Author Topic: Hypnosis  (Read 6880 times)

Kafiri

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Hypnosis
« on: May 06, 2008, 10:15:50 AM »
It may be that some of you out "there" have researched this before and can help me.  What exactly, in Jung's terms, is going on when a person is hypnotized?  It seems that consciousness is out of the picture, but yet information and data is still being received and processed by the psyche.  What is the pathway by which this data/information is received and processed?
"We lie loudest when we lie to ourselves."
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Matt Koeske

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Re: Hypnosis
« Reply #1 on: May 13, 2008, 10:34:52 AM »

Kafiri, I can't recall what Jung had to say about hypnosis beyond (paraphrasing) "You can't make somebody under hypnosis do something against their moral disposition."  But I suspect this was something discovered by previous psychologists . . . especially since the generation of psychologists before/teaching Jung were very interested in hypnosis.

I have no personal experience with hypnosis (and am probably one of those majority of people who can't be hypnotized), so unlike with many of the things I take a stab at here on the site, Hypnosis is fairly mysterious to me and beyond my scope.  From what I've read (in skeptic literature), there are certain people who, for whatever reason, are hypnotizable.  In stage magic shows that feature hypnotism, these "marks" are searched for by the hypnotist (who has learned to recognize various signs of suggestibility in potential volunteers).  In hypnosis studies, highly hypnotizable people are also sought out/screen for.

The only other thing I can contribute is that (also, from the little I've read), consciousness is not really "out of the picture" during hypnosis, but perhaps merely suspended or altered as in trance or meditation.

From Wikipedia:
Quote
Anna Gosline says in a NewScientist.com article:

"Gruzelier and his colleagues studied brain activity using an fMRI while subjects completed a standard cognitive exercise, called the Stroop task.

The team screened subjects before the study and chose 12 that were highly susceptible to hypnosis and 12 with low susceptibility. They all completed the task in the fMRI under normal conditions and then again under hypnosis.

Throughout the study, both groups were consistent in their task results, achieving similar scores regardless of their mental state. During their first task session, before hypnosis, there were no significant differences in brain activity between the groups.

But under hypnosis, Gruzelier found that the highly susceptible subjects showed significantly more brain activity in the anterior cingulate gyrus than the weakly susceptible subjects. This area of the brain has been shown to respond to errors and evaluate emotional outcomes.

The highly susceptible group also showed much greater brain activity on the left side of the prefrontal cortex than the weakly susceptible group. This is an area involved with higher level cognitive processing and behaviour."


The Skeptic's Dictionary says:
Quote
Hypnotherapists. While it is true that some hypnotherapists can help some people lose weight, quit smoking, or overcome their fear of flying, it is also true that cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) can do the same without any mumbo-jumbo about trance states or brain waves. There have been many scientific studies on the effectiveness of CBT. For example, one   systematic study found that CBT improves weight loss in people who are overweight or obese.  Another systematic study found that CBT appears to be an effective and acceptable treatment for adult out-patients with chronic fatigue syndrome. Finding high quality scientific evidence for hypnotherapy, however, poses a major problem. As R. Barker Bausell says: hypnosis and the placebo effect are "so heavily reliant upon the effects of suggestion and belief that it would be hard to imagine how a credible placebo control could ever be devised for a hypnotism study" (2007: 268). Even if you could devise a hypnosis study that isolated the role of suggestion and belief, how would you do "fake" hypnosis?

Hypnotherapy is said to effective for such things as helping people lose weight, quit smoking, or overcome a phobia. Most of the evidence for the effectiveness of hypnotherapy is anecdotal, despite the claims of such groups as the American Society of Clinical Hypnosis (ASCH). Not surprisingly, all the anecdotes are positive! Nobody collects examples of failures or tells the world about their "incomplete successes." If one compares the characteristics of the placebo effect and those of hypnotherapy it is hard to distinguish the difference between these two ducks. Both work because participants believe they work and they occur in a clinical setting where the client is highly motivated for the therapy to work and the provider has all the accoutrements of the healing arts. Suggestion is the heart and soul of both. Hypnosis adds such things as asking the client to relax (important for suggestion to work) or to concentrate on something (which may be completely superfluous).

