Palliative Services as the Interdisciplinary Way of Dealing with Medicinal and Nursing Care
Technology is a positive change in society when regarding efficiency in the workplace and different daily tasks. Nevertheless, technology can make people feel, think, and process things differently in a negative way. The change in the brain is known as neuroplasticity which is the brain’s ability to alter its behavior based on new experiences. Due to technology, people have become fewer social animals and rely on technology to communicate. The brain is forced to decrease in neuroplasticity since the information we “need” to know is usually within arms’ reach. Being overly connected in the technological world can cause psychological issues such as instant expectations, depression, and extended distraction from the world around you. The concept of humanization, explained by Ellul, is making the disadvantages unnoticeable that other techniques have created.
Furthermore, the psychological numbness we experience in society due to technology helps create this persona that everyone engages in. The persona is the social face individuals present to the world. It is a type of mask designed to make positive impressions on others and conceal the true self of that person. In reference to the technological society, we currently live in, as technology becomes more advanced, the personas we hold become more similar to others. There is no psychological diversity. This implication of not being one’s own individual is the main point in Carl Jung’s psychological concept of the collective unconscious. Rhinoceros, written by Ionesco, is a prime example of how conforming to society creates a mask in the collective unconscious. Jung’s theories involving persona, the collective unconscious, and individuation provide evidence of psychological degeneration in modern society through The Technological Society and Rhinoceros.
Analysis 1: The Technological Society, Ellul
When speaking of Ellul, the word techniques is used which should not be confused with technology. According to Ellul, technique refers to any complex means for getting a fixed result. These disadvantages include the ability to think without the need of technology and the ability to live without technology. The lack of technology an individual has becomes a disadvantage because they are now unable to communicate with the rest of society. Technology is a complex set of techniques that humankind has advanced for personal gratification. Without technique, technology, aspects of psychology, and science would not exist. Technology is addictive, and the more complex and advanced it becomes, the more difficult it is to detach oneself from those devices. It becomes necessary in human processing. He suggests that technology has already surpassed humankind and soon humans will lose control of it.
Ellul explains that techniques “attackman, impairs the sources of his vitality, and takes away his mystery” (Ellul, 1954). This means that the powers of technology are almost impossible to fight in this current period and will only get harder. It has basically become the only source of communication and knowledge within the world. Furthermore, the vitality taken from the man is his sense of freedom and ability to think rationally. Individuals do not have the ability to think for oneself anymore without using technology for help. People stop questioning things in life and therefore the mystery they crave for and the unknown is taken away by technology.
The use of technology pulls individuals away from intimate, local connections, and instead use the internet to facilitate interactions. These small instances cause the brain to change. Since the brain is not being challenged to store information and to process concepts, the plasticity of the brain decreases making less neuronal connections. The dynamics of technique combine to diminish an individual’s ability to internalize information. Short-term memory sustained attention and information processing slowly dissipate as individuals lessen their social connections and increase their time of isolation.
Additionally, Ellul explains that the job of a technician is to develop human techniques to a perfect pitch that even when man is face to face with that perfectly functioning machine, he does not have “human initiative or the desire to escape” (Ellul, 1954). Ellul means that people are turned into machines that no longer can self-express. The only concept they possess is the illusion of freed through the techniques they are constantly advancing. This ultimately means that there is no true desire to escape the capable way of living. Ellul then proceeds to explain that “one of the objectives of certain human techniques is to rob him of this mystery” (Ellul, 1954). The mystery pertains to the psychological independence each individual has.
Ellul explains that people are “subjects to a psychic pressure that kills a little more than freedom” (Ellul, 1954). The assault on humankind’s unconsciousness has resulted in psychological crises that are incapable of being resolved. He explained that our personal identities have been stolen by techniques, in modern times and technological advancements. The technique has been drilled into humankind’s psychology causing people to be reliant on man-made products and ways of techniques that use small amounts of cognitive functioning. The advanced technique of internet use is drastically changing the way people process information. Individuals read less, move through information without interest, and multitask more causing the brain the increase neuronal responses. Nevertheless, these increased neuronal responses can be detrimental to the brain because it causes the brain to reach some type of capacity.
Furthermore, according to Ellul (1954), technical evolution is not possible without social plasticity. This is a collective inclination to abandon longstanding religious traditions in favor of society's progress in terms of individual prosperity. However, this does not mean that the individual is seen as one. By committing to social plasticity, the individual conforms to the persona that that technique created for humankind. Technique comes from and creates social plasticity. The confirmation has caused individuals to perceive society in a way of wanting something more instead of analyzing what an individual needs in life. The envy of an individual causes them to want and therefore acquire the thing they are envious of to be like the desired individual. Carl Jung explains that it is catastrophic to attempt to make clear what is in a person’s collective unconscious. This then causes issues for a person to go through individuation and achieve self-realization.
Analysis 2: Rhinoceros, Ionesco
The main character of Rhinoceros is Berenger who is an outcast to everyone else in the small town. Everyone in the play begins turning into rhinoceros around him, however, he is the only one who is truly noticing these changes. He questions to change things to help stop these changes, however, the girl he likes, Daisy, convinces him to mind his own business. In the end of the play, he attempts to convert to fit in but is unable to change into a rhinoceros since he does not possess the persona everyone else has. When analyzing Jung’s purpose of persona, Rhinoceros explains the different aspects of the collective unconscious.
