dawid; so a representative sample of each of psychologists, artists, musicians and philosophers. He then looks at their lives in terms of what they were going through and the different disintegrations they had, possible secondary re-integrations.

Usually when you're reading one of the cases he's describing he'll talk about the positive aspects of their growth and development, but then for Michelangelo or Beethoven he'll say "Well they never ended up achieving their full personality". Even Augustine. How do you pronounce it?

Shane: I say Augustin.

Caroline: It doesn't really matter.

Harrison: But there were aspects of their personalities that weren't fully developed. Augustine never had any close friends at the end of his life. He was shut off, kind of a jerk. A lot of these people did have these negative qualities so even in a lot of the people where we can see these processes going on, they died with works in progress. That's actually reflected in the cover art that we used for the book; a sculpture by Michelangelo, one of his so-called slaves, and these were either unfinished sculptures or purposely unfinished sculptures. It looks like these figures are actually emerging out of the stone. I think it's a good visual metaphor for the process because we essentially do shape ourselves out of the material that we're given and it is an ongoing process and oftentimes an unfinished process, which is depressing at the same time.

Elan: Well you've got to start somewhere. All of this reminds me of a passage I read recently by Gurdjieff describing how one can take snapshots of one's self at various times, recognizing when I was feeling this or when I was doing that, giving yourself your own picture of who you are in all of your greatness and all of your shittiness. Unfortunately, I think for many of us we won't have the opportunity to be evaluated by peers or have anybody at the level of a Dąbrowski or even a really necessarily competent therapist although there are many who are out there. So I guess what we need to do is look at how we can apply this material to ourselves and to those who are closest to us in helping to shape our personalities. I think this book and a lot of G's work gives us some of those tools.

Harrison: That moves on to the next section of traits and moral qualities of personality. He also lists courage, love and the "desire to perfect one's self and to help others perfect themselves". Gurdjieff said something similar with his five obligonian strivings; the desire always to perfect one's self and to be that influence in other peoples' lives too, like you were saying, his definition of a remarkable man, Shane. So that's another aspect.
We mentioned last week the religious aspect, so there is a kind of spirituality that seems to always come in the development of personality and adapting towards death and the idea of death, one's own death and death in general; not an avoidance of it, but a deep, contemplation of it, what it means and how it will then inspire and motivate how you live your life in order to eventually die.

Shane: That's something that we see in a lot of different religions and teachings. Carlos Castañeda talked about keeping death on your left shoulder (or maybe it was the right shoulder, I'm not sure). But keeping that front and center. We are very removed from death in so many aspects, not just in our personal relationships but even when it gets down to our food. We have these factory farms that do everything and it's all seemingly distant to us. It comes pre-packaged.

One of the good experiences that I had was working on a farm for a little while; doing some reading about raising animals and was involved with all of that. One of the things that I came across was this description of what are called pig killings. It sounds pretty awful when you first hear about it. A community would get together during the fall and they would have a pig that they would slaughter and as a community they'd do the butchering and cooking. The initial response was "Oh this is really disturbing!" But when you go through it and you see that there's social bonds being created as well as respect for the animal, you recognize that this animal died so that you could live. In order to give that some kind of meaning you have to recognize that there's a process that's involved and we're not separated from it. That was just my little tangent.

Elan: Well along those lines, I'm reminded yet again of Gurdjieff and the last hour of life. He's got a very interesting passage about valuing every moment that you have available to you, to be of value to others and to live as though death can happen at any time because actually it's true that it can. It's not a comfortable thought necessarily, but it doesn't have to be as uncomfortable. It can be used as a motivator. So just another way that we're getting more overlap here I think.

Harrison: The next two chapters of the book are an introduction to the main ideas of integration, disintegration, the multilevel disintegration, unilevel disintegration; the aspects of the theory, the different terminology and then how they apply to personality and how they can lead eventually to personality. Then in the fourth chapter, the methods.

This is a really interesting chapter, describing how this actually applies in a person's life with self-education, the advisor like we mentioned, how these different processes go on during different periods of our lives. So usually for example, puberty and the mid-life crisis, the climacteric period as Dąbrowski calls it where our inner structures tend to get shaken up against our will and they're good opportunities. They don't always turn out in the most positive way though.

For example puberty can be a very integrating process on a low level where at first it appears like it could be a positive thing and it can, where all these new inner qualities and dimensions of life and new aspects of a personality can come out. At the same time it's very chaotic and there's a lot of confusion. But then when puberty ends a lot of people grow up really fast and then that's it until they get to middle age and go through another crisis, but it solidifies the personality on a fairly low level and with limited interests and limited conscience.

Dąbrowski describes how this applies in the life cycle as well as on a more not time-sensitive issue, so things can just come up at any period of life. Then he also has sections on how to deal with children, how to guide children through these processes and also how to approach different cases of psychiatric diagnoses, with some examples of obsessions, anxiety or depression and how the theory applies in a clinical setting.
Then he gets into the historical personalities and that makes up the book. There's a lot in between and a lot in there, which we can all attest to.

Caroline: The thing I like the best about Dąbrowski is that you can choose these experiences. You can choose to be alert for them. You don't have to wait for them to break over your head like some disaster. Puberty is pretty much imposed, and the assessments of middle age are also somewhat imposed because, as he said, you can't escape the diminishing of bodily strength, mental agility, all of that. But in between those two you can be alert and open to opportunities to shape your personality if you so choose and that's wonderful, because it puts some agency back into your own hands as opposed to just being subject to what crashes in on your life. I think that's fantastic.

