My work is about finding a heuristics thereby to be able to accommodate,
order, structure, make sense of and account for firsthand, scholarly, systematically, analytically, structurally and authentically human existence in the way it is experienced and is lived and implemented. Human existence with all its natural, formidable, pure, raw, inexplicable, direct and unanalysed/phenomenological contradictions, absurdities, irrationalities, burned-up emotions, pain and passions. Human existence with all its temporal/spatial, contradictory, constantly changing, diverse, personal and individualistic logic and truth that is constantly transforming and constructing, gushing and searching for order and sense amongst the chaos and irrationality and contradictions. Human existence with all its zeal and perplexities, hope and despair, indifferences and differences that are extremely hyperactive, are never static and are never stand in one place for more than a fragment of a second where they are transformed both into and from.
Those are flowing and gushing, lived and experienced and appear to make no sense (authentically and realistically, I am not a philosopher and therefore I assume reality and move from there) whatsoever as and when they are penetrated into from the outside inside in a structuralist, isolative, static, empirical introspection from the outside. As it was proposed by Wundt in his study of consciousness and mental phenomena (leaving the social out of empirical, controlled, systematic study and examination, Wundt, 1896, 1916). And later on was taken to extreme by behaviourism and representationalism (Serper, 1999). Nor do they make sense when explaining and accounting for out of the context in which they supposedly are embedded, occur and form part of and conceived and consumed in as radical social constructionism and post-structuralists have proposed and attempted to do when realizing the mistakes of their positivism oriented empirical psychologists and tried to break up and shift from using Wund's distinguish. Still, eager to look for rational explanations that make sense they seemed to overlook the fact that those elements of human existence are more than that and can transcend context and culture as they are lived, emerged,
implemented and experienced.
They can merely make sense as themselves and as part of themselves as they move about in a total chaos of being chaotic in a chaotic world, establishing, drawing, shaping and constructing their sense and themselves as they emerge, being lived and implemented in life and living and as they are being unfolded and constructed in the course of their existence and human existence as a whole. Many times they are established and understood as incomprehensible and are known by so-called normal human beings as panic, dread, ontological security and angst in which nothing makes sense, and which in extreme cases, very disagreeable or so I have been told by those who have experienced it, pathology is being summoned, and they choose to ignore and dismiss them. This situation is dreaded by empiricists who must as part of their own raison d'etre have some sort of a rational, theoretical explanation and systematic order to account for them, be it gratification (Freud), cultural, contextual and relational/social (post-structuralists), biological/innate programming (nativism/rationalism), conditioning (behaviourism) or physiological (mentalism).
That is, unless one is a committed thinker of human existence who is completely committed to human existence, has a full stomach and financial security for the time being (not for long) and is not starving to death. He/she is powerful and strong and he thrives on that and is making a career on that that will realize, fulfill, empower and gratified his own human existence, thereby endeavouring to benefit from it. We form a very small group/section of human beings on are own - thinkers of human existence. We are distinguished and observants/participants, praticitioners/theoreticians/observants/engagers. We do so for very specific reasons. We are making a living out of it or hope to. It is our practice and vocation in life that help us kill time in a constructive manner until we are dead. It helps us create and better understand ourselves and our own existence as we live it, experience it and trying to make sense of it. We refuse to take on the above empirical theories and explanations. We wish to look at our own existence as it is unfolded and to account for it using it. It enables us to educate ourselves. We deconstruct everything, deautomatise and the construct anew using our lives and living as a constructing material, tool and heuristics.
It helps us construct a better version of ourselves. It helps us cope with confusing and dreading issues rather than to dismiss and disregard them. We are likely to be sensitive individuals, bored perhaps and in search for profoundness, self and self-sovereignty and independence for our selves and
for being ourselves. We are likely to be individuals who are struggling
between the wish and the need for a niche and a sense of belonging and being
original profound thinkers who continuously question everything, deautomatise, deconstruct and to never accept and take anything or anyone for granted as it is. We are wiling to sacrifice the need for order, simplicity, rationality and sense for the need for profoundness, authenticity and being true to ourselves. We are like the young in Andersen's The Emperor's New Suit shouting that the emperor has no cloths on (Serper, 2003). I shall go back to this confused thinker who writes those lines throughout this presentation and all of my recent and current and most likely future work. He represents it and them and he experiences him and is condemned to be him.
