Double-bind in a mince pie
Yesterday’s article on RD Laing was written in a coffee shop. As I worked on the article a woman approached me and attempted to put me in a double-bind; since my article was about double-binds, this was synchronicity or a summons by magic (words being magic, the article being composed in accord with certain magical principles).
I was approached by a woman in her mid-sixties, she was upper middle class (I could tell within two seconds from her face and her manners). She offered me a mince pie she was holding and said, “You’re always working. I thought you’d like this.” Now, this is a double-bind; it’s a double-bind because to offer someone a mince pie in a coffee shop is patronising and condescending—it’s to treat them like a charity case or a tramp. If I accepted, she would have introjected her negative emotions into me and I would have felt angry—since she would have humiliated me in a deniable way. However, if I responded as many do and said, “Fuck off! Who do you think you are? What’s this about?” she would have won because she could have gone back to her friends and said, via metacommunication, “He’s one of those semi-criminal ungrateful rude people.”
The middle class are very much this way—so are the working class and the upper class, but with them it’s different games at different sophistication levels. Nobody’s innocent. So: accept the mince pie and feel angry and suffer the condescension (be polite, unconsciously adopt her disapproval), or spit back at her and be publicly branded as “evil” or “not a nice person” (not middle class)—damned if you do and damned if you don’t. It’s a double-bind.
I replied: “It’s poison. It has poison in it. It’s got cyanide in it.” I handed the mince pie back. This surprised her. She didn’t expect that response and she retreated away. I felt no emotional contamination—no inner turmoil—because I had fended off her attempt to introject her aggression into me or to get me to play the “bad object” who misbehaves and needs to be controlled (“Help, police! There’s an abusive man in the cafe who’s swearing at me for no reason. He’s a real thug”).
You might say: “Your response sounded schizo. You sounded mad. And that’s bad because schizos escape double-binds by a retreat into coded language.” However, it is not the same because if she had asked for clarification, if she had said, “It’s not poison, it’s a lovely mince pie,” I would have responded, “It’s emotional poison.”
That is grounded in reality—and she would have understood at once. The true schizo doesn’t have that insight and self-awareness; and that’s his tragedy—he sees the “games people play” but he can’t explain and so is discarded as talking “nonsense” (perhaps she would have played dumb, these upper-middle-class women are ultra-manipulative; God help you if they’re a lawyer—a miserable manipulator who drinks like a fish to keep their bullshit prison alive).
It was an attempt at emotional poison—and she knew that really; she knows what the acceptable metarules are in a cafe, and she wanted to use them to trap me and make me feel guilt and inner turmoil (because, in accord with her narcissistic standards that she wants to impose on others, I don’t “work enough” or work in the “wrong way”). Metacommunication: “I’m rewarding you for not working while I say you work too hard”—again, another level to the double-bind; it’s an attempt to impose her standards on me—standards she believes to be “moral” but on closer examination may prove not to be so.
The Sufis say you must become indifferent to words; and that is why I sometimes say what is written on Twitter or on this website constitutes “words on a screen”—I’m not there yet, but I’m quite indifferent to words; perhaps I’ll get there in the end and overcome this illusion. You see, words are routines—half-remembered strategies your parents or school used to discipline you to get compliance, so you’re a “nice boy”—and most people are stuck in these routines, just like robots; very few are alive.
Laing’s proposition, “It’s not a question of if there’s life after death, it’s a question of whether there’s life before death,” is correct—we are surrounded by zombies. They’re prisoners of their imaginary world of “right” and “wrong”—of their view they’re a “good person” who does “nice things”, whereas other people are not and need to be disciplined as they were disciplined (by the same insane mind games).
The middle class are more difficult to deal with because it’s all mind games with them, whereas the lower classes and upper classes discipline with a belting (“the middle class know better than to leave bruises”—it’s all psychic bruising). You’ve got to become indifferent to language and see reality—else you will be psychically poisoned, carry the great turmoil inside that another person has put in you.
As an aside: in the previous “schizo article” I noted that the West is schizo in relation to the Jews—it is forbidden to mention their power, yet they have power; yet if you mention it you are an “all-powerful genocidal maniac”—so you have to say they’re powerless. Hence people talk about them in coded language, as a schizo does to escape a parental double-bind.
I also noted, even earlier, that when the Russians say “Anglo-Saxons” they mean “Jews”. Well, yesterday Dimitry Medvedev posted the tweet below about “Anglo-Saxons” after a rant about “the Fourth Reich”—well, he’s “schizo-posting”. He means “the Jews”. We are led by people who are in a schizoid state (in the West as well, this isn’t an attack on the Russians); the very people who control the nuclear weapons are in a schizophrenic state, definitely not biologically but certainly situationally. This is why our world is ruled by madness and violence. Reject the poisoned pie.