21 February 2006

Etymology of the word "poneros" and its implications

The following was posted by a reader to the Signs of the Times Forum: Signs of the Times is unique among the alternative media sites I have explored in its focus on Sociopolitical Ponerology. In my view, this approach provides an opportunity for alternative media to play the balancing role for the mind that alternative medicine can accomplish for the body. Upon reading "Ponerology Blog: The Genesis of Evil on a Macrosocial Scale" the first thing that drew my attention (being Greek myself), was the etymology of the word “ponerology”. The blog says it comes from the Greek word poneros, meaning “evil”. This is true, but there is more depth to it that may be worth examining, given that on-line definitions are seriously lacking, and mostly have a biblical bias. Poneros in Modern Greek means one whose mind tends toward evil, a sly underhanded person, or even one with a “dirty” mind. The word is related to the word “ponos”, which means pain. Both pain and poneros (as well as the English derivatives “penitence” and “penitentiary”) come from the ancient root “penomai” meaning “to exert effort” in the debilitating sense. Pain is the result of this “effort”, and the poneric person (or poneros) is its propagator. Actually, “effort” is not precisely the right word. Penomai is something I do to myself that wears me down, that harms me and makes me suffer. In other words, it is an imposition of entropy upon my person by my person. We can, therefore, understand the poneric person as a propagator of self-generated entropy. The poneros is not simply someone who acts to cause pain, but a state of entropic being that perpetuates itself. Biblically, this was identified as the “devil”. What the poneros propagates is his or her very state of being. An analogy would be a walking pod spreading seeds that infect anything they touch, and that turn whatever is infected into a pod as well (shades of the Body-snatchers). According to the (rather intuitive and extended) implications of the etymologic meaning, the poneric person is not a carrier of some parasite, but a mutation propagating itself by converting other organisms to the same mutational pattern. Poneric persons, therefore, constantly break down and undermine their own being, as they are personifications of psychic entropy. It stands to reason that if left alone they would simply end up consuming themselves. To inhibit or even delay this breakdown, they would need support from others to which they could channel the same dynamics, undermining harmony, life and integrity in order to relieve themselves of the self-consuming poneric pressure. This is not to be mistaken with a passing of a burden. Rather the pressure poneric people feel is more similar to the reproductive drive. As such, propagating the entropy that consumes them, regardless if others become directly poneric or simply victims of other forms of breakdown (pain and suffering), gives the propagators of ponos a sense of accomplishment and meaning no matter how they dress it. Indeed, they do dress it (often in elaborate and deceptive ways), not because they feel misgivings, but as camouflage to make propagation easier. In that sense, ideological dressings are similar to biological adaptations to better serve the poneric drive. When enough ponerics have been “seeded” to create a pathocracy (literally the “rule of suffering”) the dressings are usually discarded. This is also described by Ponerologic theory, as I understand it. Space does not permit further development of this topic, although I would like to comment that the biological analogy, along with the understanding that poneric infection is a mutation of the mind, may provide insight as to how to deal with it, and I may elaborate upon that train of thought in a future thread. Lobaczewski's "Ponerology", however, is literally a gold mine of such insight, and the more we explore it the more “weapons” we can forge to address what amounts to a pathocratic outbreak of epidemic proportions in our turbulent times.


Blogger Vierotchka said...

Which brings us to the concept of Memes.

5:03 PM  
Blogger Sandra L. Brown, MA said...

I have worked in the field of psychopathology for over 20 years. To me, this issue is very plain to see but for others and especially it's victims whom I treat....it is not so easy to see. As the culture becomes more psychopathic in nature, I think it will become clearer but by then, so many will have mated with pathologicals that our society will face severe strain due to it.

1:42 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

hmmm, I am Brazilian

right to the point,
sad, but true !

The quest that arises is death of WHAT, WHOM, or worst HOW MANY ... ? cause and effect OR cause OR effect ?
Is it definitive ? Are there alternatives ? but, that's another history ... for future consideration.


see also: Algophobia x algophilia

Algophobia is a phobia of pain - an abnormal and persistent fear of pain that is far more powerful than that of a normal person. [1]

Algophobia is a self-destructive or cycling phobia. A person suffering from algophobia will feel psychological pain from the phobia, which again triggers the phobia and causes more pain, and so on in a destructive cycle. The fear is excessive, beyond that which is expected under the circumstances, producing an anxiety reaction.


1. Pleasure experienced in the thought of pain in others or in oneself.

6:06 PM  
Blogger hawlmnyair said...

I enjoyed your posting, insightful and thought provoking. It is a word that i will be looking into more while studying the topic.I will be leaving the address to your blog on mine so others can read this. if you have an issue surrounding that let me know.


12:08 AM  

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