We are a great minority. Mostly, individuals love order and sense and clarification and easy life with no complete chaos and contradictions and instability. They do not like too much reflection and deconstruction and self-construction and/or even to think about it and contemplate and reflect upon it. They like security and simplicity and straightforwardness and despise panic and chaos, impractical abstractions and senselessness. In which case, they go on and invent religion, Gods, societies, countries, ethnicities, collective identities, theories (which this one is one), personal identities, truth, logic and psychologies or just, simply move and go on with it and live without constantly reflecting analyze what and how they live. Empiricism and the conventional theories, models, heuristics, versions and conceptions suit them. They give them and their lives and existence answers, solutions, theories, simplicities and sense and meaning. It is easy. I failed in a relationship because I grew up with no love and family and was abused. I fail in communication because I am coming from another culture. I do not fulfill myself because I am not understood. I am frustrated because my needs are not gratified.
I do not blame them. Most individuals in the world go on fighting and struggling very hard for their physical survival and existence and are very tired and weary by it. They are far too exhausted by it to systematically analyse it, study it and reflect upon it. Those who enjoy this process of obtaining a mode of securing physical survival/existence or who have inherited it and do not have to worry about it are very rightly so worried about aesthetic and making the existence very pleasurable and enjoyable, constantly increasing the level of aesthetic pleasure and gratification for indeed one can only die of starvation and of sorrow not of too much pleasure. Those tend to dismiss the chaotic, confusing, reflecting aspects of human existence as unpleasurable and painful a deed which is therefore useless to them. They regard the dwelling in them as little more than a wholly masochistic exercise and act. This fight for merely existence or pleasure is so harsh and consuming that they just want an ontological security, simplicity and sense-making. And to do so without contemplating the chaos and reflections of living and being.
Some are so-called philanthropists or ethicians and are worried about the future of humanity. Yet they do so in order to fulfill their own existence and to make sense of it and establish it. They are constructed as philanthropist or ethicians and reflect on life, living and being as so, hoping to bring hope for the future of humanity by immersing upon it and being obsessed by it obsessively dealing with these notion and attempt to bring hope for the humanity, being limited by this construction and putting so much energy and resources into it. Construction can merely be full when fully deconstructing.
Everything is established by being completely empty and nothing, constantly question everything and reconstructing everything and trying to do so, namely deconstruct in order to construct. Hence, one is to construct whom one she/he is and by doing so hoping to bring hope to humanity in the self-constructing process being that one is part of humanity and is found in constant interrelationship and communication with humanity through self-construction. One cannot stop being human for this is his/her essence. He/she is a human being. His/her essence as and of existence and whom he/she is established by his/her living and emergence and self-constructing.
All the energy and resources should go to the self-construction process. And hoping and trusting that one and his/her action and being in the world are good, so-called moral and a part of a loving and caring being and hence that this self-construction will spread and communicate the hope for the future of humanity. Assuming that individuals with consciousness are more likely to be loving and caring for other individuals than to be Hitler, Stalin, Saddam Hussein or Pol Pot and that it is collectivism that puts their consciousness off guard, this may work.
Hence, an individum constructs a life and living for himself/herself. He/she is using all the resources and energy for this purpose. By doing so he/she constructs a self for himself/herself. He/she uses the world in which he/she is found in order to do so. There is a very complex process of interrelationships between the individum and his/her social others in which the individum hopes to get the most construction benefits and materials for his/her self-constructing task. In those interrelationships he hopes to get the most for his self-constructing mission. He gives in order to both get in return and as part of the self-constructing mission itself where he constructs himself as a constructive, benefiting being and a productive member of humanity. Hoping that individuals do so rightly in a manner that would benefit humanity on the whole is the hope for humanity in general.
Many times, those aspects of human existence are suddenly unfolded, emerged and transformed into something that clarifies and does make sense. The human subject is thrilled. He/she is stabled, ontologically secure, realized, gratified and full of meaning. And then they are transformed again and again and again and are beings lost and recovered and discovered, unfolded and blurred and cleared and seem to go distorted again. The human subject is panicking, searching for stability, for order, for sense, trying to have the most stability and the less instability, panicking and panicking by the panic, being phobophobics.
