Two Views of Mental Health

There exist two diametrically opposed (and therefore incompatible) views with regard to what mental health is or is not and which view we hold depends upon whether we are in Being Mode or Doing Mode.

Doing Mode –

When we are in this modality our ‘sense of self’ is based entirely on our doing, which means that when there are ‘problems’ with our SOS, then these problems have to be corrected with yet more doing (since in this modality ‘doing’ is the foundation level).

This gives rise to ‘the knot’ – it gives rise to the knot that only gets tighter and more intractable the more we try to fix it! Doing cannot cure the pain that is caused by too much doing. Rationality cannot undo the knot that is itself.

When one level of doing goes ‘wrong’ (according to its own terms, that is) then another level of doing has to be brought into play to fix it and this – of course – gives rise to an infinite regress. The internal contradiction in doing can never be undone by using yet more doing. This is equivalent to saying that the systematic error which lies hidden in the System of Thought cannot (as David Bohm says) be eliminated by ‘thinking about the problem’, or ‘analysing the problem’. That simply amplifies the error.

‘Doing Mode’ and ‘the System of Thought’ are one and the same thing since ‘doing’ can only come about as a result of ‘thinking’. ‘Doing’ (which is to say purposeful activity) is the expression of thinking, it is thinking translated into reality. In Doing Mode we are trying to get reality to accord with our thinking. Rationality and purposefulness are one and the same thing.

Being Mode

The modality which is based on being doesn’t give rise to any Sense of Self (oddly enough, as it may seem to us) because the only way a sense of self can come about is as a result of doing (i.e. we have to ‘do’ a boundary or ‘make’ a boundary or ‘decide on’ a bundary). There can’t be any sense of self without a boundary, after all! ‘What is a soldier without a foe?’ asks Robert Wyatt. ‘What is a self without the other’, as we could rephrase this line. Being does not exist in a state of opposition to itself, it has no good or bad in it, no right and no wrong. Only doing has this – doing has to have a ‘good versus bad’ or a ‘right versus wrong’. If it didn’t then there would be no basis for our doing, nowhere to start from and nowhere to go to. Purposeful doing can’t exist without a right way and a wrong way – without a ‘right’ there can be nothing to aim at, without a ‘right’ there can be no purpose to what we’re doing.

Being is therefore ‘nonlocal’ – it cannot be located within a framework. Frameworks are examples of doing, after all; frameworks are examples of doing because the separation of the two poles, separation of the two opposites, the separation of plus and minus, is itself a doing, and there can be no framework without the separation of plus and minus. The FW equals ‘a separation of plus and minus’.

Saying that being as nonlocal is another way of saying that there can be no self in being! ‘Being’ isn’t a limited thing, it doesn’t take place within a framework, it doesn’t occur in response to certain conditions having been met. Being cannot be tied to any conditions or related to any conditions.It cannot be defined or measured…

Part [2] – The self is a ‘solution’ to an apparent ontological problem

When we look at being (or non-locality) from a particular or specific point of view it appears to be ‘a problem’. Non-locality inevitably presents itself as a problem’ or ‘an error’ when seen from a particular POV – there’s no way that it can’t do. Non-locality ‘does not compute’. How can a logical system understand non-locality, after all? NL flies in the face of logic – it appears, from this perspective, to be infinitely paradoxical. We can’t get any purchase on it at all. It’s like saying that the answer to any conceivable question is always going to be ‘yes’! (or that the answer to any question we may ask is always going to be ‘no’!). This falsifies the question we are asking; more than this, it falsifies the basis for asking any question that we might ask. It falsifies ours framework since a framework needs for there to be a right and a wrong, if everything is equally YES (or NO) then that does not compute and that is always going to be the situation with non-locality.

All of our questions come down to ‘Where is it within the FW of our terms of reference?’ (i.e. ‘What is the answer within the terms of our particular way of thinking about things?’ and ‘Where is it?’ is of course a fundamentally meaningless question when it comes to non-locality! Another – simpler – way of putting this is to say that because we have no concept for NL (obviously we can’t because ‘a concept’ equals ‘a location within the FW of thought’) and so when we come across it in our day-to-day lives (so to speak) we can only register it as ‘error’. Anything that doesn’t make sense within the terms of the taken-for-granted framework equals ‘an error’ – this is the only way the framework can maintain its integrity. Whenever we encounter any manifestation of being therefore (any manifestation of non-locality) then we do two things – [1] We write it off as error, and [2] we attempt to correct for it. Correcting for the ‘error of being’ comes down to maintaining the Mind-Created Sense of Self, as we have said. That’s the only way we can maintain the MCSOS. Most of the time this seems to work just fine; we can say that the correction ‘appears to work just fine’ because the Mind-Created Sense of Self appears perfectly viable to us and we don’t perceive any serious problem with it! It functions flawlessly as our ‘basis’ in our day-to-day lives and we don’t have to worry about it…