Also from the same article:
Quote
Scientific studies have found out a few things about hypnosis. We know that there is a significant correlation between being able to be absorbed in imaginative activity and being responsive to hypnosis.* We know that those who are fantasy-prone are also likely to make excellent hypnotic subjects. We know that vivid imagery enhances suggestibility. We know that those who think hypnosis is rubbish can’t be hypnotized. We know that hypnotic subjects are not turned into zombies  and are not controlled by their hypnotists. We know that hypnosis does not enhance the accuracy of memory in any special way. We know that a person under hypnosis is very suggestible and that memory is easily “filled-in” by the imagination and by suggestions made under hypnosis. We know that confabulation  is quite common while under hypnosis and that many states do not allow testimony that has been induced by hypnosis because it is intrinsically unreliable. We know the greatest predictor of hypnotic responsiveness is what a person believes about hypnosis.


I've seen some other opinions which suggest that hypnosis is not so much a trance-like/meditative state as it is a state of extreme focus . . . which makes it perhaps compatible with transference phenomenon, a sharing among two or more people in a mythic or narrative "vessel" or theater of world-/self-construction.  This sounds plausible to me, and from what I've seen many people mistake the "mysteries" of transference for transcendent and supernatural phenomena.  But again, although I am quite familiar with transference, I can't directly compare it to hypnosis, which is utterly foreign to me.

Similarity between hypnotic states and active imagination also seems likely.  As a creative writer, I would describe my standard writing modus operandi as much like active imagination (and my dream-like poetry is pretty clear evidence of this).  During such writing, my conscious mind is open to the "suggestion" of my unconscious in a manner similar to dreaming (without full submergence into the unconsciousness of the dream state).  Many things "pop into my head" that at first make no sense to my consciousness or are the product of extreme associative complexity that I would have to consciously puzzle out ("back-think") in order to understand their components (memory quanta) and the pattern of their combination.  I've always found these things to yield logical structures under analysis and deeper reflection.  It is, in my opinion, the conscious state that is prone to illogic and irrationality, because so much that composes it is gleaned, condensed, constructed, filtered, estimated, and unreflected upon. 

My experience of the unconscious is that its thoughts are profoundly logical and have a notably physical or material/spatial quality to them.  E.g., memory quantum A connects to memory quanta B, C, D, E, and F in a spatially consistent manner, much like putting a puzzle together in three dimensional space or molecules in a compound.  But memory quanta are or the unconscious is vast, complex, highly iterated, intricately interrelated in a way that every association has quantitative valuation or potentiation.  I.e., some associations between quanta are stronger than others, and there is a scale of association strength.  What fascinates me about this phenomenological observation is that it exactly parallels neuronal structure and behavior.

To be fair, this sense of a logical, physical/material/spatial psyche really only became very apparent to me in recent years (although increasingly apparent to me before then).  In the past, much of this structure seemed illogical or irrational to me, more mysterious . . . and the accompanying numinousness made it seem somewhat supernatural or divine/spiritual.  That is, my more biological approach to psyche today is not the product of a lack of imagination and a tendency toward skepticism, but rather a continuation of the more symbolic spiritual journey I had long pursued before "biologizing" and becoming a full-blown atheist and materialist.  Currently, I see no contradiction between the spiritual/numinous feelings I've always had (and still have) for these introspective journeys into psyche and the more scientific, materialistic theories of psyche I've formulated more recently.

That is, I don't feel any different.  My sense of value for what I am perceiving has not been altered even as my clarity of perception has improved.  Call it God, the Self, complexity, matter, Nature . . . I understand the feeling of the thing, and it is differentiable from the thing itself, from what it actually is.  I believe that materialism does not have to mean devaluation of this feeling or numen or spirit.  I.e., materialism is not, as it is so often portrayed, the enemy of spirituality.  These two things are entirely compatible on some level . . . and the only way to comprehend that compatibility is to undertake the spiritual journey, even into its despiritualization or materialization.  Which is what the Second Opus of alchemy is also all about, in my opinion.

Sorry for the digression  ;D.  Back to work for me now!

-Matt
You can always come back, but you can’t come back all the way.

   [Bob Dylan,"Mississippi]

Keri

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Re: Hypnosis
« Reply #2 on: May 13, 2008, 02:55:19 PM »
Dear Kafiri,

I have virtually no knowledge of this subject, but a couple things came to mind as I was reading about it in Wiki.  Several of the paragraphs mentioned ideas related to focused attention or concentration, and blocking out other stimuli.