Elan: I haven't gotten through the whole book yet, but I was impressed with the number of times he brings up the subject of values, especially concerning multilevel development. This is a quote of his:
Our capability of experiencing the feelings of veneration and esteem is one of the fundamental criteria of the development of personality. Without the feeling of a hierarchy of values above us and without an emotional attitude of esteem for these values, there would be no yearning for an ideal and consequently no action of dynamisms permitting the discrimination of various levels within our inner environment. The capability of experiencing the feeling of reverence is, as a rule, linked with the process of disintegration.
So it's not just, as we reiterated a number of times, it's not therapy or self-education or auto-therapy or however you want to term it for the aim of feeling better, but it is for aligning yourself with whatever is higher, call it spiritual development or growth or any number of different things that all amount to the same thing I think.

Caroline: The aspiration for more.

Elan: The aspiration for more and also a recognition of what higher values are and what they mean. If you can use that as a starting point or reference when examining your own behavior and thoughts and how you interact with people and what you're trying to do with yourself in life, you're a little further along I think.

Harrison: Let's find another quote here. This one's on psychopathy. He's talking about psychopathic individuals.
Integrated structures are also encountered among psychopathic individuals who, believing their morbid tendencies are hierarchically superior, subordinate to them all other dispositions and functions, adapting them more or less adroitly to the environment. A psychopathic individual usually does not know the feeling of internal inferiority, does not experience internal conflicts. He's unequivocally integrated.

The kinds of integration just mentioned might be called, in the general sense, primary, non-evolutional forms of integration. When an individual with a tenacious structure goes through typical general biological phases, when unilateral interests develop in him or so-called normal inclinations, or when possibly his psychopathological structure is improved, this does not mean that he actually develops but that he merely attains this or that kind of ability, this or that form of the art of living.
Robert Hare talks about this in a different way, discussing psychopaths by saying that they can't be treated. He gives the example of psychopaths in therapy because most, if not all, types of therapy used on psychopaths tend to only produce a better psychopath because they learn to become better mimics of what a so-called healthy or normal human is. So they convince their therapist that they've found Jesus or whatever.

Caroline: "I've seen the light."

Harrison: Yeah, they've seen the light and they seem like better people so they might be released and they come back to prison if that's where they were.

Shane: And they gain insight on human psychology as well so they're learning more about what human psychology is from the therapist saying "Well this is normal and if you did this, this and this." So they're gaining more insight in order to better manipulate people. Dąbrowski's ideas about psychopathy and psychopaths I think is very unique to see in almost any psychological theory. We're mostly taught that we all more or less have the same internal landscape and what Dąbrowski's saying is that's not necessarily the case. There are people who do think very differently, who don't have the same possibilities for development, who won't experience events in the same way that we do.

Understanding that and knowing that is really helpful because one of the really common things that we do is project our own internal landscape onto others and that's cause for all sorts of issues that come up in our lives. But when we understand that, that there is this real difference in people and that this exists, then we can learn from that and safeguard our behavior and actions from that.

Harrison: One more quote on this subject. It's in the section describing why Dąbrowski feels it's good to take a look at historical individuals and personalities and read their biographies, memoirs, letters and diaries and get an idea of what other people have gone through.
The study of historical personalities therefore gives us, by contrast, insight into the structure and dynamisms of outstanding criminal individuals and shows us the following fundamental differences.
So these are the differences between the criminal individuals and the personalities who go through a positive developmental process.
The criminal individuals reveal intelligence functions closely linked with primitive instincts. This is an intelligence in the service of instincts. The outstanding criminal individuals are deaf and dumb to aims and values other than their own, to the realization of which they often fanatically subordinate themselves. At the root of the activity of such individuals there is sometimes a morbid, ambitional or imaginational nuclei.
So he's saying a few things there. First, that the intellect is totally at service or under the influence of the primitive drives and instincts. So a psychopath can be very intelligent, but that intelligence is fully directed in order to get what the psychopath wants on a low level. So there could be an immense intelligence perhaps, but directed towards something as bad as genocide.

Caroline: Well wasn't the title of the book about the Enron scandal called The Smartest Guys In The Room?

Elan: Documentary. Probably based on the book.

Caroline: So here's a group of highly intelligent people but all of their strategies and thought were towards creating this giant fraud.

Elan: Well let's look at our President. The guy was a constitutional lawyer.

Caroline: Harvard graduate.

Elan: Right. He was largely an advocate for the rule of law and the Constitution and has this progressive veneer and basically lied and hoodwinked half the nation into voting him into office when in fact, we see that by the fruits of his actions the man is probably the most anti-Constitutional leader the US has ever had, bar none. But he's so congenial, he's got such a big wide smile and is so articulate when he makes his speeches, he still manages to fool so many. So just a case in point I think in describing a very successful psychopath, or something very close to it, in our President, Barack Obama.

Caroline: There was something else in that quote that was really, really interesting. He touched a little bit on the aspect of megalomania, that these guys just thought they were the greatest thing since sliced bread and everything that they did was to support that vision of themselves.

Harrison: Morbid, ambitional and imaginational nuclei. That brought to mind from ponerology how Lobaczewski describes how these psychopaths have this sick fantasy for society. They want this ideal world, really a dystopia, where they are in charge. They can do whatever they want and not get caught for it, not be criticized for it, not be penalized for it, where they just have free reign. This fantasy and the ambition that drives that fantasy to become reality is what we see today where we see groups of individuals who are in positions of immense power who can get away and do get away with anything.

Personally I think the biggest sign of this is the pedophile rings that we've seen in all the major Western countries that have been partially exposed and then brutally covered up with witnesses murdered and corrupt, dirty judges.

Caroline: It's almost like another governmental organization only it spans the globe. These different groups organize but they all have contacts with each other. They all help each other out. It's almost like another country.

Shane: They're linked by their psychology too providing the unifying force throughout.

Caroline: And it's a system that has imposed itself worldwide. Horrible.

Elan: On another level, there was a recent news story that came out on RT "Department of Homeland Security agent harassed for investigating corruption in immigration program."

