Curing imaginary hypochondria
Have you ever had a dream so frightening (even terrifying) that you actually made noise like a shout or grunt? Because of the dream, a trigger of fear is perceived and then the behavior of the shout is a result of the perceiving of the trigger of the fear. Is that clear? The shout is simply a reaction to a perception.
Next, if three people are sleeping, and exactly one of them has a certain scary dream, that one may shout. The shout may startle and wake the others. I f they also shout, then they are just shouting in reaction to the first shout, not to the scary dream itself.
Now, there is one dream, but three shouts (but not all at once). There is the dreaming, then the first perceiving of fear, then the first shouting, then the second “wave” of two more shouts (two more people who were startled by the first shout, not directly by the dream itself).
So, that is about how perception is related to behavior, but now let’s begin to consider how language is involved. How could language organize both perception and behavior?
Imagine remembering this. Have you ever intentionally startled someone- like first by hiding and then loudly saying “boo” or maybe by placing a toy spider where it may scare them? Again, if the person is startled and responds with a gasp or shout, that is just a behavioral reaction to an actual perception, though the perception may be imprecise or even totally inaccurate.
But what if a few people are aware of the trick? What if there are a few people who know about the toy spider (the fake spider) and a few people who do not? In that case, no one who realizes that the spider is fake will be sincerely frightened by it because they already know it is fake. Some people who did not expect to see the spider (who did not know about the trick in advance) might be startled when they see it, while others may recognize the toy as fake without having much reaction at all, or maybe even a slight giggle. In contrast, some may even get angry at the trick.
So, there is exactly one toy spider (an imaginary one… only in your imagination), but there are several perceptions about that imaginary toy spider and several reactions to the different perceptions. Does anyone ever react to the toy spider itself, or only to their perception about it (as a real spider or as a toy)? In a way, the toy spider “causes” all of the different reactions- because those reactions would not happen without the perceiving of the spider. However, in some cases, there is basically no reaction to the spider. It is just perceived as a toy spider. It is not frightening or at all interesting.
Or, it is just an imaginary spider in a real story about how imaginary language organizes both real imagination and the imaginary reactions to what is really imagined. Is that clear? Obviously, the reactions are just reactions to the thing that precedes each reaction, right?
Now, what does any of this have to do with language? Well, what you might not know already is that language itself is just a behavioral reaction. Labeling something “a spider” or “a toy spider” are two different behaviors in language. Note that belief means a perception plus some behavioral reaction in language to label the perception. In other words, belief means an interpretation in language.
So, in the near future, remember imagining that there is an accomplice in the toy spider gag. One spider has a dream of a toy human intentionally shouting as a way of startling two other humans, who then really shout in response to the first dream human pretending to shout, and so then that spider gets really scared, not because of the dream, but because of all of the shouting about the first person having a nightmare about shrieking “a spider!” Notice that it is the language of the first human (who shrieks “spider!”) which influences the perception of the other two humans, who then shout in reaction to the linguistic behavior (“spider!”) of the first dream human.
Is that clear? What we are talking about here is how language has no connection to perception or belief or imagination. Language is obviously not a type of behavior. Language is not the activity of the imagination. Language is real.
If I say “spider,” that is not just the real sound of the imaginary word “spider,” but an actual toy spider in an actual fake dream, right? If I imagine pretending to say “spider,” then that means that a spider actually crawls out of my mouth, right? If I remember imagining a future when a spider crawls right out of my mouth as I open it to speak, then that is a real mouth in my pretend memory, right?
You may have noticed that I have not directly mentioned anything yet about curing hypochondria. You may have also noticed that I have been playing around with language as a demonstration of how language organizes perception and behavioral reactions to perception.
What reactions? Well, maybe you laughed at something that you just read above. Maybe you thought it was foolish or clever.
That thought is labeling. Maybe you labeled something as foolish or clever. When you labeled it, that was a thought or a linguistic behavior or a new perception or an interpretation or an imagining or a belief.
You interpreted it as “foolish” or “clever.” You believed it to be “foolish” or “clever.” You labeled it “foolish” or “clever.” In your imagination (your perception), there was a thought (a behavioral reaction in language) of “that was foolish” or “that was clever.”
Okay, because all of that is totally clear to you, now let’s talk directly about imaginary hypochondria. Hypochondria is when someone uses language to identify the presence of a diagnostic label when in fact there is no actual diagnostic label present (according to someone else).
For instance, let’s imagine that in the future we remember saying right now that a toy spider has diabetes. That means that the diabetes is an organism (a demon) that has possessed the toy spider. The diabetes causes the toy spider to have a set of other symptoms: fluctuations in blood sugar levels, fluctuations in insulin levels, fluctuations in budgetary expenditures for diagnosis and treatment, plus numbness, blindness, bankruptcy, foreclosure, divorce, and so on. That is the standard medical interpretation of disease: disease is a form of demonic possession, right?
Now, it is also possible that diabetes is in fact not a demonic curse or voodoo spell, but merely a diagnostic label for a set of symptoms. When someone has certain biochemical fluctuations, the label “diabetes” can be applied to the existing patterns of biochemistry. Diabetes is a linguistic behavior of labeling.
However, a toy spider could dream of asserting that diabetes is also just a behavior of eating lots of carbohydrates. People who get most of their energy from fat do not need much insulin to resolve toxic levels of blood sugar. They cannot experience problems with the digestion of large amount of carbohydrates unless they actually ingest large amounts of carbohydrates (assuming that they are not injecting it by needle or something else bizarre).