The outcome is confusing and dreading. Ontological security, chaos, insecurity, panic, despair and hope all meshed up, all fighting for domination and all introduce and clarify themselves by the others. For in order to know and experience hope we must know and experience despair, in order to know ontological security we must be aware and experience ontological insecurity, in order to know self-satisfaction we must conceive self-disappointment. Like in a roller coaster, it goes up and down and up for the sake of going down and down for the sake of experiencing the up. And we cannot go and feel up unless we go and feel and experience the down.
They therefore do make some sense internally and by virtue of its absurdity and contradictions as contradictions and confusion and attempting to make sense of them. They do make sense by virtue of their flowing and gushing and making a part of a whole picture from birth/launch to death and being taken out of the game (Serper, 2003) and itself, thereby ceasing to be and to exist. Thus they make sense by virtue of flowing and moving, attempting to make sense, going towards conclusion and clarification or meaningful chaos by virtue of its disorder.
They do make sense living, practiced, being tested in practice and in the field and throughout implementing. And reflecting and reviewing as a Gestaltian picture looking at the future and then at the past and then at the changing and dynamic present as a linkage and intermediary point of reference, by which to look and observe the up and the down. This is done as part of the whole journey that is greater than the sums of its chaotic parts that are unfolded in a total chaos to create some sort of a Gestaltian sense and order and a full journey and will be determined and made full sense of as a non-being, when ceasing to exist and ground down at the end of the journey. Still, we have the journey to look at whilst embarking on it, planning and looking at the next stages of it and drawing and observing and studying the stages that we have undergone, experienced and realised, hoping to make and realise the next stages, less steep and more beautiful, meaningful and securing.
This is a very anguishing process and thing to reflect about, especially amidst all the hardships and complexities of life and living. It is so much easier to go and support ready-made theories and models to account for human existence and sleep at peace. It is not my way. I choose the hard way and I sleep very badly and know pain and angst. In short, I am a masochist. I deconstruct all theories and models, well aware that deconstruction of theories is also a theory, and focus on my living and life and emergence. I jump into the pus of my own existence and becoming and I strive to make sense and construct myself as a living theory (Whitehead, 1989) of human existence.
It is very painful. The wounds and the pus are raw. I expose them. I take out all the protective layers that have not healed properly. I glance at those raw ones. I put salt and disinfectants on them. I rub them with alcohol. It burns. I clean them and make sense of them. I become immune to future wounds in the same places. As this is a very private process I take meticulous, systematic and structured notes of my experiences of doing so. I am hoping to add to the area of healing and improving and immunity and strength. I am hoping to show a manner to do so.
I am looking at the journey whilst being thrown in it. I am also searching and constructing a heuristics like that because I was challenged to do so. I am extremely proud and dignified and competitive and obsessive being. When I am worthily challenged I comply and become obsessed with it. There is no way in the world that I'd leave the task that I was challenged to do prior to its completion to my full satisfaction.
Having critiqued all heuristics and models that are and have strived to study human existence when I have embarked on an historical/philosophical/theoretical review (Serper, 1999) of the conception of the human subject by every single model and version possible that has ever tried to do so - namely, theology, metaphysics, positivism (Comte,1830) and post-positivism (Harre, Billig, Gergen, Hutchins, Shotter, Rogoff etc).
As empirical psychology has claimed itself very arrogantly and pompously to be the one to study human beings in a rigorous, systematic, objective, valid, reliable, clear, universalised and standardised fashion, I took it upon its word as a thinker of human existence. I have joined it and became a psychologist myself. Then I dressed myself as a theoretical psychologist. I have conducted a literary/textual analysis of its main paradigms.
I was deeply disappointed and have shown its failure to account for human existence in an unbiased manner. Indeed, my dear colleagues have striven so hard to be unbiased, systematic and scientific and then naturalistic as well (given and thinking that the context is what makes it, is responsible for it and it cannot do without) that they disengaged from and with it. They have lost it. They have been and become detached from it and have lost it and created bias and disorganisation in the actual attempt to objectify and organise, structure and plan it and thereby to be unbiased.
I produced the results of my study and it was accepted as a good theoretical critique of an existing system. Nonetheless, I was told that it is a very nice and easy thing to do. And that it is one thing to contradict and to say what is wrong, bad and also good with a system from the outside. Yet it another matter to put forward an alternative and to construct something to replace it. I agreed. I faced the challenge and became utterly obsessed with it.