Harrison: How dare he!?!

Elan: She! So basically this senior special agent with the division of immigration and customs, Taylor Johnson, part of enforcement for ICE, which stands for Immigration and Customs Enforcement, testified before the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs recently. She was at a hearing alongside several other whistle-blowers who claim that they have also faced harassment for speaking out against their agency's wrongdoings.

So she came across some corruption and there were repercussions. She had her gun taken away, her position taken away. What she says is that some of the violations investigated surrounded the project including bank and wire fraud and she had discovered ties to organized crime and high-ranking politicians; they received promotions that appeared to facilitate the program.

So she's part of this organization that at its very inception is a big lie, because Homeland Security is designed to give people the perception that we needed an organization called Homeland Security.

Harrison: Secure the homeland against the evil forces that are aligned against us!

Caroline: We'll tell you who they are this week because they keep changing.

Harrison: And we keep giving them money.

Elan: Her story reminds me, not in the same scope, but reminds me a little bit of Sibel Edmonds and her working for the FBI in the early 2000s. She was a translator. She spoke Farsi and then Turkish and was booted from her position for pointing out certain things. So there's this culture, this mindset that is psychopathic. "We're not looking to run an organization with integrity! We have a function here!"

Caroline: And you're disturbing the window dressing.

Shane: And that's what happens when there's a society that pretty much lives without meaning. They can say whatever they want and do whatever they want because there is no deeper meaning that the masses look for.

Caroline: And they've created a society with no consequences.

Harrison: Here's another story along those lines from Buenos Aires. Judges Horacio Piombo and Benjamin Ramon Sal Llargues of the Chamber of Criminal Cassation of Buenos Aires reduced the sentence of a child molester because the child "displayed a homosexual orientation and was accustomed to being sexually abused". Tolosa was the child's soccer coach when he raped the child. He had been sentenced to six years but the judges cut the sentence almost in half because Tolosa could not be held responsible for "the warped sexual development of the minor child". The six-year-old was called a cross-dresser by the judges before they went on to say "It is clear that the child's sexual choice despite his young age and in light of the considerable testimony of those close to him, had already been made." These same judges reduced the sentence of a preacher that had raped a 14 and 16 year old because the girls were "from a social class in which sexual permissiveness was acceptable at an early age".

Elan: Well this speaks again to values and that these people in positions of power have no values or little values.

Shane: Anti-human values.

Harrison: First of course there's the guy himself, the rapist Tolosa and then these judges. What can you say about guys like this?

Caroline: There was a comment below the article that figures that he's probably part of some pedophile ring himself. He's just letting a peer off.

Shane: And Buenos Aires is already infiltrated with sex trafficking, so what these judges are doing is creating this environment for it to flourish.

Harrison: Yeah, it's sick. Just because you were talking about Obama Elan, about a week-and-a-half ago this story was just hilarious. Obama could be a comedian if he wanted to. He could actually just change his title to Comedian-in-Chief.

Caroline: There we go.

Harrison: And then it would just change the way people look at the words that he says and just realize how funny they are because they're so wrong. He said "People don't remember when I came into the office the Unites States in the world opinion ranked below China, barely above Russia and today, once again, the United States is the most respected country on earth. Part of that I think is the work that we did to re-engage the world and say that 'we want to work with you as partners with mutual interests and mutual respect'."

Shane: It's pure delusion.

Harrison: Yeah. In case Obama doesn't know, the US is actually number 22 on the Reputation Institute's most reputable countries, 2014. Number 22. So those with a strong reputation fill positions one to nine; moderate rank 10 to 20. So the US is labelled "weak" in reputation. He got something partially right because the US was rated number one in something. It was voted the greatest threat to world peace by a 2014 global Gallup poll of 68 countries, so scoring three times higher than the next greatest perceived threat, Iran.

Caroline: Go USA!! We're number one!

Harrison: And as for the idea of the US improving its rank, it actually slid two percent from the previous year. The US is becoming less reputable as we speak and breathe which is understandable I think.

Caroline: I think that works around to the megalomania.

Harrison: Delusions.

Elan: Getting back for a second to the Department of Homeland Security which is an extension of Obama and his powers, there was another article which came out about a year-and-a-half ago, published in the Canadian Free Press by Doug Hagmann. I guess Harrison you're happy to hear that some bit of truth is coming out of your country somehow.

Harrison: Oh yeah. Rare.

Elan: Anyway, in an interview that the journalist had to go to great trouble to arrange with a former Department of Homeland Security employee, he got this quote. He said "DHS is like a prison environment, complete with prison snitches" he said, referring to the search for leaks and leakers." This also gets back to that story about the woman who leaked the improprieties going on recently.

"And the warden is obsessed. Ask anyone in DHS. No one trusts anyone else. And whatever sources might be left are shutting up. The threats that have been made far exceed anything I've ever seen. Good people are afraid for their lives and the lives of their families. We've all been threatened. We see the writing on the wall and are leaving. It's not a joke and not hype."

What this DHS former employee goes on to say, he prefaces it by disregarding your own peril. It goes on to get into the really awful plans that Homeland Security are a part of in the US in clamping down and instituting martial law. A couple of the things he says are
"According to every internal document I've seen and read and from the few people I've spoken with who understand what's going on, preparations have been finalized to respond to a crisis of unprecedented magnitude within the United States. The response will include the use of lethal force against US citizens under the instructions of Barack Obama."
Then he goes on to say:
"I don't mean to sound repetitive, but I can't stress this enough. Contrary to what you hear, we're already in an economic collapse except that most people don't have a clue. The big bang comes at the end when people wake up one morning and can't log into their bank accounts, can't use their ATM cards and find out that their private pension funds and other assets have been confiscated. I've seen documentation of multiple scenarios created outside of the Department of Homeland Security, different plans and backup plans."
This is where we get a little conspiratorial, but let's see what else he says.
"Also please understand that I deliberately use the word 'created' as this is a completely manufactured event. In the end it won't be presented that way which is extremely important to everyone to understand. What is coming will be blamed on some unforeseen event out of everyone's control that few saw coming or thought would actually happen.