Quote
Hyper-suggestibility
Currently a more popular "hyper-suggestibility theory" states that the subject focuses attention by responding to the hypnotist's suggestion. As attention is focused and magnified, the hypnotist's words are gradually accepted without the subject conducting any conscious censorship of what is being said. This is not unlike the athlete listening to the coach's last pieces of advice minutes before an important sport event; concentration filters out all that is unimportant and magnifies what is said about what really matters to the subject.[30]

Information
An approach loosely based on Information theory uses a brain-as-computer model. In adaptive systems, a system may use feedback to increase the signal-to-noise ratio, which may converge towards a steady state. Increasing the signal-to-noise ratio enables messages to be more clearly received from a source. The hypnotist's object is to use techniques to reduce the interference and increase the receptability of specific messages (suggestions).[31]

Systems
Systems theory, in this context, may be regarded as an extension of James Braid's original conceptualization of hypnosis[32][page # needed] as involving a process of enhancing or depressing the activity of the nervous system. Systems theory considers the nervous system's organization into interacting subsystems. Hypnotic phenomena thus involve not only increased or decreased activity of particular subsystems, but also their interaction. A central phenomenon in this regard is that of feedback loops, familiar to systems theory, which suggest a mechanism for creating the more extreme hypnotic phenomena.[33][34]

This made me think of what may be happening in kids with ADHD who are given stimulant medications.  ADHD is one of those touchy subjects – some people don’t believe it exists, some do.  But it is clear that there are some kids who have similar types of problems in school and in interpersonal relationships (eg, with fellow students or teachers), and that this usually starts to show up around age 3-4, tends to run in families, and leads to all kinds of undesirable outcomes like increased school failure, car accidents, substance abuse, etc.  Perhaps this is something that would not be a problem if our schools or our societies were structured differently, but that is beside the point for the purposes of this conversation.  (Personally, I have a special fondness for my few ADHD patients – they always seem to be quite bright and usually have good senses of humor, unless they’re also depressed or anxious.  I wouldn’t be surprised if they one day discover there was some kind of adaptive advantage for these types of brains at some point during our evolution) 

Anyway, the talk about filtering and focused attention above caused this association for me.  In these kids, it seems that they have a problem between their tonic and phasic levels of dopamine in different areas of the brain.

http://www.nature.com/npp/journal/v29/n9/abs/1300469a.html
Quote
Neuropsychopharmacology (2004) 29, 1589–1596, advance online publication, 28 April 2004; doi:10.1038/sj.npp.1300469
Synaptic Gating and ADHD: A Biological Theory of Comorbidity of ADHD and Anxiety
Florence Levy1
According to Floresco et al (2003) synaptic or phasic
levels of dopamine are mediated by bursting events at the
level of the cell body, restricted by high affinity and rapid
uptake systems, and associated with reward-conditioned
prediction. On the other hand, extrasynaptic or tonic
dopamine levels are modulated by presynaptic limbic and
cortical glutamergic inputs. Alterations in tonic levels of
dopamine efflux occur on a much slower time-scale and
allow a wide variety of motor, cognitive, and motivational
functions. The results provide insight into multiple
regulatory systems that modulate dopamine system function;
burst firing inducing massive synaptic dopamine
release, rapidly removed by reuptake before escaping the
synaptic cleft, whereas increased population activity modulates
tonic extrasynaptic dopamine levels that are less
influenced by reuptake, and presumably affect long-term
disposition. In ADHD children, impairment of tonic/phasic
relationships may influence reinforcement gradients described
by Sagvolden et al (2004), as a result of lowered
availability of tonic DA levels in the mesolimbic and
mesocortical systems, resulting in the stimulus-bound,
impulsive ‘fearless’ behavior of ADHD children. On the
other hand, impaired synaptic gating by PFC at the
accumbens level allows greater access to conditioned
amygdala reactions and the anxiety (or aggression)
described in some ADHD children.

. . .

For example, stimulant medications,
which increase tonic dopamine levels are likely to be useful
for impulsivity and fearlessness, whereas axiolytic medications
such as specific serotonin re-uptake inhibitors (SSRIs)
or combined nor-adrenergic/dopaminergic antidepressants
may be useful for comorbid anxiety. The use of dopamine
partial agonists, which are postulated to have differential
effects in mesolimbic and mesocortical pathways, may also
be of interest (Lieberman, 2004).

