X-Message-Number: 11023
Date: Sun, 3 Jan 1999 15:29:00 -0600 (CST)
Subject: Re: Self-esteem et al

Read slow or skip.

Not easy to skim the following without misunderstanding.

Sorry.  That's the problem with this medium.

In Message #10994 Timur Rozenfeld wrote: "I don't intend to get involved in the 

debate because I am clearly on the Branden side and don't see any arguments 
self-esteem, only low self-esteem, which I agree with."

I challenge you to read the alternative view, best expressed in Albert Ellis' 
book IS 

OBJECTIVISM A RELIGION so that you may learn these arguments and their critical 
relevance to 
meaningful life extension (which are simple to extrapolate).  

(ASIDE to Mike Perry: For those unaware of Dr. Ellis' work, go to any major 
bookstore, go to 

self-help or the psychology section, look for Ellis.  He'll be there.  Mike 
Perry is right. It 

is not relevant as to whether Ellis signed up for cryonics.  What is relevant to
us is what he 

proposes.  BTW, Ellis is a self-proclaimed atheist, materialist, a trained 

psychoanalyst, a licensed psychologist, is still living in his eighties and has 
many wise things 

to offer all of which I do not agree with.  His Institute for Rational Living 
continues to train 

therapists worldwide in REBT as it has for over 40 years if I have counted my 
beans correctly).

Timor Rosenfeld continued, "And I agree that the experiencer is not the 
experience. But again, I 
see no relevance to self-esteem."

Then exactly WHO is not seeing the relevance?  Are "you" the experiencer, or 

It is precisely BECAUSE you "ARE" the experiencer, that esteeming the self is 

IMPOSSIBLE, an illusion.  The experiencer cannot be experienced.  How can you 
measure "you" 

which cannot be known, against any standard, remembering that this measurement 
IS self-esteem 
by definition?  

Timor Rosenfeld also wrote, "Only because you knew reality were you [able to] 
identify the 

The assumption (from Ayn Rand) is that any epistemology must be based upon a 

Again, see Ellis for the still unanswered challenge to this claim.  It remains 
an unproven 

(ASIDE: You should understand that I do NOT accept at least two of the three 

principles" of Objectivisim due to the evidence drawn from Bell's Theorum and 

experimental support, not to mention the evidence of the last 90 years of 

physics.  Along this line, Godel's proof may be embarrassing to those supporting
dogma but it 

does not go away. Dr. Ellis does not rely on any of these scientific evidences 
for his 
criticisms, I might add).

Timor Rosenfeld concluded with, "To summarize, I agree with much of what you 
say, but I see all 

of this as an attack on a straw-man self-esteem, or really low self-esteem, 
because all
the examples you give are of people with low self-esteem."

Self-esteem is self-evaluation, high, medium or low.  

Self-esteem has serious problems on two levels.  

First, if you CANNOT identify what "you" (the self) actually "are" (as I have 

then you are NOT evaluating the self, but OTHER THINGS which you either DO or 

Second, those items you falsely identify with are then measured against OTHER 
ITEMS.  Because by 

your own false definition "you" are NOT those other items, you cannot ever be 
sure when those 

other items will rise in value against the items you have identified with, 
producing your "low 

The choice of the identification is arbitrary.  The identification itself is 
false (as I have 

already demonstrated).  The outcome leaves you in a state of never knowing with 
any certainty 

whether today's "high self-esteem" will be tomorrow's "low self-esteem".  
("There's always gonna 

be a faster gunfighter, Billy.  Youth sooner or later beats age, Billy.  Here, 
use a shotgun 
instead and AMBUSH 'em!).

The entire fantasy is build on the shifting sands of desired belief and not 

In every category where an individual lifts his neck from the guillotine of 
self-esteem and 

simply skips this unnecessary mental device, I have found that individual gains 
greater control 
over his life and a reduction of defensiveness toward change.

The next 100 years will have a great deal of change, I believe.

Guess I'll have to write my book after all.


-George Smith

PS: Thank you all for your thoughtful responses to this issue.  Elephants and 
fairy tales seem 

unrelated to cryonics but I believe them to actually be critical.  That the 
no-brainer of 

cryonics has not been widely accepted yet is just one reason I believe these 
ideas important.

(ASIDE to Charles Platt:  I know you disagree and wish that we would all support

research 100% and not waste time discussing these topics.  However I favor 
limited research from 

our limited resources because I seriously question the integrity of the current 
crop of today's 

"scientists" to embrace breakthroughs, rather than to supress them.  Too often 
they cannot see 
the elephant for the Durante! 

(I view this period as a Dark Age and still virtually pre-technological.  The 
trick, I believe, 

is to survive the sociological-psychological anti-human forces which dominate 
the thinking 

structure of most alive today as we encounter the (hopefully) upcoming 
Renaissance.  The poison 

of "the self-esteem trap" [as it was expressed by Robert Fritz in his 1991 book 
CREATING] is at 
the core of this issue, in my opinion).

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