Nihilism and Schizophrenia

Nihilism is the very spirit of our modern times.

We easily see it beneath the world-denouncing pessimists views and the self-destructive self-pitying emotionalism of the one unable to cope with the world…but we fail to see it beneath the “positive” hopes of the idealist, who declares the world inadequate, offering a replacement, and behind the hopeful promises of the spiritualist, who claims that dismissing self is the only road to a “deeper” truth.
In fact not thinking is quickly becomnig this western civilization’s highest virtue, following in the footsteps of eastern civilizations that have managed to repress it for so long that one finds it difficult to discern one individual from another in their populace.

Consciousness is not a positive state, for this assumes that the world is positively inclined towards the organism and that consciuosness has really evolved for hedonistic purposes, or for no reason at all if it is not to surrender to the other, rather than as a way of maintaining the organism in a threatening environment…as a tool of survival.
You can image then that when self-consciousness emerges it does not expose the organism to nothing more than its own vulnerability and its own quality in reference to its consciousness of the other. Self-consciousness begins disconnecting from a nature, an essence, that has already been slandered and repressed into a slow rumble in the guts, or some instinctive lashing out, released in times of great stress, or when asleep in dreams.

It is normal then to assume that nihilism is the first reaction, of this emerging self-consciousness, as disatisfaction is the primary sensation to existing - what we call need/suffering - and the ideal is the desirable replacement, the hypothetical “correction” of the world as it is.
I propose enlightenment to be this surpassing of this primary reaction…towards self-acceptance.

Schizophrenia is a symptom of this self-consciousness, as the mind having disconnected form its own consciousness begins to think that someone or something else is in charge, projecting this otherness as a God or spirits or some Ideal Man etc.

When man is pressured to deny his nature, to forget his past, and to make himself a tabula rasa, for the sake of conformity then schizophrenia is the symptom of this disconnection between the noumenon and the phenomenon, where appearance is deemed selectively irrelevant or an illusion while the word is raised on a pedestal, if it comes form the “right” sources, spoken in the “right” tones, by the “common” authorities.

As a secondary reaction to nihilism, the ideal is posited and when it fails to become real, or when it is totally disconnected from reality - usually in proportion to the mind’s sense of dissatisfaction with both the world and the self which it beings about - it turns into itself.
Becoming increasing self-referential - given that there’s a system of institutional present to shelter it from the world that would destroy it otherwise - the mind encloses itself in its own reality…sometimes an adopted from an other, an authority, shared in common and sometimes totally isolated within its own abstractions.

As such narcissism is another characteristic of the modern western man.

I disagree. (post)Modern man is much more able to affirm his pleasure (and thereby his senses, his reality) than his recent predecessors. Saturnalia have been institutionalized again, against accepted morality - but morality is simply ignored. It is a painting on the wall reminding those who have need for ‘roots’ of old times - of history, which others have overcome by sheer blissful ignorance.
Nihilism is a thoroughly affirming state - it dismisses all future and past.

First, the eastern philosophies do not promote no-thinking in any western sense, but shedding illusion and attending to experience being fully aware of our pre-conceived ideas. Eastern philosophies are about “emptying out” the clutter of confused thinking. This is a positive thing and not a superficial understanding of no-mind. “The sage neither goes out to meet them or sees them off.” Translation: The wise person brings no pre-conceived ideas nor judges. It is all about see directly, act directly.

Sentience does not produce the primary sensation of disatisfaction for existing. There is nothing but opinion to support such a claim. Granted, sentience does involve awareness of survival needs, but how sentience decides whether the world is malignant or beneficial depends on geographical placement, availabilty of food and water, materials to create shelter and adequate time to collect the necessary survival needs. Additionally, whether a threatening environment or a relatively peaceful environment depends on the same. There are certainly places on earth where fear and mistrust would be the first experience of a sentient being, but it isn’t everywhere on the planet. There is no inherent connection between the quality of sentience and the “world”.