Then another event will take place concurrent with this event or immediately after it to confuse and compound an already explosive situation. As I said, there are several scenarios and I don't know them all. I know one calls for a cyber attack by an external threat which will then be compounded by something far removed from everyone's own radar, but it's all a ruse or a pretext. The threat is from within.

Before people can regain their footing a second event will be triggered."
So, if it's to be believed, this is coming from someone from deep within and entrenched inside of one of the organs of pathocracy and planning inside the US government.

Harrison: So what are this guys' credentials?

Elan: The journalist or the Department of Homeland Security guy?

Harrison: Who's the DHS guy?

Elan: He didn't give his name.

Harrison: Anonymous. Okay.

Elan: For the reasons given. So that's a difficult thing right there because we don't know.

Caroline: You can just take it as a data point and something to be on the watch for without having to buy the whole story, but you can still have your radar up.

Harrison: Those are things that I would expect Homeland Security to have been doing for a long time and the CIA before that and even currently, so I don't know. Whenever I hear an anonymous DHS source I tend to say "Oh whatever".

Caroline: As I said, you say "Whatever" but you're just trying to stack it up against all the other stuff you're hearing and watch for the patterns.

Elan: Well that was pretty much it for me, having read that article about the lady who came out to expose a little corruption. They came down on her so hard it really spoke to the intense environment of that organization and what their intentions are.

Shane: Getting back to countries that have a really high opinion of themselves but actually have awful reputations, there's actually a meeting of them this past Monday.

Harrison: They're all getting together?!

Shane: Yeah, they all got together.

Caroline: Apparently they drank banana flavored beer.

Harrison: A bad reputation party.

Shane: The G7 which unfortunately is the G7 because Russia is no longer a part of that horrible Western club.

Caroline: They've been kicked out of the club.

Shane: Yeah. Harper came outwith some pretty absurd and just ridiculous statements.

Harrison: He could be another comedian.

Caroline: I'll tell you, they probably said "Look! You get to say this! We'll put you right in front of the mic and you get to say this and make yourself look good for Canada and the world!", and he probably leaped at the chance.

Shane: Yeah, he probably got all excited. So his statement was basically that he warned Russia that they won't join the G7 as long as Putin's in power and made all these strict oppositions that Russia was hard to get along with. Just ridiculous statements that are reflective of how the West acts, just more of the same that we keep seeing. But the whole meeting was a Putin-bashing fest. They also got in some time to bash China as well, of course. What does the G7 do? They don't do anything for humanity.

Caroline: Where's the list of the G7? What would it be if it actually was the seven largest economies? That's the whole idea that the G7 are the seven heavyweights of the world economically.

Shane: Well that gets back to these countries that have these over-inflated ideas about themselves, because if it was reflective of the actual powers, it would include China, Russia and Brazil.

Caroline: And India.

Shane: And India. So what are we seeing these countries do? They're forming BRICS. It's estimated that the GDP of BRICS will outgrow the G7 just in a matter of years. So you have these dying dinosaurs who are just lashing out like rats in a cage and meanwhile these other countries are forming something real. You have the BRICS Development Bank making progress.

Caroline: And the Asian Industrial Investment Bank. AIIB. I think what's really hilarious is that the G7 and the West, led by the United States is going "You can't be part of the club!" So the rest of them go "Okay. Sure. We'll make our own club." And then they get so angry about that! It's like "Well you can't go make your own club! You can't have your own bank! You can't do that! We're the IMF! We're the world-this and the world-that!" And they're just very quietly and even politely - at least on Putin's part - saying "Well actually we can, so see ya."

Shane: You do see countries like China making more of a stand; the China South Sea has been more in the news lately. You could compare the ideology surrounding Ukraine and the US inserting itself there and trying to destabilize that area as a means of creating this blockade so that they have control over Eurasia. But you can look at the South China Sea in the same light, that's really the transit area for Asia.So you see all these Westernized countries like Vietnam and the Philippines and now Japan's getting in on the action too creating these issues around the South China Sea.

Caroline: Around piles of rock. Just rock.

Shane: It's around piles of rock, but it's right beneath China. These other countries do border it too, but when you look at the size of China, look at all the people there, in my mind that's reason enough to say "Yeah, that does belong to China". And historically it has. It's only been within the last 50 years or so that, as the United States has inserted itself in these different countries that these conflicts have really come to the fore. So it'll be an interesting news story as it develops.

Elan: Well what's also interesting is the sheer amount of military force that's been deployed in that area of the South China Sea. They're talking space technology, cyber attack technology. It's not just a few.

Caroline: Aircraft carriers.

Elan: Yeah, and destroyers. Even if the US doesn't want to engage with China militarily, boil it down and it's stark bullying. It's intimidation. It's "Look at our bluster. Look at how upset we are with you and we'll go with any pretext whatsoever in order to back it up."

Caroline: Going along with that, there's a really interesting article on SOTT called "Failing at the Great Game". There's a very interesting gentleman named Sir Halford Mackinder who essentially invented in one grand lecture in 1902, the idea of geopolitics and pretty much all of the strategies of the West, whether it was Britain or passed on to the United States, have followed this plan, looking at the area of Ukraine into Turkey as a great pivot. Because if you look at the world, what he did was turn the world around away from the states, away from Britain and say that from Spain to Japan is the biggest land mass in the world and the way to control and get access to all of the goodies of that land mass is to control this Turkey to Ukraine area, central Asia.

