The Psychology of Tactile Imagination: Life is Beautiful

One of my friend’s is a phycologist of whom we got into a debate whether believing a lie was an adequate substitute for the truth in order to heal for past childhood trauma. I firmly disagreed based on the premise of my own logic of truth which is essential to how I have to break things down. Further, someone dear to me had a therapist that attempted this approach which led such person to hatred, bitterness and resentment from the untruthful reality that was adopted.

In essence, my friend could heal from the past that was true, but could not from the fabricated version of truth. It appears almost to be “the conflict” between the subconscious and conscious mind that renders a “draw” internally. Once a person has spent their entire lives navigating their mind and training it to work for them, placing them in a game-like setting can work to either heal or strengthen the negative qualities depending on the person’s goal for being in therapy.

This fabricated version of reality ultimately caused alienation from all others who did not share the same factual observation of truth.

However, in the movie Life is Beautiful an open-minded Jewish librarian and his son become victims of the Holocaust, and he uses a perfect mixture of will, humor and imagination to protect his son from the dangers around their camp, thereby protecting this child from the horrors of the war. Although I have not seen the movie, that paragraph posed an interesting idea: whether you could shield your mind from trauma by the belief you were in a game. However, this also would need to be accomplished with empathy in order to not become devoid of empathy.

Naturally, the difference between my friend’s theory and my own (that I dub the Phycology of Tactile Imagination) is I maintain it can only be successfully accomplished if the person becomes aware that they are playing a game at the inception, or close to the inception, before the trauma triggers the subconscious and begins to bridge with the ego that irreparably injures the self.

Another movie (of which I have not seen) that addresses this concept is Wargames. In this movie, Matthew Broderick finds a back door into a military central computer in which reality is confused with game-playing, possibly starting World War III. The ending results in which the computer is forced to play tic-tac-toe against itself which results in an endless amount of draws, forcing the computer to learn the concept of futility and no-win scenarios. The computer concludes that nuclear war is “a strange game” in which “the only winning move is not to play.”

In a more fascinating topic for further explanation, that every rule which was developed on behalf of another protected the self. It also rendered beneficial to establish a truth even when such truth was reasonably certain to be false until a further truth could be explored to obtain a subjective reality.

Emotional bonds do occur – without too much depth, think Brangelina.

However, it may prove an interesting exploration for phycologists to consider that how the narrative is presented is more important than the events that are transpiring. Another interesting concept worth mentioning is if reality gets intermingled in anyway during the game, that is when fear and paranoia manifest.

In game mentality, “the conflict” of what one “knows to be true” and “feels to be true” has to be overrided by what one “knows” to prevent trauma, but the feelings were almost always on target, but in some cases they were not – in fact, on the most important of decisions feelings tended to be more of a hinderance. Truth is objective and therefore must be tangible; subjective is intangible. Therefore, I am under the belief that an objective reality is needed for subjective truth.

Naturally, in Life is Beautiful, the emotional damage that the boy could have suffered would have been too great, but he remained unscathed by his father’s determination to shield him from the Holocaust. Thus, the father had to take the burden of game playing on himself. It should be noted that the person in control of the game is not able to separate completely from such if emotions are involved. However, regardless of which ideas are being implanted, by far, the strategy for override to protect the brain from severe trauma is basically Disney – love, hope, and plow forward (if you are not able to remove yourself from the situation of course). While it may not free one of all emotional trauma, it remarkably safeguards the mind and can actually strengthen it. Logical breakdowns applied with rules to safeguard empathy are essential as well. However, it should be noted, those rules often can become difficult with the logical breakdown to where the only possible “win” is not to play unless the relationship can be recalibrated.

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