Some would suggest that it is the need to “replace” the world that needs to be replaced. That there is nothing to be corrected, only understood. An ideal asking for “correction” is an illusive desire to promote a defined good, and banish a defined evil instead of understanding that both must exist. There is no good without there being evil and vice versa.

While coercion is patently apparent in the world, there is nothing beyond opinion that man is “pressured” to deny his nature for the sake of conformity. It’s just possible that he gives willingly for sociality sake. Are some men “pressured”? It depends on which end of the horse they choose to look at. There is nothing inherent in any system that forces a denial of nature.

And this dismissal is a promotion of a state akin to an animal, that has no sense of a past and no ability to imagine a future.

The post-modern man’s pleasure is that of immediacy…he has no sense of proportion or self-control…and so he is easily manipulated.

Any dogma that teaches the state of unthinking, or of being in the moment, as its highest achievement is not only teaching thoughtlessness, but it presents existence and the ego that makes it possible as undesirable…and so it is self-destructive.

This shrinking of perception so that it only includes the immediately perceptible, converging on an imagined point of absolute thoughtlessness (an unconscious consciuosness) is a diminishment of awareness because it cannot be tolerated.

It is true that awareness opens up the mind to much more suffering, the timelessness of genius, and so this “meditative” state of self-inebriation is really an anti-consciuosness tactic, meant to relieve the mind from the perception or sensation of reality - which is need/suffering.

Pleasure is, as Schopenhauer noted, a negative sensation.
That the tables have been turned, and it has been equated with a positive, reveals the hedonistic decadence we are falling into.

Imagine a state of absolute pleasure…no need…if one can without resorting to absurdities like Nirvana or Paradise…now tell me why anyone would act, create think at all.
The elimination of need represents this hidden desire for self-annihilation.

Try looking into yourself before you go off looking for someone else to give you a right to think.

Need is what you can never escape, and besides trying to escape it, by dismissing reality as an illusion and ego as the anathema that makes the sensation possible, try thinknig of it as the sensation of existence, as lack is what existence is…as in the absence of an absolute, of perfection, of compeltion.

Dissatisfaction, which produces action is not cultural.

There is no peaceful environment, except the utopias little children dream up to escape the world as it is.
No ideal state and so no state of absolute contentment.

The maintenance of self is cosntant struggle against attrition and external threats, mostly unperceived by the mind which has evolved t9o deal with more pressing matters.

A sheltered environment does into constitute an exception, and the only threat imaginable is not human.

Ergo there is neither good or evil.

Why is narcissism seen as a bad trait in our modern times? as it wasn’t always so - I’ve become pretty narcissistic of late, due to a dissatisfaction with society, but why is that seen as bad?

All of what you say might be accurate if you understood no-mind. But you don’t, and even though I have suggested several times that you might want to pursue and actually try to understand eastern concepts, you obviously haven’t. Sorry, no banana. You’re building on sand until you invest the necessary time to examine what you are dismissing.

Any steady diet of pleasure or pain is negative. Need and gratification must exist together as well as the denial of gratification. To suggest that either is to be eliminated is foolishness. What people may say they want (gratification with no need) and the reality they accept (pleasure and pain) don’t necessarily match. The elimination of need is a hidden desire for self-annihilation? Really? More conjecture. It could just as easily be a desire for time and space to be creative, to explore what need doesn’t allow.

Who is trying to escape need? Who is trying to escape ego? Lack is the sum total of existence? Who is looking for perfection? I, and many others, aren’t looking to escape anything, and your saying it is so does not make it true. Lack is what existence is? Pure conjecture on your part once again. If you want to look for an absolute, perfection, and completion that’s fine, but you might want to reconsider planting that on others.

Another assumption? I could easily say that almost all action is culturally derived. Dissatisfaction may be a part of that, but certainly not all of it.