If you look at the history of British interventions in India, Afghanistan and the states now trying to go in and get Ukraine, it's all about controlling this area between Europe and Russia and South Asia. The way they have been enforcing that control is through the navy, through controlling key straits, key shipping lanes, whether in India or the South China Sea, this is how it has been accomplished.

Well China took a look at that and said okay and instead of going toe-to-toe with them to try and control these shipping lanes, we have control over vast amounts of land territory and have invested billions upon billions of dollars, as opposed to the military, into long-distance high-speed railways, connecting highways. So they say "Okay, go ahead and control the shipping lanes. We can go from Beijing to Portugal by land so who cares?" And Europe is waking up to this idea that if they want to get in on the next great bull market of the next century, they'd better get on-board with this.

And at the same time they have been creating strategic alliances with small countries that happen to be located near these key straits and areas. It says in the last paragraph "Finally Beijing has recently revealed a deftly designed strategy for neutralizing the military forces Washington has arrayed around the continent's perimeter. In April President Xi Jinping announced the construction of that massive road/rails pipeline." Oh yeah, gas and oil! That's all in there too. "Road/rail/pipeline corridor direct from western China to the new port in Gwadar, Pakistan, creating the logistics for future naval deployments."

So Pakistan's got a little bit of sea access and they'll be able to do that; and the energy-rich Arabian Sea. "So in one deft stroke China will be ready to surgically slice through Washington's continental encirclement at a few strategic points without having to confront the full global might of the US military, potentially rending the vast armada of carriers, cruisers, drones, fighters and submarines redundant." So they're doing it in a smart, peaceful, quiet and friendly manner and countries are waking up to which way the wind is blowing.

Shane: It's interesting that you said these geopolitical strategies were formed in 1902. It was around the same time the United States embarked on its first imperial territory which was the Philippines. What amazes me is despite the mass killing and genocide that was committed by the United States in the Philippines, where is that memory today? And the same with Japan. These countries go through tremendous suffering at the hands of the US. Out of any country that loves the United States, it's the Philippines and they're so on-board. Just as recently as this past week, the President of the Philippines visited Japan and compared China's actions to Nazi Germany; that their behavior was like Nazi Germany, in the South China Sea. The irony of this statement in Japan, when he was visiting with President Abe in Japan, it's overflowing because this guy is an ultra-right nationalist who had these revisionist/fascist tendencies and to make these comparisons to China, which fought against fascism, it's really bizarre and a sign of all these things that we're seeing.

Elan: That reminds me of Germany's being part of the G7. Nazi Germany is being held up as the standard for evil in the 20th century and here they are once again obliging the new Nazis, the Fourth Reich; the US. So where is the ability to discern the sameness or the differences between what Germany was in the '30s and '40s and what the US is today?

Caroline: The old people remember. They remember because they can see it. But young people have been shielded from it, propagandized, fed sanitized information. The memories aren't there to make the comparison. And also when you talk about memories, you want to say who's memories? I'm sure that if you went to a rank and file of the Filipino citizenry, if that feeling would be the same. It's the leaders who are conveniently forgetting.

Shane: There was a statement in the Philippines media saying how bizarre and backwards the statement was. Not everybody feels that way.

Harrison: Any more news stories we've got?

Caroline: Oh, the Pope and Putin had a little sit-down.

Harrison: Oh yeah. Putin got an Angel of Peace medal from the Pope. I thought it was pretty entertaining because there was a whole bunch of laughable interpretations of what went down going around the Western media. First of all the Pope greeted Putin in German. This writer at The Daily Beast - Barbie Latza Nadeau, or it may have been her headline writer who headlined the article Did the Pope Dis Putin? I knew the article was about the Pope giving him a peace medal, so I thought well maybe they're thinking that the peace medal was actually like a subtle hint that Putin was not peaceful and that wouldn't make much sense. But as soon as I read the article the whole speculation was around the fact that he greeted him in German and that this gave certain commentators the suggestion that maybe the Pope was subtly hinting to Putin that he sided with Germany and the United States against Russia in everything that's going down in the world.

Caroline: How about it's the one language they both spoke?

Harrison: Exactly.

Caroline: That would be such a simple, sensible explanation; they both spoke German.

Harrison: I know.

Caroline: Well not only that, but I saw another interesting article about this meeting which is that Putin apparently was an hour late for this meeting. The Pope, like any other head of a huge organization, has an extremely tight schedule and yet he was willing because of whatever had happened, to put his own schedule an hour behind just to meet with this man.

Shane: The Pope was probably excited to meet Putin.

Caroline: I'll bet he was. And they talked about having a commonality in that the Pope is very happy he is supporting the protection of Christians since he has identified himself as a Christian, so he's helping out in Syria and in other places where they're having a tough time. This article also spoke about the fact that having lived through Argentina's very bad times, he would have empathy for what is going on in Ukraine and a recognition of the same situation playing out.

Elan: I have to say I'm a little confused about who this guy Pope Francis is because it's said that he's been a collaborator with the fascist forces of Argentina at the time and no small deal.

Caroline: Yeah, that's the other half of it.No, he's a mixed bag for sure. So it's hard to suss out where he's coming from.That was at the end of the article.That the Vatican in its own way can carry a lot of weight around the world and they also see which way the wind is blowing.

Shane: It brings into question in my mind anyway, Italy and what their position towards Russia is because on the surface they do have this Western hee-haw with the sanctions, but by the same token, we see these kind of events happening. Putin is going to be in Rome so Italy's going to be greeting Putin, so are the tides changing?

Caroline: Well Russia and Italy used to have a very, very close relationship.

Harrison: And they still do.