I tried to dress up as an empirical psychologist in order to create an empirical alternative within empirical psychology using everything I have critiqued as a theoretical psychologist as well as the tools of empiricism. But then I have become an empirical psychologist myself. I have drowned within empirical work. I have lost the whole picture and became very narrowed in a very small aspect of human subject (collaborative learning and its effect on the individual cogniser for that matter) that can by no means represent the human existence and my conception of it. I was flattered to be called cognitivist and to appear to scholars as having another expertise. But I have completely lost the plot.
Then, very much unlike psychologists and social scientists (thanks to my background and switch to philosophy and the humanities that have taught me to actually think and to deconstruct and doubt everything including my self and reality and look at and reflect on empirical and non-theoretical engagement from outside), I remembered that I am, that I also exist. And that I am actually the thing that permits me to exist and to be. I remembered my self-constructing work and self-studying work that I have embark on privately as a very inner and personal deed out of my public work. I got in touch with myself and, in turn, was kicked out in the process by very angry psychologists, empiricists, social scientist, philosophers, propositionalists (as this group calls them).
They were angry indeed. It is too subjective, they say. Who cares? How is it relevant to anyone beside the self itself? Where is the objectivity, the rigour, the analysis, the structure, the body? What happens if you'd succeed and we shall all have to become masochists who fail to sleep well and cry out of pain, anguish and sorrow that are part of the self-immersion and self-construction exercise? They have done everything they could to flatter and entice me and to make me stay. They saw this strange idea that I have come up with of stopping to live and apply external models and theories and instead to go, reach and contact myself in the search for theories that can apply to me and to make sense of my own living and emerging as a temporary nonsense and madness that I shall grow out from. I insisted. Then I became scared and angst. I was torn apart. By going [back] to myself and becoming a being I have lost my being in the world and got lost.
Then, I was a being who is in between the two worlds, a being in the space in between the two worlds. A being who is created as a being by the space in between the two worlds. A being who hopes to create and construct a being in the world out of the being in the space of the two worlds. Still, I hope that the being would reestablish a being in the world who benefits from everything whilst is very much faithful to his being and himself and is using everything and everyone to do so without losing his integrity and himself and still reinforcing and strengthening it.
In case you have got this already, I stand for my definition of human existence that I started this presentation with. I am a very complex individum who is in the world and constantly interrelating (Gibsons, phenomenology/Humanism - Heidegger, Boss, Binswanger, Landsman, 2002) with the world. I try to live through and cope with the chaos and confusion of human existence. This coping is my existence and I take it to be human existence. I thereby constantly receive and am stimulated and am expected to transmit back and to relate back. I communicate and engage. I put my embedded living knowledge out there and receives input/output from the world and my social others' in return.
Yet it is all moving very fast, too fast, taking me out of breath and confusing me, making me even more confused. The stimuli are a bucket full of a very disorganized information full of contradictions, irrationality, passion, confusion thrown into my face, throwing me into a gushing sea of a very deep and gushing, storming sea full of turbulences that are moving very fast in circles threatening to sweep away and drown me. I am overwhelmed by it and full of confusion and contradiction. I try not to drown, to make sense to myself and to communicate something that can order and make sense and establish a communicable piece of communication. I try to be me and to establish and construct a me as a reinforced version of what I am, transforming into what I am becoming and emerging as.
I am sure and positive in one thing. I am and I exist and I live and move forward. I become and I emerge. I am looking for the creation of the most securing and agreeable life and existence for myself as I live and emerge, transform and become. Now, as someone who is not afraid to think about and reflect upon his existence and becoming and being, I am not afraid to construct and bring forward the alternative I was challenged to present as a study of my own existence.
