Updated: Jan 22
Greta Thunberg sees reality. Most recently, she called out COP26 for what it is -- a cop out. That generated a lot of hate. And the usual dismissal, "Well, she has a mental disorder--she's not normal". Most of the time, she's smiling and happy. But it seems that every photo the MSM shows is of her scowling. As if she's pissed off by the prospect of being slaughtered by Corporate greed.
Maybe it is the "normal" people who are sick. There is a word for it.
How do we characterize people like Greta? "Abnormal? " "Deviant? " "Sick"? Usually we say that have a mental illness, that impairs their ability to function. Quite the opposite. Greta calls her Asperger's her "super power" and whether it's "super" or not it is real power. If you think "normal" is "good", you're rationalizing dysfunctionality
Normopathy is delusional state in which you accept other people’s way of seeing the world as your own. If the rest of the rats think their kids are cats, you do too. And most normal people are like white rats-- they do what they are trained to do. They think the Lab is reality. They think their perceptual strait jacket is a mental fashion statement. Fifty shades of ... ? By all means, buy a strait jacket and have some kinky sex, but don't put one on your brain.
Normopathy is schizoaffective but since your delusions are held by the rest of society, you have no need for Thorazine—just beer--and maybe some weird. sex, as long as everyone else is doing it.
A recent article describes human consciousness as “controlled hallucination”. In other words, we are all mad – and the craziest are those who think they are “normal”.
The hallucination theory is a more elegant explanation of what Julian Jaynes tried to explain many years ago in this theory of the “bicameral” mind, which suggest that “consciousness” as we know it evolved just about 4000 years ago and before that we listened to the voices of the gods.
By “consciousness”, he meant something like rational thought. Poor Julian got it wrong. The Neolithic gave us “civilizations”, which used “reason” to keep the status quo, pyramidal, unequal societies, “normal” as mechanism for rationalizing an artificial social order.
Today, we still listen to the Gods – CNN, WaPo, the BBC, the NYT, MSNBC-- are the voices of a Pantheon made up of rich sociopaths.Like the Greek Gods, these ones care little about mere mortals like you and me--but demand worship.
For “normal” people, “consciousness” as awareness is still far off, an unrealized ideal -- and in the meantime we have to be satisfied with controlled hallucination.
“Reason” as the philosopher Heidegger pointed out is just a tool, and often the “adversary of thought” where it is a cultural artifact.
But Greta uses reason to break into that mortgaged suburban home you call a mind.
Perception and Imagination
What exactly is a “controlled hallucination”? It is pretty simple really. “Other directed” people see the world as others do. Perception is selective. You know, figure / ground. Y’know—gestalt .
So, conception is pre-determined by what we see. The animals or the tree. We see what we expect – or more correctly are expected to. Or, we do not see at all.
Let’s take another example.
Conception is always immaculate -- which is to say that conceptualization is pre-determined. We see what we expect – or more correctly are expected to. Or, we do not see at all. The thing is that conception is not necessarily "rational". Mary had to be a Virgin. Jesus arrived by "Immaculate Conception", an idea invented a few centuries after the Birth of the First Great Hippy, who, as we know, liked to hang with the Fallen. As with the gestalt above, "context" is all.
We can revise our conceptions only through radical perception of realty, which is what Greta is offering. The simple fact that, at this point in time, "adults" are offering kids only death.
To get to the truth, you have to unhide it, as Greta does, creating a new paradigm, which was not really new but there all the time -- you just didn't see it.
Imagine that you’re on a train. The train starts moving. You look out. “Oh, the train is moving”. You imagine the train moving – but you don’t actually see it.
Einstein sitting next to you, looks out and sees the world moving. You don’t know who Einstein is. But he has weird hair. You move to another seat so you don’t have to sit next to a nutjob. Somehow he reminds you of Greta.
In the meantime, Albert is asking the question: how could the world be moving when it is actually the train. He connects this to issues in Newtonian physics, which works well most of the time for most people – but not always—and realizes that the principles of time and space may be different on a cosmic scale. Hence: relativity.
Einstein’s perception is accurate. Yours isn’t ---because you don’t actually see the train is moving – you just infer it. Your inference is correct, of course—you get where you are going. Lucky for you. But Greta is telling you your destination is a train wreck.
A psychologist will tell you that Greta has "impaired executive function".
“Executive function” or EF, has various cortical functions supposedly providing a kind of as top-down guidance—a concept that is no doubt heart-warming to academic fakes like Stephen Pinker, the Harvard academic who writes popular books about the need for top-down control of our base instincts to rape and kill. OK, that’s a slight exaggeration but I had to get a dig in there. I have ADHD.