The collective unconsciousness of the community is set against change and in favor of conformity. Berenger complains about ideologies, political slogans, and being scared by the rhinoceros’ power. He finds himself in a place where each person tries to be like the other causing them to become depersonalized. Individuals constantly conform to what they think is correct without expressing themselves. Nevertheless, Berenger changes his morals by the end of the play. In the beginning, Berenger escapes his issues by drinking alcohol. Rather than accept the presence of the rhinos, he holds on to his personal humanistic identity and questions why a person wants to be someone else, or act like others. Dudard and Berenger converse about the rhinoceros stampeding through the town to attempt to find ways to stop it. Furthermore, the two talk about the rhinoceros as a disease.
Dudard is convinced that it is something a person could cure if they wanted to (Ionesco, 1959). He is suggesting that a person can use their free will to cure this disease. Because it is a disease, a person has susceptible to developing the disease. Berenger is immune to the rhinoceroses’ disease. Additionally, since the basis of Rhinoceros is political upbringings during Ionesco’s time, one must analyze the issues of conformity within societies outside of the play. Dudard suggests to Berenger that he should not be worried about a few people changing their skins to rhinoceros. In his society, he is saying that he should not get angered by a few people becoming a part of a political reign that could end in disaster (Ionesco, 1959). However, Dudard’s actions of just watching and not saying anything is an issue today. He eventually joins the rhinos.
The use of technique and technology envelopes people and causes others to conform without knowing the consequences it can cause to the human body, brain, and consciousness. Throughout the play, Berenger has this need to belong to people which should make him susceptible to the rhinoceros’ disease. However, Berenger is the only citizen of the town that does not turn into a rhinoceros. This is because throughout the play he has a constant concern about how his society works that no one else worries about. These worries soon turn into alcoholism and self-realization. He is unable to find an instant way to sympathize with the rhinos causing him to be unable to confirm. Furthermore, the other characters also face some indefinitely dangerous transformations.
Everyone except Berenger becomes rhinoceroses and loses their subjective identities. Unfortunately, Berenger is the only character that truly recognizes that this change is an epidemic turning others into beasts. They do not resist these changes and others who soon turn into rhinoceros, Daisy, admire the new form of humanity. By taking new forms and ceasing to recognize one’s own identity, they cause psychological harm to themselves.
Carl Jung’s theory of collective unconsciousness can be applied to today’s society. The collective unconscious exists in every individual. It is a collaboration of archetypes humanity has. Some archetypes include the concept of a mother, a higher being, and a hero. These are features that many people share from birth, including constructs such as anxiety and pleasure. The collective unconscious can be comprised of reflexes to the environment because most of them occur without conscious reasoning. Jung’s perception of unconsciousness is characterized by the state of awareness an individual has in the place of an archetype. Additionally, in modern society, techniques have become a type of archetype. This includes technology at its present state.
Many individuals are unable to process information without some form of advanced technique, in this cased technology, around them. The persona can become excessive and suggests an unnatural personality. This causes the natural, authentic personality of an individual to evanesce until it becomes unrecognizable or unattainable. Jung stated that Persona is an individual’s system of adaptation to” dealing with the world (Jung, 1990). He believed that a certain type of behavior is forced onto that individual causing irreversible damage to their true personalities. The excessive developments of personas are common within politicians and anyone that has a special role to play in society.
Ionesco’s Rhinoceros examines the irreversible damage caused by conformity to unnatural personalities. The main character of Rhinoceros, Berenger, is the prime example of someone Jung thinks is a fully functioning individual. He symbolizes individuation and consciousness, whereas the other characters that conform turn into the collective consciousness. Individuation is Jung’s concept that describes a self-realization process. It is a person’s achievement of a sense of individuality separate from others identity. They begin living consciously as humans and think in a way that is different from others. Due to his lack of conformity, he was the only person within the town to achieve individuation. Evolutionarily, we are perfectly capable of functioning with basic techniques that grant the necessities. However, humans have evolved with the impeding expectation that their lives must be lived easier to live a happier life.
These techniques are created to help individuals easily confirm or attempt to achieve to reach this easy lifestyle. In the play, Berenger states that “if one really doesn’t want to catch this thing…you simply don’t catch it” (Ionesco, 1959). He talks about the conformation as if it is a rhino virus. Technique advancement and technological use become viruses in the modern world because everyone uses these concepts and we are incapable of functioning properly without them.
Ellul believed that an individual’s identity was supposed to be created by human interactions and personal reflection. These concepts of human development Ellul focuses are modern ideal archetypes Jung addresses in his theories. Personal reflection involves the unconscious and conscious thought of an individual. It allows an individual to use the frontal cortex more efficiently for information processing and cognitive thinking. However, as Ellul eluded to, individuals now form their identities and personal conceptions based on techniques, mostly the techniques used to create technology – television, radios, and video games.
In the sense of Ellul these have become the new archetypes to humankind. People are now unable to function in society without these advanced techniques. The assimilation into the technological society is catastrophic for the individual’s psychology because it changes internal processes for the individual. This destructive incorporation develops the personality characteristic of the persona as mentioned earlier.
Furthermore, the actual use of the technique can have more damaging effects on neuroplasticity than thought. Jung describes the death of the ego as psychic death. The ego is the conscious mind that is made up of thoughts, memories, feelings, and awareness. It is responsible for identity and keeping repressed memories repressed. When the ego hypothetically dies, the ability to process memories, feelings, states of awareness, and thoughts as an individual decrease with time.
Moreover, sustained attention and information retention decrease while short-term memory dissipate. Therefore, Ellul’s The Technological Society and Ionesco’s Rhionceros explain the psychological degradation humankind is currently facing due to the modern archetypes created, the persona developed through technique, and the constant loss of mystery in the human brain.