Who said anything about an ideal state or a state of absolute contentment? I didn’t. I said relatively peaceful. The maintenance of self is a constant struggle against attrition and external threats? Granted, at the cell level, homeostasis is a constant process, but to conflate that to the level of sentience is a far reach. Other than more conjecture and assumption, what evidence do you offer for this “unperceived by the mind” statement?

This is an “argument” based on ignorance.
First you have no way of knowing what I’ve invested time into, and second you cannot present yourself as the example, choosing to refer me to some hypothetical third source.


If you hope to understand anything I said, you must first be honest…Think, for instance, what requires effort and what requires no effort?


I don’t know, you tell me.
I thought you knew all about Buddhism…and Christianity…and most other forms of idealism for that matter.

Perhaps some reading into Christianity and Spinoza is required here. Let’s begin withParmeneidis.

When you do not eat, do you die?
Do you feel need and if you do not satiate this need do you feel suffering/pain?
Do you see anything complete, perfect, an end a beginning?


You mean animals do not need and do not act?
You could just as easily claim giraffes had wings as well, but it would not refer to anythnig but the fabrications in your mind.

If action is not driven by lack, name one activity which is not.

Did you?
Relative to what?

I bet many of your friends are talking about an absolute state of peace, harmony, contentment, brotherhood, godliness, or whatever they may choose to call this ideal state. But seeing that you find this absurd, you choose to remain uncommitted.

Really, so activity is not temporal and interactions are illusions?
So you draw the line between physical and mental?

Name one activity which is not based on a need.

Do you have senses?
You want me to prove that all is active and all life is struggling for self-maintenance, and all perishes, and all changes?

If you do not percieve a mountain moving on tectonic plates, what evidence do you use to deduce that it is?
If you do not percieve the Earth rotating or your cells aging, what evidence do you use?

wikipedia must not have given you a proper understanding of eastern spirutuality. and the schizophrenia “sympton” is laughable. other than that it was good.

Schizophrenia is indeed a symptom of growing self-consciousness, the freeing of desires from the restrain and repression of social norms and the conditioned psychological personality, the hard-wired circuits behind thought. When these begin to break down, desires are freed, released in an insufficiently directed manner - yes for the schizo this is not tantamount to “increased self-consciousness” in the ideal sense you probably imagine, but you need to get out of this paradigm and see it more objectively, from the perspective of awareness, freedom from repression and conditioning and illusion. Most human consciousness is illusory, a fiction, as is most human thought, belief and feeling. Repression, rationalizing, self-denial. So if we can break out of this, even by replacing it with a more chaotic but also more truthful (that is, self-destructive) fiction, that is progress in terms of self-consciousness.

Unfortunately the schizo typically lacks self-hood and morality of conscience in so far as he could direct and take charge of his partially freed mind and desires, and so being of insufficient strength himself he succombs to them. But this “madness” is no more real madness than “normal” human sanity is real sanity, to paraphrase Laing. Read up on him, Zizek, Foucault, Deleuze & Guattari, anyone connected with the “anti-psychiatry movement” (or atypical psychiatry), and youll get a good sense of the perspective from which we must view phenomenon like schizophrenia if we are to get a true picture of what is going on.

I think this, by itself, constitutes the typical response, and I will expect nothing more form you.
Best you save some declarative paragraphs for some of the other stuff I say.

I’ve denied the existence of a Christian God to Christians and have faced this same accusation: “You do not understand” or “you haven’t read the Bible” or “you msut accept Jesus to understand Jesus” …the last was a brilliant ploy that posits the very acceptance of a hypothetical as its greatest argument.

It’s part of the mystical to imbue the mind with a sense of mysticism, depth, which it cannot display, but only proclaim as some profound state of awareness.

Many of these dogmas preach the rejection of the world, of craving (need), of the ego as the source of all suffering, and in its place they place an ambiguous promise with an end to all rebirth…attainment of a “higher” condition, which is both self-contradicting, evoking such descriptions as “conscious unconsciousness” and nihilistic, as it preaches a disconnection from the experience of existing, which is need/suffering. A state of self-hypnosis that itself requires a sheltering framework.