The way it was explained to me in med school, these kids have a hard time focusing their attention.  All incoming stimuli seem to have the same importance – the clock ticking on the wall, the teacher’s instructions, the scratching noise of some kid’s pencil, etc.  Stimulants, though it seems counterintuitive to give a “hyperactive” kid a stimulant, help gate out some of those stimuli so the child can concentrate better.

It made me wonder if hypnosis does some similar kind of focusing of attention, though according to the Wiki article, it seems to affect a different area of the brain (the anterior cingulate cortex, which has to do with emotional responses to stimuli).  ADHD drugs, on the other hand, primarily target the prefrontal cortex (PFC), a region of the brain that is associated with attention, decision-making and an individual's expression of personality.  This area also has to do with our “working memory.”


On a personal note, I suspect that, like Matt, I am probably not very hypnotizable.  Not because I’m not imaginative or lack a fantasy life – I’m always day-dreaming, and the characters in books become very real for me!  But maybe because it seems to involve some level of trust that I just don’t think I could get to.  My former therapist had wanted to try something called EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) with me.  Here is a Wiki link on the subject:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/EMDR

Quote
There is no definitive explanation as to how EMDR works. There is some empirical support for three explanations regarding how an external stimulus such as eye movement can facilitate the processing of traumatic memories. The first hypothesis views PTSD as a failure by the individual to process episodic memory;[47][48] the bilateral eye movements involved in EMDR facilitate interaction between the brain's hemispheres, which then improves the processing of trauma-related memories. This hypothesis is supported by a study that tested the effects of eye movement on the ability to retrieve episodic memory. The study found better recall following a horizontal eye movement task compared to that following no eye movement or a vertical eye movement task.[49] A second hypothesis suggests that eye movements facilitate processing of trauma memories by activating a neurobiological state similar to REM sleep wherein associative links to episodic memories are formed and these memories are then integrated into general semantic networks. Stickgold proposed that PTSD occurs when an event is sufficiently arousing to prevent its transfer from encoding from an episodic memory to a semantic memory.[48] As a result of high arousal levels, associations between the traumatic event and other related events fail to develop. He argues that the attentional redirecting in EMDR induces a neurobiological state similar to REM sleep. He then reviews the research that suggests that REM sleep enhances processing of episodic memory through the preferential activation of weak associative and semantic links. Thus in EMDR trauma-related information that is closely associated with a target event is weakened and ancillary information loosely related to the event is strengthened, allowing the integration of trauma-related material with other loosely associated events in the person’s life. Support for this argument comes from a study that found that, compared to eye fixation, eye movement promoted attentional flexibility and increased preparedness to process metaphorical material.[50]

A third hypothesis links the eye movements in EMDR with the orienting response.[51] MacCulloch and Feldman argued that eye movements trigger the investigation component of the orienting response, which can either produce avoidance behaviour or inhibit avoidance responses. Inhibiting avoidance behaviour includes reducing both negative somatic responses and cognitive changes that would allow fresh investigatory behaviour to commence. MacCulloch and Feldman proposed that initially when danger is identified there is a negative affect response. However a second part of the orienting response is to scan for further danger, and this investigatory reflex seems to accompany a positive physical response. In the authors’ opinion, eye movement induces this investigatory reflex and produces a relaxation response. A relaxation response was, in fact, found in a study that investigated the autonomic responses of participants when they were engaged in an eye movement task as part of EMDR treatment[52] and when participants focused on negative memories while engaging in eye movement [23]. However there is not a differential effect of eye movement on a relaxation response when participants focused on positive memories.[53] This supports the hypothesis that eye movements are an orienting response mechanism rather than a simple relaxation mechanism. In addition, recent research that has examined the physiological correlates of eye movements in EMDR has found that a clear orienting response pattern of psycho-physiological de-arousal occurs when eye movements begin, and this de-arousal is characteristic of the physiological changes that occur when an orienting response is elicited [54].

Further data consistent with the orienting response hypothesis was the finding that EMDR treatment was associated with increased left pre-frontal hemisphere activation.[55][56] Investigatory and approach behavior has been shown to be associated with the anterior left hemisphere regions.[57]

Although there’s nothing in there specifically about hypnosis, it does seem to involve a similar area of the brain – the prefrontal cortex.  However, for whatever reason, I was not able to do this.  First I asked a million technical questions and had to go research it for myself, then when I reluctantly agreed to try it (because I was having some distressing PTSD-type symptoms), I found I just could not go through with it.  The interesting thing for me now though, is in that first paragraph where it discusses the second hypothesis, which is that the eye movements stimulate a state similar to REM sleep.  This goes along with what I’m understanding from this site about the purpose of dreams – processing information and making associations.  I might have been more open to it if I had understood that last year.