Caroline: They still do. Under the surface they do. They were coerced into this whole sanctions business and Putin did address that saying that he regretted that Italy is suffering due to these quid pro quo sanctions that have gone on and he would very much like to lift them, depending upon how things go. It's like "We didn't want to do this, but this happened to us and we could not let that go unanswered."

Shane: Italy, like Greece, suffered tremendously under the whole Euro zone. So they're not in a good position economically speaking.

Caroline: Well maybe those are two pressure points that Russia is very delicately working.

Harrison: I just thought the whole peace medal was interesting, the Angel of Peace. Pope Francis gives these medals to a lot of heads of states when he meets them, but the only two specific articles I could see about them were in relation to this one and Putin, and then last month with Abbas in Palestine. Of course last month the Vatican officially recognized Palestine. So Francis had given this Angel of Peace medal to Abbas and just threw the Israelis into a hissy fit. "Oh my god! How could you do that?! Are you insulting us?!" That's the first response to anything by Israelis, that they think they must have been insulted in some way. So the Vatican had to reassure Israeli that "We meant no offense to you".

Caroline: You poor souls, you sensitive thing.

Harrison: "Oh you poor sensitive Israelis. We're very sorry. We didn't mean to hurt your feelings." But Israel's feelings were hurt because it's very sensitive.

Elan: The world is against it after all.

Caroline: We are the shining beacon of democracy in the middle of the infidels.

Harrison: But apparently Francis had said to Abbas "You're something of an angel of peace". Apparently some people overheard him saying this. It's hard to say whether he actually said it or not. So we've got him giving this medal to Abbas, supporting Palestine and then giving a similar medal to Putin and really, who better to give it to among world leaders than Putin at this point because Putin is really the only one actively calling for peace. He's the one behind the Minsk agreements, the ones that the US is so two-facedly endorsing. The US is saying that Russia has to implement the Minsk agreements.

Caroline: And that's absolutely hilarious because they weren't directly involved at all.

Harrison: I know, and they're the ones that wrote the Minsk agreements and they're the ones actually calling for their implementation and they're the ones exerting influence on Donetsk and Lugansk in order to fulfill them. And that's what the Peoples' Republics there are doing. They are fulfilling the agreements as laid out in the documents. Yet Ukraine has not fulfilled one of them! It is Ukraine/Kiev since the very beginning that has been refusing to implement any of them. They've put up a small appearance of taking their heavy weaponry away from the front line, but they never got rid of all of it and they are bringing in more weapons and have been shelling civilian areas for weeks now. Of course there were border clashes going on the whole time, but just recently Kiev has stepped up their unprovoked artillery bombardments. People are dying every day. And yet who do we see in the news saying this is unacceptable, that the Minsk agreements are being blatantly violated and that Kiev needs to be sanctioned and brought to an international criminal court and be punished for what they're doing? No one is saying that! So what's going on there?

Shane: It's enough to make you want to scream.

Caroline: Yeah, it is.

Shane: At the G7 one of the things that Obama said was "Yeah, Russia needs to stop violating the Minsk agreements". Uugggghhhhh.

Caroline: What?

Harrison: Saaayyyy whaaaattt?

Elan: And Russia's trying to reconstitute the Soviet Union.

Caroline: Oh yeah, that was the other good one. They're trying to rebuild their empire.

Shane: Before the show we were talking about Russia and how it's been really remarkable to see Russia's recovery. After the collapse of the Soviet Union there were so many parts within Russia that were operating on their own, or not really operating, and as Putin came into power he would make these visits to all these different regions and really shore up all the things that were going wrong and really unified Russia.

Caroline: We were discussing the idea that if countries have personalities, you could say both the US and Russia are undergoing disintegration but Russia has managed to make something out of it, if you want to cast them in that role, with Putin as the advisor. By the time Yeltsin left all these regions were running autonomously, there was corruption everywhere, the people were suffering horribly and Putin was basically thrust into this role. He immediately started to go to each region, really listen and say "Okay, what are the problems? What do you need? What's going on?" Sometimes he was able to do it gently and sometimes he had to call the corrupt leaders on the carpet and yet, not throw the lot of them into jail, although a lot of them went to jail; but to encourage and steer and create the conditions for improvement. And as each region improved then it became easier to get them to work with each other and then for all of them to work towards this common goal of having a prosperous, peaceful, happy place to be living. That's what he wishes people all the time. When you watch a lot of his interviews he always ends with "I wish happiness for you." And that's his goal.

Harrison: With the collapse of the Soviet Union, the Soviet Union itself underwent a disintegration. I think it's not just an analogy because I personally think that the dynamics of positive disintegration are somewhat embedded in the structure of the cosmos, in a sense, that it's applicable to multiple levels and to various different phenomena. It's very obvious on the human level because we're humans and that's what we experience, but we can see these dynamics in play in other so-called natural or societal phenomena.

I don't know how far the analogy goes between the two but we can work with it a bit, the way I see it. So the Soviet Union disintegrated and it was a unilevel disintegration because there were all these different conflicts. It was broken up, but there wasn't a part of Russia that was higher than the other parts in order to reintegrate at a higher level. It was a so-called democratic, liberal, chaotic mayhem that was going on. The only viable so-called solution was to have the Americans come in and rule the place and then dominate it as some kind of vassal state.

Caroline: Loot it.

Harrison: Loot it, yeah, and not solve any of the problems that were actually going on. The way I see it is what happened is "here comes Putin". I'll use three of the dynamisms that Dąbrowski talks about at a high level, we talked about in the last show, one of which is the subject/object in one's self. So this is the observer in the self, the part of the self that observes the self, observes the inner environment that differentiates within one's self, what is me and what is not me or what is not yet what I want to be. It's the observer. And there's the third factor.