Still, Pinker’s Leviathan is some neurologist’s EF. Both fit the neoliberal worldview.
In the Neoliberal Brain, the prefrontal lobes of the brain do interact with other parts. We just don’t know exactly how.
It’s a bit like the old Left/Right brain canard that so many people still believe.
Yes, the right and left brains do have different functions but not as different as you think-- nor as you think.
Activity on both sides of the brain are similar, despite differences in personality. Differences reflect neurological distribution of functions-- helpful if you have a stroke.
"EF" is not "science". It is not proven . Rather, it is one theory among many and more of an attempt to rationalize the differences between “normal” people and those whose brains “diverge”-- and justify categorizing the neurodivergent as broken or impaired. That makes it easier to dismiss someone like Greta -- or the young Einstein.
According to this theory , the prefrontal lobes guide attention in the sensory cortices and inhibit behavior in the premotor cortices and basal ganglia, so don’t hit "act out" and hit your boss with a hammer as you frequently imagine doing. You tell yourself he is a "person" and not the asshole that you hate. That makes it easier to kill time in the office till 5 when you can go home and enjoy Dexter dismembering someone in his "kill room".
EF regulates emotion—in this example, anger-- in the hypothalamus and cerebellum--which enables tdhe “high” level of latent inhibition, characteristic of “normal” people---ummm…normopaths, most of you—if you have never at least peed in your boss’s coffee. If you have peed in his coffee, welcome to humanity.
As I said, there is no indication that the brain is "normally" top-down. As in successful businesses, I suggest it is as much lateral and bottom-up.
Greta sees things as they are -- unfiltered. She tells the truth. But she is criticized for "inappropriate" behavior. It is not her place --she is a young girl.
Suppose your boss calls you a “high maintenance fucking cunt”, when you ask for a day off to see your sick mother, and you don’t hear him because your EF has turned your emotional hearing aid download and you just smile and ignore it.
That response is dictated by perception, or lack of it. You may think it "appropriate" because he is your boss and can fire you, if you do something inappropriate like hit with a hammer.
Now, let’s say your EF was off -- and you did hear your boss--emotionally, that is..
What exactly is an “inappropriate” action here? The hammer is probably not a good idea.
The man is a bully.
Replying “takes one, to know one”? And a sarcastic smile? And "I'm taking the day off anyway".
Too risky? Actually, not responding is risky. Putting him in his place, you are protected in most jurisdictions by law. He can only lose by pushing it.
Some people with go the "moderate" root -- “Let’s discuss this a little more…you may think I am demanding too much, etc, etc”. But you cannot reason with an unreasonable person.
If you have ADHD or Asperger’s you will automatically go for confrontational response, which is why neurodivergent teenagers are often classified as having "oppositional defiant disorder", often as not, just responding to harassment.
"Normal" people don't like conflict with authority figures.
Another reason, Greta gets so much hate.
Normopaths are taught to be dishonest to themselves. So, how can they be honest to others? Maybe we should call this Dyshonest Disorder.
People with ADHD and high-end autism on the other hand tend to be very honest and they see other people’s emotions very well, unfiltered by social conditioning: they will see an asshole as an asshole. Call a spade a spade. They react intuitively—which normopaths would term “impulsively”.
Greta Thunberg is a high end autist -- Asperger's. Julian Assange is too. They are very, very different people but they are both honest and focused on uncomfortable realities, which “normopaths” do not see at all, thanks to the the mainstream media and other arbiters of “normalcy”. They are both regarded as somehow "inappropriate" -- which leads to a lot of sometimes unsubtle slander -- Assange as a egocentric rapist; Greta as an angry, mentally ill teen.
Not many people come right out and say these things, but the language they use often implies it.
So, Assange, the most important investigative journalist of all time is in Belmarsh Prison, under conditions widely regarded as torture -- for exposing war crimes and atrocities that contradict American propaganda.
But imagine if there had been no Julian Assange. Only Wolf Blitzer. Would the world be a better place?
Imagine no Greta Thurnberg. Only Kylie Jenner.
We would be the poorer for it.
Julian Jaynes was, in a sense, correct about the bicameral mind – except the voices in our heads, are talking heads on the media --and our “consciousness” is another form of sleep..
Maybe the next stage in evolution after a provoke a Great Extinction and you suddenly discover yourself ... dead. But then death only comes to those who have really lived.
In this age of virtual reality, willing suspension of disbelief rules, but the result is not poetry or art—just controlled hallucination. In the shadows, unseen horrors hide, biding their time, sharpening their knives.
Greta Thunberg is said to have a "mental disorder" because she sees it as it is and speaks the truth. Most Americans are oblivious to their psychotic fate.