Of course, none of this addresses your actual question about what is happening in hypnosis in Jungian terms!  Sorry  :)

Love, Keri
O gather up the brokenness
And bring it to me now . . .

Behold the gates of mercy
In arbitrary space
And none of us deserving
The cruelty or the grace

O solitude of longing
Where love has been confined
Come healing of the body
Come healing of the mind
  - Leonard Cohen, "Come Healing"

Let me be in the service of my Magic, and let my Magic be Good Medicine.  -- Dominique Christina

Kafiri

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Re: Hypnosis
« Reply #3 on: May 13, 2008, 04:19:50 PM »
Dear Keri and Matt,
Thank you for replies.  I fear I have, unintentionally, created a bit of a canard regarding hypnosis.  I thought if I could understand how hypnosis worked from a Jungian perspective I might hone a certain hypothesis I have been working on for some time now.  I will try to state the hypothesis later in this post.  My concern on this matter arose, or perhaps re-arose, because I have been rereading portions of Edward T. Hall's "The Silent Language."  Hall is anthropologist.  Let me set some background for what I am attempting to understand by quoting portions of "The Silent Language":

Quote

. . . Honest and sincere men in the field continue to fail to grasp the true significance of the fact that culture controls behavior in deep and persisting ways, many of which are outside of awareness and therefore beyond the conscious control of the individual. . . . p. 35.

This book outlines both a theory of culture and a theory of how culture came into being.  It treats culture in its entirety as a form of communication.  p. 37.

If this book has a message it is that we must learn to understand the 'out-of-awareness' aspects of communication.  We must never assume that we are fully aware of what we communicate to someone else. . . . p. 38.

. . .The average reader who hasn't lived abroad, who finds the work of the diplomat and the Point Four technician exceedingly remote, may be inclined to ask, 'What's this got to do with me?'  This point touched on the ultimate purpose of this book, which is to reveal the broad extent to which culture controls our lives.  Culture is not an exotic notion studied by a select group of anthropologists in the South Seas.  It a mold in which we are all cast, and it controls our daily lives in many unsuspected ways.  In my discussion of culture I will be describing that part of man's behavior which he takes for granted - the part he doesn't think about, since he assumes it is universal or regards it as idiosyncratic. p. 38-39.

Hall, Edward T., The Silent Language.


You can get more information from "The Silent Language" and other books by Hall at:  http://ishkbooks.com/hall.pdf  And, read a brief description of "The Silent Language" at:  http://leadershipcrossroads.com/mat/Silent%20Language.pdf

Simply stated, Hall posits that a great deal of cultural information/data that controls much of our lives enters our psyche " outside of awareness." To me this seems very Jungian.  So when I asked about how hypnosis allows things to get into our psyche "outside consciousness" I was seeking for an explanation of how we might also "ingest" cultural material "outside consciousness."  And, further, where in our psyche does this cultural material dwell?  Since Hall published "The Silent Language," Dawkins has provided us with the idea of "memes," units of culture, and that these units of culture, which inhabit our minds, are in many ways replicators like DNA.  A much more common term for memes is "mind viruses."  Now to see if I can state my hypothesis.

Much more of what affects our lives comes from our culture than we have heretofore understood.  Jung railed against "the collective."  It is my speculation that the collective that so upset Jung consists in great part of cultural material. I further speculate that this cultural material enters the "collective unconscious" unconsciously, and controls our lives much in the manner that Hall describes.  Please allow me to provide a personal example.

I was born in 1943 and raised a "racist."  I grew up in a racist culture.  Never had to "think" about it, it just was.  Sometime around my 40th birthday, for reasons that would take to long here to explain(will later if you want), I realized that my racism was not in my best interests.  It had nothing to do with identity, being liberal or the like.  In a very individual fashion it was simply not in my best interests.  Nowdays I live in the Sand Hills of western Nebraska, and as kind, nice and friendly as the people here are they are very racist.  This culture influences me each and every day.  It is almost like it is something in "the air."  I must fight the racist input from my culture on almost a daily basis. I apologize for going on so long, but I have one more point and I will be quiet.  This overall experience has led me to believe that racism, as that term is used today, does not exist.  What we call racism is based much, much more on cultural differences(memes as mind viruses)than we know.  I also believe that much of this dynamic can be explained in Jungian terms, and it is this explanation that ask you to help me with.  Thanks for your Patience.
Cheers,
Kafiri

