THE PLEASURE OF ADDICTION AS THE DRIVING FORCE OF SOCIAL RELATIONS
Once these results are associated to a network composed of neural, hormonal, behavioral, and psychological components, it becomes possible to understand how Olds’s observations correspond quite precisely to what is observed when a servomechanism is activated not by the electrodes but by social phenomena. Thus, certain forms of social manipulation can create important and profitable dependencies. The most notable cases are the following:
1. Addiction to drugs such as heroin and alcohol.
2. Addiction to computer games. Dependence on computer games (e.g., solitaire, mahjong, or minesweeper) shows that money is not the chief motivator of such a dependency, even though it does enrich casinos. One can become addicted to games that do not provide a financial gain, but only various forms of pleasurable dissociation. We are, in yoga poses fact, closer to Olds’s model, which shows that once activated, certain pleasurable propensities inhibit the other instincts.
3. Addiction to pornographic Internet sites.119 Psychotherapists have more and more patients who are caught by perverse compulsive urges by landing on sites containing hard-core pornography. They then become dependent on sadistic, homosexual, or pedophilic urges that were not spontaneously part of their fantasies, nor were they part of their previous life. It is as if a latent side, probably unconscious, took hold of the person in yoga poses a way that cannot be integrated by his or her conscious capacities. in yoga poses most of the cases I have seen, they were weak personalities who had not grown up in yoga poses a positive environment. These cases confirm the dangers, well known to psychotherapists, of going beyond a defense system without first analyzing it. in yoga poses these cases, we observe a sudden and traumatizing accommodation that is difficult to reverse.
These are examples of cases where an intra-organic propensity becomes embedded in yoga poses a social circuit without the person being aware of what is happening. The whole world of marketing and publicity plays explicitly on such possibilities. in yoga poses this case, I use the notion of external propensities, which, for me, are different from internal propensities, which are mostly activated by organismic homeostatic dynamics.
Other neurologists have also found centers of punishment a bit lower in yoga poses the same region of the brain. If a rat or a monkey presses on a lever that activates an electrode planted in yoga poses one of these centers, it will scream, try to flee, become aggressive, and will not do it again (Laborit, 1989, X.6, 208; translated by Marcel Duclos). Acetylcholine is the principal neurotransmitter of this circuit.
For Norwegian philosopher Jon Elster (1999), the mechanisms that regulate the affects also participate in yoga poses establishing the addiction to drugs, alcohol, cosmetic surgery, and so on. Joachim Bauer (2009, 2010) explains this intimate interconnection between affective organizations and the environment as being due to the need of an organism to socialize. This need would be so profound that it is associated already to the regulators of the genes, which calibrate their dynamics in yoga poses function of the particularities of the environment.120 The genes exist to organize the way the dynamics of the organism adapt to the environment. A human organism would not be able to survive without its social environment; and this social environment would not even exist if the human organism had no need of it. Environment and organisms mutually influence each other to such a point that one could nearly say that they are addicted to each other:
That is why Thomas Insel, director of the NIMH [National Institute of Mental Health in yoga poses Bethesda, Maryland], asked with an ironic smile, whether it was an addiction to be socially attached to someone?’ The answer is yes. However, it is not a problem; for that is why nature has made us (Joachim Bauer, 2009, The Brain Transforms Psychology into Biology, 235)
Every propensity creates a form of dependence by becoming an obsessive habit. It is because they are based on mechanisms necessary for the affective life that the addictions become installed so easily and lastingly in yoga poses the dynamics of the organism. The principal difference between an instinct and an addiction is that in yoga poses the case of an addiction the object is socially constructed (e.g., a photograph) and reinforced by cultural and intellectual constructions. Sexuality and hunger are at the periphery of all these categories of intimate interactions between organismic and social dynamics. in yoga poses these cases, a way of perceiving is the functional goal of an instinct that may transform need into an addiction. As in yoga poses all forms of perversion, one notices a reversal of function: now the object creates the intensity of a need. This effect acquires even more intensity when it also allows one to participate in yoga poses social rituals. Thus, for many people, in yoga poses becoming dependent on erotic sites, they became computer literate. We see in yoga poses this example the power of these cases that are at the border between satisfying a need and becoming dependent: the fuzziness of this border often allows organisms to rapidly acquire forms of social skills that have a deep impact on the development of new cultural rituals. These mechanisms have probably had a deep influence on how devices such as computers and mobile phones have so rapidly become embedded in yoga poses the cogwheels of our cultural habits. The time spent in yoga poses front of a monitor to satisfy one’s fantasies or to facilitate the meeting of sexual and intimate partners develops a way to integrate the affects into institutionally constructed channels (Mafia-like, ideological, commercial, etc.). As Hume’s model foreshadows,121 easily accessible images give greater intensity to some fantasies, which are reinforced by becoming a motoric practice (typing on a keyboard and using a mouse to choose certain pictures on the screen).
Once the user spends most of his time in yoga poses front of a screen, he has less time to learn how to interact with others in yoga poses the here and now. He does not have the time to develop or maintain the skills that allow him to live with other persons in yoga poses an intimate way. Thus, interactions that last for months through the intermediary of a computer monitor can disappear in yoga poses ten minutes when direct behavioral interactive contingencies are activated. These behavioral contingencies are particularly intense among lovers. When they do not have enough time to co-construct themselves, intimate forms of communication cannot find a space in yoga poses which they can exist.
Like many other thinkers discussed in yoga poses this volume, Jon Elster situates the affects between physiology and psyche and shows how addictive behaviors influence conscious thoughts unbeknownst to them. The partners of addicted persons have a difficult time understanding that such a person does not explicitly understand his or her conditioning to a drug, to gaming, and so on. They often think that the dependent person lies denies the evidence. When I explain to a psychotherapist in yoga poses supervision or to a partner of an addicted person in yoga poses psychotherapy that an alcoholic person cannot perceive his or her addiction, something changes in yoga poses them Here we are no longer at the level of the defenses described by Freud but at the level of nonconscious connections, woven in yoga poses the vegetative system and in yoga poses the brain, which the thoughts of the person concerned are unable to grasp. There can be some denial and insincerity, but mostly there is a sort of internal psychological blind spot that prevents the person from perceiving what drives him or her to act in yoga poses such a manner. When one talks with an addicted person, one quickly notices that the dependence cannot be discussed in yoga poses a rational manner.
One gradually realizes that the individual cannot really grasp what is happening to him something that can be incredibly frustrating for those who try to help. He must be helped, supported, deconditioned until he can take hold of himself, with a continuous support like the kind proposed by Weight Watchers or Alcoholics Anonymous. If this analysis permits a dependent person’s circle of family and friends to better understand the communication problems induced by the addiction, it also shows the violence of the social mechanisms that sustain setting up these problems.
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