I produce an answer. Here is a human being. Here is an emerging, becoming, whole and dynamic and self-constructing individual being in the world. Here is a being who is coping and dealing with his existence/existing in the world. Here is a being who is trying to create, construct, makes sense, cope and improve his existence and his emerging and becoming being. Here is a being who is trying to learn and reconstruct and reformulate, realize, empower and progress in his existence, moving and going to the culmination of it which is his death, the determined judgement day on his living (Sartre, huis clos). I am not afraid to convey all this flowing chaotic mess that I have discussed above. I do so in the form of stories which are unfolded and communicated to the reader who is also part of the human existence. A reader/engager who is also a human/individual being in the world. A reader/engager who is also a being who tries to cope with and make sense of his/her existence in the world. A reader/engager who is also a being who tries to construct and improve, progress and deal with his/her existence in the world in the best manner that he can. In those stories I analyse my interrelationships with the world, with myself and with my own existence in terms of the contradictions for the sake of my becoming, improving and moving forward into a better future for me.
I hope to use the communication, and unfolding of the stories in order to achieve three main things. First, to assist me with the self-constructive exercise through actual interrelationships, receiving external feedbacks and explaining and making things coherent and sense-making to myself by explaining, communicating and clarifying to others. Second, to fulfill the self-constructive requirement of morality and ethics and becoming a more decent being in accordance with my own personal standards of judgement by sharing my embedded knowledge, conclusions and theories and contribute to them. Third, to emerge, construct, define and establish myself as a scholar, answering the requirements of this definition thereby self-constructing myself. Making my ideas and work known and engaged with, hopefully accepted by some and hated and despised by some (Camus, 1942) and challenged so as to make me live and feel and be and to be self-respected, stimulated and improved and constructed.
I do not wish to isolate myself and to turn myself into some sort of a radical esoteric eccentric that no one understands and no one wishes to engage with. As this is a scholarly academic critique of systematic, scholarly attempts to conceive and account for human existence, I must comply and act within very clear rules of academic, systematic and scholarly work. Otherwise, I am not doing anything. People can just turn on their television sets, particularly in the mornings, read novels, poetry and fiction and engage in folk psychology in their daily life. No, I want to correct an injustice that was done to the means of study (heuristics) of human existence, as I conceive it to be (Serper, 1999, 2003, 2004), in mainstream academia, particularly the social sciences and the humanities (philosophy and history). I wish to amend it rather than to alienate myself from it. I wish and need to get the support of mainstream academics, in
particularly those who work with human subjects or those who endeavour to account for the human subject and human beings and their existence, to study them and to enquire into them.
Thus, I have stories of my own life, living and emerging and accounting to the enquiry of 'how have I become who I am?, bringing and unfolding in them historical and cultural context, landmark events, reflections, thoughts, interrelationships, deeds, learning, dereflections with all their complexities, rawness, purity, emotions, passions, confusion, irrationality, sense-making, despair and hope just as I said in my opening statements. I need to make them systematic, analytical, scholarly and academic. And I need to create and construct my own heuristics for I have critiqued all the existing ones and was challenged to find, construct and make public, straight into the critique of those I have critiqued myself in my capacity as a theoretical critical psychologist (Serper, 1999).
I have combined everything I have thus far and declared the following. I hope to convey a story of my own coping, dealing with and interrelating with my worlds (both internal and external) in my own living and emerging and my own reflecting, self-studying and self-sense making. I am hoping to show in and through the analytical stories the values that have guided me in theprocess of becoming and emerging me. I am hoping to share the knowledge that I have accumulated in this process. I am hoping to share and publicise this embedded knowledge. I am hoping to share and communicate my implementation and struggles and satisfaction in and of living my values and principles.
I am hoping to show what Whitehead (1989, 1993) has called Living Contradictions in which my values are being tested in practice and learning and progress and take place by failing to live those values to their full potential. And analyzing and making sense of those failures for the sake of future successes in fulfilling and actualizing those living values to their full extent and potential. This process of learning and revising is, therefore, embarked upon for the sake of implementation the next time living those values is summoned and tested in the course of my existing, becoming, unfolding and emerging.
I therefore am telling, revealing, unfolding, displaying and going over the stories and rigorously and systematically evaluate, appraise and locate my feelings of self-satisfaction and therefore for that matter self-dissatisfaction then and now as and whilst the stories take place and being unfolded to my readers and assessors/evaluators. I go over those stories of my life and my emerging and becoming who I presently am. I evaluate and appraise my sense of ontological security and insecurity, my sense of self-gratification and self-non-gratification, my feeling of sense making and lack of it, my sense of meaning and my feeling of void, my sense of rigour and discipline and my feeling of indiscipline and shallowness and superficiality. I appraise and evaluate my feeling of self-respect and lack of it, my sense of despair, frustration and anger of and towards myself and my satisfaction from myself and self-pride and the pleasure I receive from myself. I assess in their unfolding and emerging my sense of self, of sovereignty and my feeling of my lacking it, namely sense of determinism by something else, not being wholly true and faithful to myself and living in ill-faith. I hope to both improve myself through learning and to show and convey a true, an holistic, an authentic, an engaging, a unbiased and humanistic picture and depiction of what it is to be an emerging and becoming whole, personalized, passionate and unique individum in the world and thereby of human existence (Serper, 2003).