PS(added as an edit).  I am easily hypnotized.  I have always enjoyed the experience.  I test out as an ENPF.  I wonder if there is any correlation between typology and ease of hypnosis???
« Last Edit: May 13, 2008, 04:25:16 PM by Kafiri »
"We lie loudest when we lie to ourselves."
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Keri

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Re: Hypnosis
« Reply #4 on: May 13, 2008, 06:25:55 PM »
Dear Kafiri,

I fear I have, unintentionally, created a bit of a canard regarding hypnosis.  I thought if I could understand how hypnosis worked from a Jungian perspective I might hone a certain hypothesis I have been working on for some time now. 

Oh,  :D.

Simply stated, Hall posits that a great deal of cultural information/data that controls much of our lives enters our psyche " outside of awareness." To me this seems very Jungian.  So when I asked about how hypnosis allows things to get into our psyche "outside consciousness" I was seeking for an explanation of how we might also "ingest" cultural material "outside consciousness."  And, further, where in our psyche does this cultural material dwell?  Since Hall published "The Silent Language," Dawkins has provided us with the idea of "memes," units of culture, and that these units of culture, which inhabit our minds, are in many ways replicators like DNA.  A much more common term for memes is "mind viruses."  Now to see if I can state my hypothesis.

Much more of what affects our lives comes from our culture than we have heretofore understood.  Jung railed against "the collective."  It is my speculation that the collective that so upset Jung consists in great part of cultural material. I further speculate that this cultural material enters the "collective unconscious" unconsciously, and controls our lives much in the manner that Hall describes.

It seems to me that Matt approached this in his post to A neuroscientist blogs about a dream of his (http://uselessscience.com/forum/index.php?topic=305.0):

Quote
What I think the neuroscience-based dream theorists are falling into is a dimension of the "egoic fallacy".  In the grip of the egoic fallacy, we do not realize that the way we think we are thinking is not really the way we are thinking.  That is, we confuse the conscious thoughts zipping in and out of our working memories with the entire thought process of the brain.  Of course, if we asked a neuroscientist if s/he believed this was valid, s/he would say, no . . . absolutely not.  Neuroscientists know as well as anyone that the brain's thought process is much larger and more complex than the way we experience it "consciously".  Why then, do they seem to instantly forget this fact when they look at the "illogic" of dream phenomena?

That, as I said above, is the result of a prejudice that limits the constructive thinking of neuroscience.

Another thing that this prejudice against the meaningfulness of dream phenomena leads neurosceintists to conveniently forget when observing dream phenomena is that the human thought process is highly symbolic . . . and not at all rationalistically literal like the socialized ego of modern society.  So (for you neuroscientists lagging behind out there  (-)monkbggrn(-) ), this is how the above adds up: we know that the entire thought process of the brain is much larger and more complex, and therefore, not exactly like the egoic thought process as we (believe! we) perceive it . . . and we know that the thought process is highly symbolic or that it organizes thoughts using the "tool" of symbolism (among other things, of course). 

Therefore, if we are to attempt a more scientific investigation of dream phenomena, we must first try to circumvent the egoic perspective by hypothesizing that the thought process behind dream phenomena should not be treated as literal, rationalistic, or egoic . . . but as 1.) symbolic, and 2.) significantly more complex than the ego-awareness of conscious thinking.

He's talking about dreams here, but I think the general priniciple applies.  We take in information in such a complex way, and only understand (or even register) a fraction of it.  As complex social animals, we are especially good at learning our spoken and unspoken cultural norms.  We just seem to "breathe" it in.  And there are very instinctual parts of us (interested in survival) that seek to keep our behavior within those cultural norms (perhaps by the symbolism of "beliefs").  And maybe this begins to speak to your interest also in "stasists" and "dynamists".

But if the ego is more limited to "working memory" than the rest of the psyche, that might explain why these things are "unconscious."  It's not necessarily that there's anything unique about that cultural information as compared to any other input, it's just that it is a constant, low-level input that is not often egoically recognized.  Have you ever read Daniel Quinn (author of Ishmael, and some others)?  He writes about what Mother Culture whispers in our ears from Day One.

Love, Keri
O gather up the brokenness
And bring it to me now . . .