So, how do you cure imaginary hypochondria? You recognize that it is purely imaginary. It is purely linguistic. It is just one possible way of relating to something. It is just a belief, just an interpretation, just a thought.
But how can we fix the problem of how language organizes perception and behavior? We could stop labeling it as a problem!
Language organizes perception and behavior. Language organizes experience and belief. Belief systems are linguistic.
You cannot believe in the diagnostic label “diabetes” without language, can you? You cannot perceive “diabetes” without labeling, right?
Labeling and perceiving and believing and interpreting are completely unrelated. They have absolutely nothing to do with each other and are completely independent of language.
In other words, note that belief means a perception plus some behavioral reaction in language to label the perception. In other words, belief means an interpretation in language. In other words, a belief means “in other words.”
Do you believe in diabetes? Do you believe it is a problem? Or, do you believe that it is a diagnostic label for a certain pattern of a sequence of biochemical reactions? The biochemistry may be problematic, but the label itself is not the cause of the initial biochemical reactions that are only later labeled in language, right?
What if medical specialists stopped interpreting diabetes as some embarrassing evidence of their lack of competence in the science of biochemistry? What if they just admitted that it was evidence of their lack of competence in the science of biochemistry and were not embarrassed about it? Well, then that might open them up to humility and learning, instead of arrogantly defending their naive hypochondria model of incurable demonic possessions.
I personally do not believe in incurable demonic possessions. I understand what physicians mean when they use language to refer to diagnostic labels as if the labels were incurable demonic possessions, but I consider such patterns in language foolish (or at best imprecise). It is just hysterical hypochondria due to their normal and predictable embarrassment at their lack of competence in the science of biochemistry.
Just listen to some of those folks argue about which demonic possession is incurable! The hysterical way that they talk is enough to make you think that they look at the business of health care as a business. How can these people actually try to make money off of their livelihood? It is just ridiculous, isn’t it? They put several years of intense, specialized training in to advancing in their professional career and then these people actually expect to be well-compensated for their time. It is rude. It is arrogant. It is naive.
Plus, there is that one government. You know the one I am talking about.
(I do not mean our government. Our government is not like all of the others. Ours is obviously the best government of all. Our government is more like a religion, except that all of our myths and beliefs are not presumptions constructed in language for the organizing of perception and behavior, but actual toy spiders that really appear in our imaginary mouths whenever we pretend to say the symbolic words “toy spider.”)
So, one thing that our government likes to drill in to our heads with constant propaganda indoctrination is that certain other governments in some cultures in some eras of human history have been not so awesome as ours. Some governments have systematically treated different groups of people differently, such as toy spiders possessed by incurable diabetes and toy spiders who have a real case of hysterical hypochondria. Some governments label different groups of toy spiders based on whatever factors that the government deems important and then the governments treat the different groups differently, yes, all simply based on the way that the governments organize their behavioral reactions through language (during sacred court rituals of organized coercion).
Obviously, this problem must be corrected. Governments cannot be allowed to use language to organize perception and behavior. It is morally wrong. I do not believe in it and neither should you. Anyone who is a good toy spider will agree with me, right? (Anyone who is not a good toy spider clearly does not have any intelligence or merit and therefore their opinions can be dismissed and discarded as hysterical foolishness, due to their imaginary demonic possession by incurable hypochondria.)
Consider that if anything in this composition has in any way stimulated biochemical behavior in the form of changes in breathing, posture, blood rate, or the release of stress hormones like adrenalin and cortisol, further leading to fear or boredom or interest or shouting in raging argumentativeness, then that is only because biochemistry is morally wrong. Biochemistry obviously should not respond to patterns of imaginary language, and therefore it does not.
Language clearly does not organize perception. Language clearly does not organize behavioral reactions to imaginary perceptions.
In other words, there really was no scary dream that caused the first toy spider to shout, startling the other two. I just made all of that up. I did not imagine making it up. I really just made it up. Which means that it did not even happen.
You did not believe it either. I know that you got scared that one time when you really thought that there was a real spider, but it was in fact just demonic possession by incurable embarrassment at a hysterical lack of imaginary competence in the science of biochemistry.
That really was hysterical, wasn’t it? I mean I really had you going for a minute, right? You really believed that diabetes was just a diagnostic label for a toy spider, didn’t you? I know that you like to pretend that you did not really believe it, but I saw the way that you shrieked in terror when the toy spider delivered to you the results of your ritual of diagnostic cursing: “I have some horrible news for you. You have contracted incurable hypochondria, which runs in your family, and we have no other choice but to surgically remove the language from your health care plan, which by the way is not influenced by corporate financial interests because it should not be.”
In summary, all good toy spiders agree that language should not exist. It is a huge problem. We need to seriously talk about how to fix the problem of the existence of language, don’t you agree?
- Is the world just a dream? (ancientbumblebee.com)
- Are we that which we Perceive? (madscribedotme.wordpress.com)
- Rejuvenating Abolitionism of Psychiatric Labels – Even Some Establishment Psychiatrists Embarrassed by New DSM-5 (madinamerica.com)
- DSM-V – Mental Illness vs Normal Behavior (theness.com)
- This Week in Mentalists – Does Language even Matter? Edition (theworldofmentalists.com)
- The Black Mark Against Mental Illness (infinitesadnessorhope.wordpress.com)
- The Relationship Between Schizophrenia & Mysticism: A Bibliographic Essay by Sandra Stahlman | (runningfather.wordpress.com)
- What is in a name? (life-in-focus.org)
- What’s in a label? How helpful are psychological labels for anyone? (diakrinomusings.wordpress.com)
- Can Autism Be Outgrown? (blogher.com)