Just because we don’t ‘see the problem’ with the MCSOS does not mean that there isn’t one there however – it just means that it hasn’t shown itself to us yet. The problem or jinx hasn’t manifested itself yet but this is no reason to relax! The MCSOS is a ‘problem waiting to happen’ (or ‘a jinx waiting to unfold’) and all the time that passes up to this point (however nostalgic we might become later on with regard to that time) is nothing more than a dream or mirage. Notwithstanding this, when we are in ‘Doing Mode’ then we see this period of time (the period of time in which the glitch inherent the MCSOS hasn’t manifested yet) as being the state of ideal mental health. Mental health is implicitly being defined as ‘that state of affairs where we can carry on identifying with MCSOS without there being any apparent problem with this’. It is possible to have this view of mental health, but only if we make sure to take a very superficial view of things. This definition of mental health can also be referred to as the state of being in which we are ‘limited without knowing that we’re limited’, or deluded without knowing that we are’. When we do start to become aware of ‘limitedness’ (or of our ‘deludedness’) then this necessarily painful awareness is – therefore – seen as mental ill-health and we will try to cure it (or at least, we will try as best we can to ‘dull the pain of the awareness’).

When we are in Being Mode then mental health is something very different. To be mentally healthy is to have some degree of relationship with the truth of our situation and this translates into ‘seeing the glitch’. ‘Seeing the glitch’ means seeing that there is a problem that we can’t fix; we can’t fix a glitch because our so-called ‘fixing’ actually makes the problem worse. Fixing feeds the glitch – fixing feeds the glitch because the fixing contains the glitch. Fixing is the glitch! When we truly see the jinx for what it is then we see very clearly the problem can’t be fixed and seeing this is the same thing as ‘dis-identifying with the MCSOS’; just as long as we persist in not seeing the glitch inherent in the self-construct then the state of identification will continue. Believing that we can ‘fix’ the problems inherent in the MCSOS causes us to continue to believe that this self-construct is who we are. It is telling therefore that our mental health industries insist on ‘promoting fixing’, ‘talking about fixing’, and ‘coming up with more and more doing-type ‘therapies’ designed to return us to what we fondly imagine was a state of ‘good mental health’…


  1. negativegeography · April 19, 2021

    “This definition of mental health can also be referred to as the state of being in which we are ‘limited without knowing that we’re limited’, or deluded without knowing that we are’. When we do start to become aware of ‘limitedness’ (or of our ‘deludedness’) then this necessarily painful awareness is – therefore – seen as mental ill-health and we will try to cure it (or at least, we will try as best we can to ‘dull the pain of the awareness’).”

    Let me be sure I have this clear: Seeing everything as a problem or error (that needs to be fixed) is a confusion that lies deeper than the surface confusions that occupy our brain all day. Feeling that one is in error (making a mistake one shouldn’t make) has to be distinguished deeply from “awareness of limitedness or delusion.” They can sound alike, but they are very different. In other words, we have to be aware that thought is always wrong or in error — we have to relate that error — without falling into the delusion of thinking the error has to be fixed or eliminated (it can’t be).

    And yet, being aware of error without trying to fix it could also be called a resolution of sorts. It’s not a resolution we can achieve, but it’s a resolution of a sort.

    It’s as if there is an overlay, a transparency placed over the world. This transparency is the thin film of thought that makes everything false and unreal. Usually we can’t distinguish these two modes (being and doing), because the overlay becomes invisible most of the time (as long as we’re seeing Literally). Then it becomes difficult to distinguish “error” as a concept on the overlay (or map) of thought from “error” which is the confusion of overlay and reality (map and territory). I think this is what you’re saying implying also?

    • negativegeography · April 19, 2021

      I’m not sure I said that clearly enough to make sense? What you wrote above makes great sense, but it leaves me wanting to make a clearer distinction between error as a problem that needs fixing and error that is awareness of delusion. Wonderful essay, thanks.

  2. zippypinhead1 · April 19, 2021

    Yes that does make sense. I think I rushed through the essay without paying enough attention to the distinction between the two types of error, which is quite critical. I’m not even 100% clear about it in my head but I think it could be said that there are two levels of error – the first one is non-systematic and that is when the logic of the system can itself spot the error and possibly fix it and the second type of error is systematic which means of course that the system can’t spot it because it is the system that IS the error. The error can’t spot the error. We could say therefore that when we spot the error that is inherent in the system (when we spot the error that IS the system) then this is equivalent to awareness of delusion. The system itself can never be aware of delusion but we can!

    We can’t but we generally don’t because we have been possessed by the system of thought and so ‘not spotting delusion’ is the order of the day. Another way of talking about this is in terms of spotting the inherent paradoxicality of definite statements. All definite or logical assertions are self-contradicting but we can’t actually see the self-contradiction because when we look at the world via though we can’t see two polar opposites as being the same thing. Thought is logic and logic only gets to be logic by saying that YES is different from NO! So if I can see that a logical / definite assertion of truth is actually a self-contradiction (as in the Liar paradox ‘everything I say is a lie’) that means that i see the statement or assertion as being perfectly meaningless or perfectly null, which is the same thing as ‘seeing illusion as illusion’. But I have a feeling that we would need to say a lot more about this to do it justice.

    If we talk about ‘awareness of limitedness’ then this is the same thing as awareness of delusion because there is no such thing as limitedness since boundaries don’t really exist and if boundaries don;t really exist then they can limit us. If we see the ‘error’ that is the confusion of overlay with reality does this mean seeing that the overlay or map is inherently paradoxical or null?