Behold the gates of mercy
In arbitrary space
And none of us deserving
The cruelty or the grace

O solitude of longing
Where love has been confined
Come healing of the body
Come healing of the mind
  - Leonard Cohen, "Come Healing"

Let me be in the service of my Magic, and let my Magic be Good Medicine.  -- Dominique Christina

Kafiri

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Re: Hypnosis
« Reply #5 on: May 14, 2008, 11:00:10 AM »
Keri,
I have not read Daniel Quinn, but will look around to see if I can find Ishmael.  But I do clearly recall speaking with Sam Keen years ago.  Keen made an analogy with computer programs.  He said there comes a time in our lives when we need to look at the "programs" that have been installed on us and see if they are really good for us.  And like Quinn, he said, " . . .and if you don't think it starts right from day one, remember its pink booties for her and blue for me."  So IMO we are singing out of the same hymnal on this issue.  But now consider this:  cultural material comes into our psyche "out of awareness," it comes back out in Matt's old bugaboo "tribalism," and projection.  Tribalism and projection then give rise to a "us," "them" split.  And, as Hall writes:
Quote

. . .What Americans really like and hold out for is for others to change their systems so that it 'makes sense' like ours. p. 83

Hall echos Jung:

Quote

. . .We used to regard foreigners as political and moral reprobates, but the modern man is forced to recognize that he is politically and morally just like anyone else.  Whereas formerly I believed it was my bounden duty to call others to order, I must now admit that I need calling to order myself, and I would do better to set my own house to rights first. . . .
Jung, C. G., The Spiritual Problem of Modern Man, found in "The Portable Jung," p. 464.

And Keri, Jung uses the term "modern man" is a very specific manner.  Merely living in modern times does not make one a "modern man."

And consider this from Jung:
Quote

Just as the interpretation of dreams requires exact knowledge of the conscious status quo, so the treatment of dream symbolism demands that we take into account the dreamer's philosophical, religious and moral convictions.  It is far wiser in practice not to regard the dream-symbols as signs or symptoms of a fixed character. . . .
Jung, C. G., Dream Analysis, found in "Modern Man in Search of a Soul," p.20.

And where does the dreamer's "philosophical, religious and moral convictions" come from if not from his culture?

Keri, is not this tribalism, this clash of cultures being played out right before our eyes today?  As Hall writes, are we not attempting to force Middle East cultures to change so they "make sense" like ours?  And, as Jung proscribes, need we not get our own house in order first?  It seems to me that the current chaos in the world is based psychologically on the fact that we cannot look at ourselves and see what divides us from others is culture.  And, rather than examine our "own house" we seek to destroy those who are not like us culturally.  We project our own evil onto others because we do not have the capacity to find, examine and deal with our own evil.  It is the cultural differences that make "them" the other, not race.
« Last Edit: May 14, 2008, 05:10:47 PM by Kafiri »
"We lie loudest when we lie to ourselves."
      -Eric Hoffer

Sealchan

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Re: Hypnosis
« Reply #6 on: May 15, 2008, 12:24:16 PM »
Perhaps hypnosis, like dreams, is a state where self-consciousness is suppressed.  One has memorable experiences but not much of what Gerald Edelman might call the "remembered present" that is what self-consciousness is about.  Perhaps, without the contribution of self-conscious neural circuitry some of us are more willing to carry out commands or requests than others and, as such, seem to take to a hypnotic state.

I also want to point out that what we might consider unconscious could be "never conscious" in that it has never entered either the conscious or the unconscious.  How can we differentiate what has moved from unconscious to conscious and what is entering our psyche as a wholely new thought?   

Our biases may amount to having only learned one way rather than have had the whole range of other perspectives suppressed.  Or this is what the culture has done, biased and suppressed collective experience and we are merely living in the dim, flitered glow of knowledge that culture has provided us.  We may choose to keep to the well-lit paths/thoughts that our culture provides us with, but there are always fires blazing somewhere nearby that might open our minds.  If we have learned to avoid those fires is this because of hate or because of a simpler wariness of potentially transformative (energic) experiences, an unconsciously developed maintenance of ignorance?  Where does individual repression begin and collective screening end?  Perhaps, not until we get our face rubbed in that which we would deftly avoid, do we truly have the opportunity to choose our conscious development.  The unconscious may harbor vague shadows of this in anticipation, but it may require steps taking in the waking world to empower real psychic change.