The third factor comes in addition to the first and second factors. These are the factors that influence or determine certain things in our lives. The first factor would be biology. So this is our inherited biological tendencies and instincts that we're born with. The second factor would be the social environment. These are the cues that we pick up from each other and from society in general and most people are pretty much limited to those two factors. They're run by their biology, they run on automatic, and also by society around them, social standards and expectations and family standards and things like that.

The third factor is the part that comes in and actually evaluates the things that you see in the subject/object so you can actually evaluate those biological and social influences on one's self and then choose whether to act or not act out any of those influences or stimuli. The third factor consciously takes part in directing one's own evolution and it comes in conflict with the first and second factors. So if I want to consciously direct my evolution, in a sense. It's going to come in conflict with my biology and with social expectations every once in a while, if not a lot of the time.

So that's where we have this factor of independence from outside forces and outside influences and even inner influences because my body or my instinct or my habits will often tell me to do something "This is what you want to do. This will feel good or this will make you comfortable so this is what you should do." That's not always the best choice though if there's something higher in one's self that you're striving towards. So the third aspect of these dynamisms that all interact with each other is the disposing and directing center. This is the part that actually decides on the course of action based on the evaluations made by the third factor, based on the observations made by the subject/object.

So we've got this observation, evaluation and then this action that is based on those. This is the role that Putin has played in Russian politics the last 15 years; to observe what's going on in the country, to evaluate where things aren't living up to an ideal standard or even a workable standard, and then to give the orders for what to do in order to make it better. Russia didn't have that and most countries don't have that. We've got the people that pretend to do these things, but they don't actually observe the problems or if they see them, they don't see them as problems that need solutions and they can't evaluate those problems once they see them.

Look at the United States where we've got the surveillance, the poverty, the inner conflict and violence between levels of society and different aspects of society, between police and citizens. It's just a sick culture from bottom to top and yet no one in positions of power is decisively observing the problem and evaluating where the problem is, so actually seeing it as a problem, and then taking the step to take action in order to do something about it.

Caroline: I think you nailed it right there. The "leaders" really don't see it as a problem. It's not registering in their consciousness. They'll give lip service to it any time one group or another gets really loud, but it's not anywhere on their list of priorities to be solving these problems because there's no sense of it.

Shane: It seems that they don't even have the capacity to see these things and to have that evaluation of what needs to be done and to bring in some morality, some higher level functions to society.

Elan: There's a story about a Russian either member of parliament or in some political office and he came out a few months ago to say that he thought that all politicians in Russia should first undergo a psychological screening.

Caroline: Somebody finally said it.

Harrison: I think it was a female politician.

Elan: I think it was guy.

Harrison: Well then there were two of them.

Elan: Well then if it's two, it's a testament to the amount of consciousness raising or sense of responsibility or ability to look at itself, that you have these two politicians in Russia that are recognizing part of the problem for what it is, and that is that you have all of these elected leaders who are in these huge positions of responsibility who don't give a hoot. They're just there to serve themselves. I have never heard before or since, anybody in politics ever talk about screening other politicians for psychopathy!

Harrison: We've been saying it for a decade.

Caroline: Right. The other thing I think is really interesting is that Putin had a unique set of materials to work with when you talk about cultural and social things. When you scratch the surface of communist Russia and you have a very, very old, Christian society and he's been able to appeal on that basis, to these traditions of religion and family and love of your neighbor and all of that, and say "This is how it looks when it's applied politically." I think that's given him a tremendous boost, that that was always there latently.

The United States, there's a certain amount of base but it's kind of Calvinist and warped and I don't know how all that would work.

Shane: The resources in Russia, both from their culture and also their natural resources and their previous position as a world power all contributed to Putin's ability to accomplish these things. The list is endless of smaller countries that have been dominated by the United States, and they haven't been able to regain their autonomy because the force is so strong. So I think there were a lot of elements like that that came together to create the situation, but the most important being that there was this nucleus that was able to have this capacity for insight and to be able to accomplish these things.

It'll be interesting to see if Putin is able to continue these actions on the world stage. He's accomplished all this for Russia and for the past years he's also been doing the same thing with other countries.

Caroline: To try and give them the space to find their own footing. There was another great article that asked the question "Who would Putin and Lavrov talk to?" And the conclusion of the article was there's nobody on the world stage for these very sane, intelligent people to talk to; the only reason they have to pay attention to the states and the gaggle of vassals behind them is because they have some very destructive capabilities, but if they weren't possessed of those they'd probably just flat-out ignore them.

Harrison: Yeah, they should be ignored. It would just add a lot more humor to geopolitics.

Shane: At some point we may get there.

Caroline: "Putin invited to the White House. Has better things to do."

Harrison: I think what they should do, Putin should just take all the internet memes about him, like ignoring phone calls and stuff and then just put them up on his Facebook page and make them reality because the memes actually tell the truth. If you haven't learned, all the secrets of the universe are contained in internet memes.

Caroline: True that! It must be terribly, terribly discouraging for them to look out on the world stage and think "The caliber of people we have to deal with is so abysmally low".

Elan: And unprofessional.

Caroline: That is the ultimate insult. The "unprofessional handling of the situation in Ukraine" has got to be the worst thing Putin could ever say about you.

Shane: He's gracious even in his insults.

Caroline: I think it goes right by them, how deeply that word has meaning for him.

