Psychotopography

constant escape

winter withered, warm
edit: "Psychotopography" (the mapping of psychic locations/places) has been reconfigured as "Ismonautics" (the exploration of ideologies).

Psychotopography would consist of the plotting of courses from one psychic place/state, or topos, to another.

This would include, but may not necessarily be limited to, ideological states. That is, it would consist of identifying the networking routes of psychic development.

Political radicalization is a psychic development, one that can, perhaps, be figured as centrifugal, seeing as it is bound toward some extremity, which is definitively opposed to the center. I don't know if these developments exist as natural routes of egress (lines of flight?) or if they are artificial, willfully and painstakingly engineered by psychotopographers.

That said, radicalization is not the only kind of development that is possible to chart, as far as I can tell. But a glaring difficulty prevents further elaboration upon this point. Psychotopography requires one see through their current psychic state, identify it as a natural impression made by their circumstances (environmental, historical, emotional, genetic, etc.), and attempt to change it.

In effect, because of how forceful and (almost) insurmountable circumstances can be, the psyche is usually far from being in control of its trajectories. Subject to internal forces (compulsions?) and external forces (obligations?), the will alone often finds itself with little room to breathe, much less diagnose its situation and plot and execute a course. Even if such a course is plotted and set out upon, the degree to which the psyche is carried against its will by its beliefs is the degree to which it remains passive. How does desire fit into this framework? Do ones beliefs set the terms for their desires, or is there more conflict than that?

The psychotopographer would need to identify their belief-structure as finely as possible, identify the stimuli-response relations that inform beliefs, and begin to steer such relations in such a way as to affect themselves in the intended manner. Forgive me, this is where it drops off into second-order pragmatism. One would need to shift gears between operating under their beliefs and operating above their beliefs. This can be effectively configured, I believe, in a dialectical manner, which can, much like a piston can effectively turn a wheel using only a bilateral movement (?), result in a certain momentum that may render such projects feasible.

What would the tasks of psychotopography be? I will give examples of ideologically oriented projects, rather than purely emotional ones. Such tasks would require, to some extent, that the psychotopographer engage in routine patrolling of ideological terrain. That is to say, they would need to be able to see the world from as many ideological perspectives as possible, and periodically cycle through them as one would patrol a territory in search of anomalies or potential dangers.

This kind of patrol would, more or less, be the equilibrium state. However, seeing as the various ideological adherents of our world are virtually never in willful harmony, such a pure equilibrium state is virtually nonexistent. The psychotopographer would take recourse to their familiarity with the varying languages of ideologies, as well as their familiarity with common dialectics between pairs of ideologies, and would attempt to anticipate the evolution of ideological conflicts, surveying for especially catastrophic potential. If adherents of a certain ideology seem to be building toward some kind of violent eruption, how can that energy be channelled into a more benign direction? What kinds of routes can be established so as to poke a hole in the bubble before its pressure builds to dangerous levels?

Realistic implementation: recruitment of open-minded bridge-builders to... engage in conversation? A vanguard party of metapolitical agents? Hmm.

Hopefully, this may enable something more than a hypertheorized self-help program, as funny as that would be.
 
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version

Who loves ya, baby?
It's got a ring to it though. A snappy name's important. You need something that sticks.
 

constant escape

winter withered, warm
Honestly, I'm not familiar with the situationist movement, or psychogeography. I think of that as being more mapped onto our physical world. I'm trying to some at this with more of a scientific spirit than an avant-garde one, although the subject matter is perhaps too slippery for science.

As for psychonaught, I can't say I'm familiar at all.

And perhaps I could lose the psyche, seeing as it brings much more to the table than ideology. Do you see any potential here, as a purely ideological project?
 

constant escape

winter withered, warm
It's got a ring to it though. A snappy name's important. You need something that sticks.
I have a hard time naming things without it entering ccru territory, which I gather would just turn a lot of people off. That, plus the amount of combinations of root words that seem to have been exhausted or bogged down.

