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This is Previous-Essay <== This-Essay ==> Following-Essay Click HERE on this line to find essays via Your-Key-Words. {Most frequent wordstarts of each essay will be put here.} ========================================================== %DISINTEGRATIVE DOUBLE BIND COLLUSIVE EVIL MESSAGES 900322 Often people communicate via messages which in context are disintegrative because they are self contradictory. The overt message may be "We want to be sure we stay within the letter of the law." Yet the wink of the eye, the tone of voice, the gesture, or the body language is saying something like "But not within the spirit of the law, and only as far within the letter of the law so that we do not get caught!" The overt message may be one which attempts to claim the right for respect in terms of maintaining personal and communal integrity; yet the covert message is contrary to the overt message. Often people want to appear respectable and to be people of integrity while they are not worthy of respect and undermine personal and communal integrity. On other occasions people want to appear as worthy of respect because they are appropriately in rebellion against some common power or authority which the subculture to which they are appealing regards as contemptible. Respect may then be won by what power and/or authority is violated. In such circumstances people within their rebellious subculture may openly and overtly communicate their disdain via coherent messages in which there is no inconsistency between overt and covert messages. Yet it may not always be so within such a subculture. In rebellious subcultures it may be that the rebellion is of such a character as to undermine personal and communal integrity; and so it is not ultimately worthy of respect. If the rebellion is callous with indifference to the violation of personal integrity, placing ultimate value upon being in rebellion, then there may be members of the subculture who with a transcendent sense of integrity may be counter- revolutionaries, people who may need to communicate messages of rebellion with covert implications that they do not really mean what they say. Such covert messages may have to be hidden, so that only people of similar mind, attitude, heart and spirit may discover each other and work together cooperatively to regain health within their unhealthy rebellious context. Recipients of double meaning, and double bind messages are put in a difficult situation. They may be asked to acknowledge the overt and/or the covert message. The other person may be testing them to see if they are in cahoots with the spirit of the double message. To fail to respond appropriately with a similar double meaning message is often a matter of life and death: literally in the sense of threatened murder, or in the sense of the slower death of personal disintegration through participation in collusive games of mutual self deception. Addicts and codependents participate in and generate a great deal of confusion, many crises, misunderstanding, and alienation. Involved therein are many double meaning messages which are so ambiguous that recipients cannot be sure what the intended overt and covert meanings may be. The result is that participants in such communication tend to be driven by fear which assumes the worst, even when the worst is absent from the present situation. Thus fear drives situations from good to bad with each participant unable to communicate clearly just what is happening, and no one being able to learn from the mistakes which are being made. Respect for communications which are ambiguous and self contradictory is dangerous because it leads to many different forms of disintegrative behavior, and to traps where such disintegrative behavior cannot be recognized and dealt with in healthy ways. Even so, it is necessary to recognize that even in healthy communication there is inevitable ambiguity and there are paradoxes and mysteries which cannot be eliminated by attempts to be completely explicit and overt. The healthy life involves efforts to communicate openly, honestly and explicitly; yet gracefully accepting the occasions when ambiguity, paradoxes and mysteries are inevitably present in real lives. (c) 2005 by Paul A. Smith in (On Being Yourself, Whole and Healthy) ==========================================================