An English In Kentucky


















Wednesday August 15th 2018Tim Candler9


      Being wishy-washy I've always been keen on phenomenological approaches. It's a long word and impossible to spell and it essentially means the stuff that's experienced by the mind. Sounds easy but none of us are able to actually get into someone else's mind, feel what they feel, think in the way they think. Transactional Analysis was a move toward getting a better grasp of the stuff that's experienced by the mind through looking at the more personal social interactions and categorizing them into parent, adult and child ego-states. The reason for choosing these three states is because they're either conflicting or complementary, and can be thought of as transactions between people and within groups of people. A small step in the problem of exploring the experience of others but a big one I think. "Are you treating me like a child?" "Only because I love you." A truly charged verbal interaction that can be explored in terms of both sides wanting something from the other, and it would seem neither one making much progress in the difficult business of getting the other to behave, oblige, go away or whatever. One of the troubles for the practitioners of phenomenological approaches to analysis is they are time consuming, require great patience, they're not usually successful in achieving results like world peace and in the end much cheaper just to medicate the lot of them. 



    Either way, transaction, transactional and so on, figure pretty large in the current nightmare. "Oh he's just a day trader!" is thrown around like confetti. There's a whole thing around strategic thinking and how incredibly important it is for long term wellbeing. "When I grow up I want to be an astronaut." "Well you need to be good at math." I agree, it's a very depressing answer enough to put anyone off and so much easier just to have someone take a photograph of me in spaceman outfit so that I can look as though I might be an astronaut, or perhaps I'll just get a tattoo. In the three ego-states the adult is the one who can sort of see both sides, thinks more strategically, and has a basic understanding that hoping for miracles is no substitute for an informed opinion based on a wide, wide range of possibilities, followed by disciplined attempt at objectivity. Something like "you'll end up digging trenches for a living," is a long way from adult behavior, that would be a more parental reaction. But, "I wish you the very best of luck becoming an astronaut," followed by a shrug would be grown up. One thing's for certain anyone who tries to secretly sneak a sun tanning bed into their domicile falls into the category of child. An ego-state that is vulnerable and a real pain in the neck unless in the interpersonal transaction your own ego state is that of parent.

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