But yeah, I am coming to see that point more and more. If it doesn't get your attention right away, it seemingly won't be nearly as affective or effective.
 

catalog

Well-known member
on first read... sounds like scientology, with the self policing aspect. also ideological perspectives are really abstract things, so dunno how you'd pin em down.
 

constant escape

winter withered, warm
A psychonaut's someone who explores altered states.
I'm talking purely sober stuff, for what that is worth. You would only have to (attempt to) alter beliefs, in a way that almost seems algorithmic.

And yeah I agree in that is seems lame. I fear I'm on thin ice myself here, assuming I haven't already fallen in and gotten numb.
 

constant escape

winter withered, warm
on first read... sounds like scientology, with the self policing aspect. also ideological perspectives are really abstract things, so dunno how you'd pin em down.
Seems to be one of the primary difficulties. MIght have to employ a series of metrics that could collectively pin down enough of the ideology. Similar to how psychometrics can effectively measure something as nebulous as personality, no?

Also, scientology is something I know next to nothing of. It involves self-policing techniques?

The self-policing, however semantically, might be able to be side-stepped here. In fact, it might not even need to be configured in a master-slave fashion at all. But I'm not sure - that would be a pivotal alteration.
 

catalog

Well-known member
this is the bit that made me think of scientology:

"The psychotopographer would need to identify their belief-structure as finely as possible, identify the stimuli-response relations that inform beliefs, and begin to steer such relations in such a way as to affect themselves in the intended manner."

i'm not all that familiar, but i know it involves isolating and going over your traumas.
 

version

Who loves ya, baby?
The thing is this sounds like a fancy concept for essentially just getting your shit together and being politically educated and engaged. I'm not sure how it's that different from undergoing psychotherapy and reading a bunch of stuff on theory.
 

constant escape

winter withered, warm
Any prefix for beliefs? I thought "doxa" was, but it turns out to be more praise related. But I'm still not sure.

I think your suggestions are steps in the right direction. I can see where "psycho-" isn't the best element for this, one reason being that it invokes psychonautics, psychedelia, etc. that carry a tone that really doesn't seem to aid in this movement.

The difficulty with some of these suggestions: I'm also working on a nootopology, which analyzes how knowledge/discourse/logos emerges from intelligence/noos and is organized by topics/topos. Anything epistemic would fit more into that - but ideology and belief seems to warrant another project.

But I hadn't considered cerebral. That seems to be a sort of middle ground between noos and psyche, in a weird way.
 

Linebaugh

Well-known member
The thing is this sounds like a fancy concept for essentially just getting your shit together and being politically educated and engaged. I'm not sure how it's that different from undergoing psychotherapy and reading a bunch of stuff on theory.
Yah it could benefit from a delineating of activities that fall outside of general self help stuff. But I see the suggestion yr getting at
 

Linebaugh

Well-known member
Pyschogeography had the 'derive' which led to the mapping of cities completely mentally, all of this somehow reflecting on capitalism or something
 

constant escape

winter withered, warm
The thing is this sounds like a fancy concept for essentially just getting your shit together and being politically educated and engaged. I'm not sure how it's that different from undergoing psychotherapy and reading a bunch of stuff on theory.
You're right about it in that it sorta wants you to be engaged and educated - I like the idea of building toward something like that.

From what I gather, the only thing really unique about this is that it requires you to, in effect, alienate yourself from your beliefs in the interest of "charting some path" and then returning to your beliefs.

I mean, this does kinda border on psychosis, inasfar as it requires you to detach yourself from your reality (to the extent that your beliefs constitute your reality).

Trying to preserve the aforementioned unique element/tactic, while mitigating the psychosis risk. It's all highly speculative now, because something about it is just begging to fly you off the rails. Even if its a false positive, I'm inclined to take the risk seriously.
 

Linebaugh

Well-known member
Feels like Chaos Magic is somewhere related in here too, though my understanding of it is pretty rudimentary so apologies to anyone that knows better.
Your sigil acts as a work around to all of your psychic inhibitors- focus on the sigil and leave your pysche, a little like a mantra for meditation. Then I believe when you find your sigil manifested out in public (maybe its a lizard or something?) your supposed to follow it unquestioningly. The goal of Chaos Magic a lot like what youve got worked out here, too shed all thats coded into you passively
 
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