Harrison: Maybe I'll just read a little bit more from the book before we end for today. This one is a little bit on love and friendship because like I've mentioned for Dąbrowski, this is one of the universal traits of personality, so something that everyone should strive for.
Another basic individual quality as represented by lasting emotional bonds of love and friendship. Bonds symbolized by the platonic myth of two halves of the same whole. The best example of such conjunction are the bonds between Christ and his disciples.
Right there I'd put a little caveat that I'd say a better analogy would be between Paul and his disciples because we don't actually know much, if anything, about Jesus and his disciples. Everything we think we know is from the gospels and Acts written a hundred years after the events allegedly took place. We actually know a bit about Paul and his disciplines or brothers and sisters as he would call them, and there was actually an example of that, if you read the letters, just to see the connection and the bonds that formed in those communities. So the quote goes on,
In common life we encounter such individual or group unions of a higher order of spiritual tension in the love between married people and the fraternal and sisterly unions and in the friendly unions between individuals not related who go side-by-side desiring the realization of a common idea.
I just thought that was a good quote, that's something that warms the cockles of my heart because that's what we try to do here, a bigger organization or group, that's what we try to do. We do have a common goal and we work together. I think that that's what people need and that's what people are missing in their lives, that connection to a wider community, not necessarily limited to just their family. People can have crazy families and people often do have crazy families, with totally dysfunctional relationships with no common goal and no mutual support, no common understanding. It seems that just the way that our societies are structured doesn't give a good template or ideal for family life and that if we want a group union or relationship like that, thats actually going to be fulfilling in any sense and doing any kind of good work, we're going to have to look to broaden our family to those not necessarily related by blood.

I just wanted to point that out. And then also I'll read one more bit. This is on intellect. I wanted to read this quote last week because we talked about intellect in service of lower instincts and lower drives and then we mentioned it also today. But there's an alternative too. So I'm just going to read a couple of paragraphs here.
In connection with these processes [disintegration and the intellect] the intelligence ceases to be coupled with basic protopathic emotionality [basic low level emotionality] with primitive subcortical emotionality [automatic emotions, not under conscious control] but after the dissolution of these conjugations with the forms mentioned and after the phase of disintegration, it conjugates or joins gradually with higher forms of the aspirational and affectional structures and remains at their services. This is a transition from the phase of intelligence at the service of instincts to the phase of intelligence at the service of personality. The new conjugation of intelligence weakens the tendency to commit errors arising from reasoning corrupted by instincts, weakens the subjective attitude and judgments, removes ego-centrism and the tendency to bring forth those arguments in polemics which, through an unskilful grouping, give the appearances of truth, throwing light only on part of it.

The intelligence when acting in the service of personality and when coupled with understanding and love, provides a basis for objectivity, broadens one's horizons of thought, increases the capacity for knowing people and removes obscurity caused by the instincts. This approach is in conformity with the content of the chapter on love from the first letter of St. Paul to the Corinthians [the one we just mentioned]. "Love does not do anything indecent, does not look for its own gain, is not quick-tempered, does not think evil, does not enjoy seeing injustice but enjoys seeking truth." In contradistinction to the conjugations of intelligence with instincts where as a rule, one does not seek the objective right but only one's own right, the new conjugation of intelligence subsequently leads to objectivity in thinking.
So there Dąbrowski's basically saying that in order to be really objective, you need a conscience because without a conscience, the ability to see and evaluate values, to evaluate reality, to have values about things and higher or lower appraisals of what's going on, we can't see the world objectively and therefore we can't make objective choices about what we do in this reality.

It gives a good alternative, and puts into perspective that use of intelligence at a very low level, just to get very practical, self-serving things done. So there is an option but it has nothing to do with just going to school and learning a whole bunch of stuff and becoming a master, computer-like intelligence of logic. To be objective you actually need a conscience. You need a soul. And you need to be a complete human.

Caroline: Well if you think about how a computer thinks, it only acts on the information that's fed into it and if the instincts are doing the feeding, giving the information and goals, then you can't help but come out with a mess. Look at the States.

Harrison: I like that little bit about debate and polemics because I always thought that debating was the most ridiculous thing ever. I can see some of the possible positive aspects of debating but it just struck me as totally wrong to take a position that may or may not be true and then to argue it, regardless of its truth or falsity, just to convince other people that you're right about your position, even if you might be totally wrong.

Caroline: That's a bit absurd.

Harrison: Yeah, so on that note, this is what Dąbrowski wrote about that. I'll just start at the beginning. It might not make sense until we get to the middle.
The conflict of the material interests of individuals and groups in the world of organized communities leads in general to the use of more or less camouflaged threats, various systems of propaganda and different forms of ideological fighting. At a considerably higher level there occurs a clash of opinions, convictions and views. However we usually also contact at this stage subjective arguments of the opponents which are based on material and personal interests involving prestige. The fighting individuals or parties look for the weak points of their adversaries, direct the spears of their arguments not to the essence of the matter, but to points which are in fact secondary and whose importance for the problem is only apparent. Socratic irony used in such cases does not aim at bringing to light the essential truth but only such "truth" as a fighting individual or party wants to prove.
That's what really gets me, is when you see someone arguing a point just in order to win the point, to win the argument which is just totally wrong.

Shane: It's like a game, right? The concern isn't over what is truth and what is lies but it's over being right.

Caroline: Exactly.

Shane: I totally get what you're saying with it being infuriating because when you have these real issues being discussed, like reading some Facebook thread and talking about Palestine or the issue in Ukraine and you see people dealing with this as if they were approaching a sports game. It's maddening.

Caroline: When you see somebody throw in some bomb of a comment just to watch the mayhem.

Harrison: Ideological anarchy. Okay, we're two minutes over so we're going to end it there. Thanks for listening. We'll be back next week. We may or may not have a show about aliens. I think I want to do a show about aliens.

Elan: We're kicking around the idea. We'll see if we're feeling out there.

Harrison: Yeah. I think we should do it. Let's plan to do it.

Shane: I think that sounds good.

Harrison: So next week, aliens. We'll be taking questions as usual. You'll want to ask because there's a lot of questions that people can ask about aliens and it's always fun to talk about stuff like that. So tune in next week. Tune in tomorrow. We've got Behind the Headlines, then Friday the Health and Wellness Show. It was fun. Buy the book Personality Shaping. It's available on Amazon and we'll see y'all later.