I hope that by communicating those analytic stories I shall be able to create a forum where we all communicate how we set out to live our lives and existing, emerging, becoming and being in the world that we share as each other's social others that make the world in which we are found as 'I's in the world, attempting to make use of this world for the sake of our self-creation and self-construction. I hope we shall discuss our lives of living, sense-making and ontological securing.
I have spent two months writing an account answering the inquiry 'how have I become who I am?' I identify the following extract from the conclusion where I go back to the present after studying how I have become that thing that I currently am in the emerging here and now. I observe and I look to the future. From this point I wrote the following.
'This was the most important decision in my life. Perhaps it will always be so. It was the climax of my existence. It fulfilled me completely and then finished me off completely. I am determined to go on and have a different kind of self and me. I know too well that I shall never feel as complete as when I were with my grandfather, especially in our last hours together, feelings towards him that I inherited from my mother and her death and my separation from her.'
When I started the project, I wrote a descriptive account of those last hours together as a phenomenological introspection where I let my emotions and my stream of consciousness flow and write itself looking at it and reflecting upon it as it was from a completely different point of my existence (the present of the writing), in what Frankl has called dereflection.
When I wrote it I have embarked on this search for heuristics by looking at my ontological existence and conveying and communicating it as a solution to the problem of finding an appropriate holistic, dynamic and engaging heuristics to replace reductionist, positivists, scholastic, mechanistic, dehumanizing, biased and alienating ones (Serper, 1999, 2003, 2004).
I wrote my experiences and reflections and the theories and knowledge that I have drawn from them (Serper, 2004). Nearly a year has gone by and I wish to submit a scholarly, analytical, rigorous doctorate thesis, the highest academic qualification, within months. And I need to find a manner to systematically analyse and structure my self and my existence/emerging/emergence in them in a communicable manner as a public theory and heuristics rather than personal reflective journal writing and poetry (CI - personal emails correspondence).
This is an extremely difficult task because those lived feelings, emotions and passions have not unfolded systematically. They have gushed and thrown upon me with all their rawness, purity and directness.
Still, I had to react to them, to interrelate with them, to make sense of them, to cope with them, to survive them, to deal with them to the best of my ability and to hope I am doing the right things. It was a life and death situation. I was alone. I had to trust myself I am doing well. I had to trust my instincts, my past and present knowledge and learning. I had to trust other individuals and to trust my trusting in them. And it is those coping and dealing and finding the means of struggling and doing well that I now strive to analyse as a theory and heuristic. I can show how my coping strategies and principles/values were reenacted in and throughout the three years that have passed since, in their past, and how I used my learning from my coping and struggling with their past living, namely my life, living and emerging prior to them.
I hope the story conveys and unfolds them. I do not wish to have to intervene between the stories and their reader/engagers. I do not wish to have to interpret and translate the stories. I wish the stories to flow and convey and deduce themselves to my readers. I wish my analysis, messages, my principles, my values, what I try to say and convey would be explained, interpreted and conveyed to the reader by and through the story. Still, I want those stories to be more than a list of actions, thoughts and reflections about them in the form of composition about my life and living. I want them to be a doctorate thesis on human existence, combining clear theories, methodologies, heuristics, problems and solutions, clear evidence (Whitehead, 2004), engagements and possible replications and use by others in their own living self-study work and endeavours.
Now, the sixty-four thousand dollar question that everything in the last decade as far as my academic work goes back to is how do I turn my composition and life/living reflective and descriptive journal into a clear doctorate thesis of human existence that can stand critical standards of judgement of rigour, analysis, public use and interest and can contribute towards my declared goal of establishing a clear, integrative model of human existence dedicated completely to the accommodation of the human subject?