I see it more as institutionalized thinking for the purposes of population control.
What better way to cotnrol a population than to make a behavior a sin or to teach self-negation, tolerance as the highest state of enlightenment and thoughtlessness as the gateway to the divine.

I’m also coming at this from a non-medical point of view, a metaphysical one.

Self-consciousness, is a part of the mind becoming aware of itself, just as consciousness is the part of reality that is becoming aware of itself.
This awareness uses simple binary logic which establishes understanding through negation: I am what I am not…the ideal being the ultimate projection of this “not”; the desired fulfillment of self.

Also this turning upon one’s self, as if you were an other, creates this schizophrenic sensation that thinker is other than thuoght, or actor is other than the act…or that consciousness lies outside the brain…or that appearance is other than essence.
The latter is a very useful tool if one wishes to declare man a tabula rasa or nurture over nature…as if man reinvents himself with every birth rather than that he carries the consequences of everything that precedes his birth and must deal with them…either through overcoming or denial.

Of course a social system prefers the idea that man is so malleable, given that the past, man’s nature has to be sublimated or repressed in order to construct the ideal citizen or the ideal follower.

I find it interesting the amount of bad faith expressed particularly by tentative. He’s obviously got a bee in his bonnet, given recent events, and has come here not to understand my positions but to avenge himself…but so be it.

The idea that “you can just as well” say this or that, IS his perspective attempting to equate all perspectives under the premises of equal ignorance.
For him you can just as well say the earth is square as you can say it is round, or you can just as well say God exists as you can say that He does not.

For me no idea is complete, perfect…as this would contradict my position that there is no such state…whether you call it omnipotence or omniscience or God.
A position is judged not only on the amount of evidence it references, that is the degree to which it connects its conceptions to empirical awareness, but also by the merits of its logic, arguments…as metaphysics deals only with those.

All have a hypothesis explaining existence and the human condition, but not all positinos are as connected to sensual awareness, the world as we experience it…in other words reality.
You cannot just as well say unicorns do exists as you can say they do not.

Now in the context of my position I claim that all is active, that existence and activity are tautologies, and that all is lacking, as we all sense this as need/suffering and that all this need, is the conscious awareness of continuous activity…(inter)activity.
If this requires validation then the one asking for it is debating in bad faith, as he is either claiming that he does not need or he is claiming that a state of non-activity can be witnessed to exist, or that there is one, one single example, of a creative act, an act in general, not driven by a need.

My positions have been posted here:
Interactions and Interpretations


Differentiation is the condition of awareness. Understanding occurs when reality is divided and subdivided. Even unification supposes prior divisions. Of course most human notions are projections of pathologically subverted desires, rationalizations, comfortable ignorances which fill in the gaps of an otherwise knowledge. Common human thought categorizes reality, compartmentalizes it based on superficialities. Categorical efficiency, a sufficient minimum of effort is usually the maxim guiding this typical human thought.

Of course this means it is inadequate from the perspective of a more accurate and comprehensive understanding, a higher self-awareness - but it is also pragmatic, useful, which is of course the “purpose” for this thought in the first place, the reason why it arose at all.

It is this turning-upon process which characterizes self-consciousness itself. Awareness of one’s self, one’s processes and functions of consciousness. Just like before, it is differentiation, the distancing oneself from one’s consciousness is the condition of self-awareness. And yes this is almost always misinterpreted by man as “consciousness lies outside the brain”, “eternal spirits”, “thing-in-itself” and all such nonsense… but we must also remember that self-awareness seems relatively knew to man, evolutionarily speaking, and man must be still in an, at best, adolescent stage of development there. Similar to how the bicameral model describes that early men heard the voices of “gods” in their head with the development of the internal monologue, it is possible that humans further infer gods, “Being”, “otherworlds” and all that nonsense from the fact that self-awareness is still a relatively knew phenomenon to him, and he is grasping at it like an infant grasps clumsily at large building blocks, unsteadily forming them only into the most obvious and crude shapes, and always poorly at that. He cannot see the smaller, subtler, more refined blocks, and he knows not how to form the clumsy large ones into anything other than the most simple and superficial structures.

