An anti-dromedary??

An antidromedary? (Negative of picture from Wikipedia.)

Not quite. Enantiodromia is the tendency of the psyche to counteract change. Rather than passive resistance, enantiodromia implies an actual movement in the opposite direction of the recent changes.

A common phrase describing this is “two steps forward, one step back” (and sometimes, by the more exasperated, “one step forward, two steps back”.) Whenever a constant effort of change is put upon the psyche, there is a resistance. When one presses forward, it is a bit as if walking in a bubble of some invisible elastic material, which pulls one back as soon as one stops moving forward, or even if not. To make progress, one must drag this whole two-ton bubble forward with oneself.  This is because the conscious self is only a small part of the psyche, most of which is subconscious.

The lecher who gives his life over to sexual pleasures will after a while find that he no longer takes pleasure from them, even in quantities that he formerly found enjoyable. But at the same time, the monk who tries to devote himself to celibacy finds himself burning with unrequited lust.  (I am not talking here about the normal feeling of satisfaction or hunger in the short run, but over a longer span of time. As a tide compared to a wave, perhaps.)  Likewise the fervent believer will inevitably experience doubt, and a doubt that shakes his convictions to the core; but the ardent skeptic will suddenly be given to irrational superstition.

The greater the force by which one tries to move the psyche, the greater the force by which it strikes back. In many cases this has caused a whole new personality to emerge, one that is opposite to the personality one displayed before.  A revolution of the mind, as it were.

But reading about it, it seems to be another case of what Boris Mouravieff calls the “General Law”. Or in everyday speech: “Don’t rock the boat.” Don’t move too fast, don’t move too far, or the automatic mechanisms to stop insanity will kick in and drag you back. Or you could overcome, I suppose, with sufficient force.

Besides reducing the incidence of madness, the General Law also helps avoid cultural flutter. You would not like to go on a vacation to Malaysia and come back a Muslim.  So we have a defense against changing far and fast.  Although it seems to me that people who fall in love can punch through this barrier. Then again they are, in my eyes at least, already insane. ^_^

It is extremely rare that a voice in my head says a word I don’t know, for the obvious reason that the voice is not actually a voice but more like a current of thought in my greater flood of thought (or perhaps it is the other way around). In fact, I would still not have known how to spell it if not for Google’s helpful “Did you mean to search for…” feature.

6 thoughts on “An anti-dromedary??

    • I’m not much of a traveller, but I got the impression from my penfriend there that it was quite civilized. She was a Christian and most people were Muslims, but she did not need to hide or anything. They seemed pretty tolerant at that time, a decade or so ago. So that is a good thing. There was some discrimination against the Chinese, from what I was told, but then they were doing pretty well, so it may have been based on envy more than principles.

      Anyway, I used it merely as an example of a Muslim country one might actually visit casually, which you can’t with some of the others these days.

    See the animal in it’s cage that you built
    Are you sure what side you’re on?
    Better not look him too closely in the eye
    Are you sure what side of the glass you are on?
    See the safety of the life you have built
    Everything where it belongs
    Feel the hollowness inside of your heart
    And it’s all
    Right where it belongs

    What if everything around you
    Isn’t quite as it seems?
    What if all the world you think you know
    Is an elaborate dream?
    And if you look at your reflection
    Is it all you wanted to be?
    What if you could look right through the cracks?
    Would you find yourself
    Find yourself afraid to see?

    What if all the world’s inside of your head
    Just creations of your own?
    Your devils and your gods
    All the living and the dead
    And you really are alone
    You can live in this illusion
    You can choose to believe
    You keep looking but you can’t find the woods
    While you’re hiding in the trees

    What if everything around you
    Isn’t quite as it seems?
    What if all the world you used to know
    Is an elaborate dream?
    And if you look at your reflection
    Is it all you wanted to be?
    What if you could look right through the cracks
    Would you find yourself
    Find yourself afraid to see?

  2. Yeah there’s discrimination against the Chinese in Malaysia and Indonesia.

    Likewise there’s discrimination against the Malays in Singapore.

    Places like Singapore, Malaysia and the UAE are different from what people expect.

    It’s not 1984 but still very much on the authoritarian and conservative side. Obey the law, respect some of the customs, keep your mouth shut about politics and religion and you’ll not run into trouble.

    Some people are willing to trade their freedom for security. Many parents choose to settle in Singapore because of it’s crime and drug free environment. (If you want to see something horrifying see how Singapore and Malaysia punishes drug crime.)

    I’ve been to only Singapore and Malaysia (KL and JB).

    I’ve not been to the UAE but I’ve friends tell me good things about that place…

    The stories I’ve heard about Saudi Arabia on the other hand.. One friend told me about the wild, wild time he had there (I don’t mean that in a good way or fun way)…

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