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Viktor Frankl, a World War II era psychiatrist, developed a form of therapy based precisely on this premise, namely, that a person's subjective experience is determined by the meaning (or lack thereof) ascribed to that experience. It's called logotherapy.
Logotherapy is a term derived from “logos,” a Greek word that translates as “meaning,” and therapy, which is defined as treatment of a condition, illness, or maladjustment. Developed by Viktor Frankl, the theory is founded on the belief that human nature is motivated by the search for a life purpose; logotherapy is the pursuit of that meaning for one’s life. Frankl's theories were heavily influenced by his personal experiences of suffering and loss in Nazi concentration camps.
Origins of Logotherapy
Victor Frankl was born in Vienna in 1905. He trained as a psychiatrist and neurologist, working from the framework of existential therapy. During World War II, Frankl spent about three years in various Nazi concentration camps, an experience that greatly influenced his work and the development of logotherapy. Frankl observed that those who were able to survive the experience typically found some meaning in it, such as a task that they needed to fulfill. For Frankl personally, his desire to rewrite a manuscript that had been confiscated upon arrival at Auschwitz was a motivating factor. After the camps were liberated, Frankl resumed his work as a neurologist and psychiatrist. In 1946, he published Man’s Search for Meaning, outlining his experiences in the concentration camps as well as the basic tenets and techniques of logotherapy.
I highly recommend the book.
I would agree with the assessment that to summarily lump all drugs, as defined as any substance affecting an alteration in brain chemistry, under a single category so broad as "intoxicant." If indeed we were to do such a thing, then we would have to include sugar in our list of intoxicants because consuming sugar alters brain chemistry. As a matter of fact, reading these words right this very moment is altering your brain chemistry. All kinds of things are happening at the molecular level as you parse and understand these words.
Consider too substances that alter brain chemistry but are not considered classical intoxicants. Antidepressant medications come to mind, especially the most commonly prescribed class, the SSRIs. Do these drugs alter brain chemistry? Oh yes. Profoundly so. Not only do they modify brain chemistry, they modify its very structure.
But then, so does experience. What we often see in the depressed brain are structural abnormalities where the amygdala, the center for fear response and emotional regulation, shows increased synaptic density and activity, and the hippocampus, the region responsible for learning and memory, shows reduced activity. Antidepressants, along with things like exercise, can reverse this structural difference to varying degrees and increase the rate at which the brain can create new neural pathways.
So when it comes to drugs, defined as anything that affects the brain's function, there is no clear cut answer. It is up to every person to make up his or her own mind about what is or is not good for them. I think that deep down, people know their own truths.
You took that waaaaaayyy too seriously.
It's pretty evident that emojis aren't a symbolic language all on their lonesome; they lack all the requisite features of any self-contained writing system. The comparison to cueiniform is merely for humorous effect.
Nevertheless, in response to your valid point, I personally find the overuse (i.e., non-skillful use) of emojis obnoxious and disingenuous. A string of emojis doesn't add any value to any conversation that isn't surface-level chitchat. When it comes to substance, I trust a man who smiles too much very little; I trust a man who does nothing but send "haha" and happy faces even less.
The key difference between nonverbal cues and using emojis is that most people really aren't that great at hiding what they're genuinely feeling, at least if you're attuned to such things. Smiling from the wrist down, however, is easy. Emojis or no, I refuse to have any important conversation about anything unless it's face to face. It's really frustrating trying to find people my age who understand this. It's a whole generation who grew up on the Diet Coke of communication mediums.
I got a really weird look at dinner the other day when I pointed out how history inevitably moves in cycles, and here we are introducing cuneiform again...
Thank you all for your kind responses. I am a bit overwhelmed. To be honest, I worried that I was being boring or self-centered. I very much appreciate the feedback, advice, and encouragement.