Of course man’s hubris will blind him from the fact of his infantile capacity for thought, one more reason why he remains there and does not grow, as is otherwise natural for infants to do.

Although a decent amount of genuine self-reflection and introspection reveals that there is nothing mystical, supernatural or “out there” regarding consciousness and self-awareness. But then again, most people never self-reflect, never truly introspect and certainly are never genuine. So it makes sense why they are so confused.

Yes. More natural consequences of man’s infantile status with regard to self-understanding, intellect, conscience.

Yes. And man needs these social systems, after all he has given rise to them, sustains them and prefers them. They are desired tools for the continued repression of the self, continued will-to-unreality.

But of course a contradiction cannot last forever, not even within man’s artificial social systems.

Yes, as understanding entails simplifying, generalizing a fluid reality into abstractions.

A towards completion. As in Will TO Power…or Will TO life…Even the notion of a God is a towards the presupposed and projected divine, the ideal Man.


And it is always incomplete.


part of the confusion is the result of denying the product of this introspection, as what is made conscious is not positive or flattering.

We can mostly witness this denial of self as this denial of appearance as being anything but superficial, that it might be the apex of a Becoming and so a representation, interpreted by the mind, of the phenomenon’s entire history.

This need to distance one’s self from the past, from nature, to deny its determining effects characterizes modern man and leads him towards self-negation.
We see it in most popular religions that all preach a denial of self, and the world, that imply some immutable core or hidden more real reality,…but we also see it in the secular form of this kind of nihilism, as Humanitarianism implies the ideal Man which is always not the individual but always the one that denies self so as to be included.

Although politically useful no greater disservice to self-awareness has been made than this idea that man comes into the world void of anything that determines his behavior, that nurture trumps nature (the sum of all nurturing), preserving the idea of free-will, and resulting in this necessary conclusion that all are created equal, given that all are products of the present.

This is why fragmentation ensues.

Oh yes, absolutely. The ignorance is yours. There is no way an intelligent person such as yourself would make the statements you make about eastern philosophy with even a superficial Reader’s Digest understanding. I’m not trying to be the “example” of anything and since I didn’t invent eastern philosophy, referring to the original source is logical - almost like referring one to read the greeks.

The ascete attempts to “discover” one by denying the other. How noble. The point is that neither can exist without the other. They define each other and either one would cease to exist without the other.

I know a little about idealism but I’m not an idealist. You’re the one who claims to know all about escapism. Some of us don’t fit that pigeonhole.

Well, I’ve managed to read enough of all three to grasp the basic arguments, but they don’t appeal to me. The pusuit of perfection seems a waste of time. But if you think it is the right thing to do, go ahead.

All life forms must satisfy physical needs, but that is just part of sentient existence. It does not follow that “need” or “lack” is the sum total of human experience.

I don’t know what animals need or don’t need. they don’t talk to me. And this whole thread is a fabrication of mind. Otherwise, we’d be out munching grass with the “animals”. Much of human activity is driven by need or lack, but much is also driven by curiosity, something that spurs action but not born of “need”. I don’t “need” to see what is over the hill, I’m just curious. You may lock up all conclusions by defining everything as a lack of something if you choose, but then there is no discussion possible any longer.

Relative to you’re sitting in a comfortable chair, your physical needs are largely satiated, no one is trying to kill you, you’re typing at a keyboard… That sort of relative.

My friends - damned few - don’t talk about absolute anything. In a fluid universe, an absolute is ridiculous. That is nothing to commit to. It has nothing to do with committment.

No idea where these jumps in conclusions are coming from. Interactions ARE activity as are physical and mental states. You jump to unwarranted conclusions.
activity=need. I addressed this above, but one more time: ANYTHING can be defined as a “need”. If you want to lock up all possible conclusions in your definitions, be my guest, but at that point, discussion ceases.

Tectonic plates: I rely on experts and their scientific methodology. The “evidence” they present seems to be a satisfactory explanation.
Aging cells: I don’t have to look any further than this old body for THAT confirmation.

This has nothing to do with evidence for things “unperceived by mind”. you offered no evidence, so are we to just take your word for it? Sounds sort of mystical to me.

Yes, back to basics. Is this bad? Not necessarily, it depends on your ideals and expectations. From what else can a strong humanity grow but from a healthy animal?

There is only the now, what matters immediately - the instincts.
No illusion of being controlled by consciousness.

And what are you saying, that the masses should control themselves?
How do you imagine that would be possible?
I don’t know what your objective is. Perhaps you have none.

Define this ‘higher self awareness’. Is it only achievable by self reflection? How is it pragmatically useful compared to the level of self awareness, say, a leopard may have? I would think a high level of self awareness would have to co-incide with a high level of other awareness. Latter first most likely if survival is a goal drive.

Where could humans go with these thoughts?

How do you know what most people do or don’t do and who, if anyone, is ‘genuine’ - whatever that means? Do all those who ‘self-reflect’ share their reflections with you?

Man is a sum. Of nature, nurture and experience. Or a better metaphor perhaps would be man is an equation. Anyway, man cannot divorce himself from nature, nurture or his own personal experience unless he wishes to exist as a brain in a vat!

Is it possible that man is not a one-size-fits-all concept? That some men are followers some are not? Or some go through periods of following and periods of lighting out by themselves?

Social animals need social systems. Those who are not social, do not. Spot the unsociable leopard!

Nor can a social system last forever, can it?

Again nothing.
You like implying stuff.

Hey look another one.

Link me to where I said this.

I’m waiting for one exception.
Describe how an absence on need is not perfection or an ideal state.

Yet you must know they have a culture given that you say need is a product of culture…or are you claimnig that animals do not need/suffer?

So peaceful is relative to my perceptions…and if these are protected or guided then they are relative to the system that provides a relative peace.

Tell me has mankind ever experienced a period of peace, or is you being sheltered from the wars your relative perception that argues that peace is possible?

Name something that cannot b e defined as a need…or is not felt as one.

So you only rely on the authorities and never yuor own perceptions?

Which expert did you consult when you decided that I existed?

You admit then, that you consider the simplicity and instinctive behavior of an animal as above a human being who can reason?
This “healthy animal” is of course not the one humanity DID evolve from, right?
So you propose a “correction” in accordance with your hopes and needs…your ideals?

In fact there is no ‘now’ as there is no absolute point in space/time…but that you place instincts above consciuosness says it all, no?

I am describing, not offering solutions, as I do not recognize a problem.

Lucidity…but we now know what yours is…so already I’ve succeeded.
I study the human animal.

This is where I do my field research…interactively…and this is where I also, if I am lucky to get an honest response, outside cultural and social conventions, I display this human animal for all to see.

schizophrenia is a symptom of growing self consciousness? so when the mind becomes more aware of itself, the existance of delusions and hallucinations correlate somehow? literally understood, this is just a wild assertion. if you want to make an analogy in which schizophrenia is a sort of nihilism of the physical brain…that may make sense… however, u would be much more accurate in saying that the freeing of desires from the restrain and repression of social norms and the conditioned psychological personality is a sympton of schizophrenia.

Obviously schizophrenia is a condition where this process of self-consciousness goes stray…and I am referring also to the current models which attribute to mental processes agency.

A self-administering system of mental agencies that may be experienced as an external consciousness intervening if the process goes wrong, for a combination of genetic and environmental reasons.

There ya go.

The rest is either misdirection or ignoring what I said.