a thoughted think LO29698

From: ACampnona@aol.com
Date: 12/14/02

On Consciousness and its Lack

> There is in my opinion no tenable argument against the hypothesis that
> psychic functions which today seem conscious to us were once unconscious
> and yet worked as if they were conscious. We could also say that all the
> psychic phenomena to be found in man were already present in the natural
> unconscious state.
"We have previously suggested that Freud's reference to the unconscious
proper be understood in terms of habitually unnoticed contexting
components of subsidiary awareness We are expanding upon that definition
by construing references to the unconscious proper as references to
complexes present in consciousness. We are understanding the complex to
consist of components of subsidiary awareness that resist attention and
have hypothesized that this is a function of the painful feeling that
would be associated with such components were they to become objects of
attention. This understanding is in accord with the position we presented
earlier . But in conceiving of the complex as an aggregate of components
and characterizing them as anomalous to the prevailing context we add a
new feature to the earlier hypothesis. This further development allows us
to suggest that even were attention to be successfully turned toward any
of the particular anomalous components interspersed within the predominant
context (and composing the complex) the 'latent object of attention'
corresponding to the complex would not be revealed. For the latent object
is the object of attention that would be present were the complex itself,
as a whole, to become the predominant experienced context.

We might make this clearer by briefly considering Erickson's most recently
published discussion of his hypnotic techniques. Central to his method is
the induction of a state of confusion in the subject by means of a
psychological shock or surprise. The effect he is seeking is the
'depotentiation of the conscious set' of the subject, to use his words.
Essentially he means by this phrase the same thing Shor has in mind when
he speaks of the temporary disintegration of the orientational framework
in the background of attention. In one of the techniques Erickson
employs, the 'interspersal technique', he intersperses anomalous items
(mispronounced words, inappropriate phrases, absurd references and such)
throughout a message intended for his subject. Such deliberately turgid
communications are intended to supply the ulterior regions of the
subject's consciousness with a host of rival contexting components, to use
our terminology. Erickson is artificially manufacturing a complex and when
he has supplied the subject with enough material the complex becomes
predominant, overwhelming and replacing the original experienced-context,
or 'conscious set', depotentiating it. What the subject experiences during
this process is a new, unexpected, object of attention-- one that appears,
as far as the subject can tell, to have come 'out of the blue'. snip

(We have given) Erickson a greater control over the process and its
end-product than he acknowledges having. And we have omitted mention of
references to the unconscious that would indicate that his understanding
of that term is very similar to the one we are presenting (he speaks of
the unconscious, for instance, as a process of feeling). But the brief
description that we have given of his interpersonal technique sheds
further light, at any rate, on the phenomenon we have in mind in referring
to the presence of complexes in consciousness. And it helps in founding an
understanding of the difference between habitually tacit components of
subsidiary awareness and a constellation of such components, a complex.

" -the essentially INTERPERSONAL nature of the individual's 'feeling
field' is experienced. This interpersonal feeling field is what Buber
calls 'the essential we' (a term that implies that the essence of our
nature as human being is transpersonal and communal). Our capacity to feel
gives us direct access to the experience of 'oneness' with others. We
experience reality as shared or 'consensual' by 'feeling with' or 'feeling
into' those others - that is, through sympathy, empathy, and compassion.
In other words, we learn to synchronize our underlying feeling states with
those of other persons, and in so doing to 'identify' with them in a
direct, experiential manner that obviates the need for intermediary
'cognitive' analysis. We experience our personal 'process' as a construct
relevated from an INTERSUBJECTIVE reality. A 'confluence of individual
processes' is experienced, which may be called 'interpersonal resonance'
or 'interactive empathy'. Empathy (according to Goleman) is grounded in
the capacity of individuals, in relationship, to unconsciously entrain (or
synchronize) feeling. It can also be conceived of as the experience of a
shared feeling field which transcends personal boundaries - providing us
as individuals with the direct experience of our common ground as human
beings. This experience of common ground can alternately also be described
as an experience of 'communitas' (Victor Turner), collective unconscious
(Carl Jung), group spirit or the 'global dreambody' (Mindell). At this
level, the focus of the feeling function is on interpersonal RELATIONSHIP.
One experiences and explores the capacity for ACTIVE inter-relationship
through social (or interpersonal) improvisation, gaining access to what
may be called GROUP (or collaborative) peak experiences, or synergy
experiences. In such experiences one discovers precisely how the whole -
comprised of the combination of individuals - IS more than the sum of its
individual parts. At this level we begin to recognize that certain
feelings - of 'love', for instance (or 'unconditional regard') - MAY only
be possible as shared or 'collaborative' experiences (and may not exist
independently, as the 'act' or 'property' of single individuals). We may
call these interpersonal feelings 'trans-personal'. In some
highly-significant sense, they are experienced not as existing IN the
individual(s) but BETWEEN individuals, or as an aspect of a shared
ontological entity (the group) out of which persons are distinguished as
individuals. We might, accordingly, speak of 'feelings' as belonging to
the group or relationship, as opposed to the individual - not just in a
metaphorical sense (eg, 'the group feels' = all individuals in the group
feel), but as something that exists OUTSIDE of us, which we may tap into
(with the cooperation of others) but which cannot be invoked APART from
others. One might describe what takes place ...snip... as an active
'interplay' or 'exchange' of feeling between group members, if it weren't
for the fact that such a description implies that such feelings are
primarily the property of the individual. Since emotion, at this level of
description, might more aptly be conceived of as the individual's
felt-experience of 'shifts' or 'disturbances' in the intersubjective
field, complex reciprocal relationships between the emotional states of
individuals may pertain, and the group itself (as a 'creatively
self-organizing and self-realizing relational or intersubjective field')
may 'call on' individuals to play emotional roles necessary to its health
and self-actualization. The 'resonance' occuring between members that are
'attuned' to each other in this way might be less a matter of the spread
or 'contagion' of one emotion throughout members of the group and MORE a
matter of complex complementary or compensatory emotional states, defining
the felt MOVEMENT of the group as a whole THROUGH the shifts in state
required by its progress toward 'self-actualization'. The ACTIVE
interpenetration of the individual feeling fields, which we experience at
this level, is very different from what has been called 'participation
mystique' (which occurs when an individual becomes entrained to a group
and loses individual identity, thereby becoming vulnerable to the
influence and indirect suggestions of the group). Through what might be
called 'ACTIVE resonance' (which is more like the state in which a
musician improvises with others) there is active collaborative
participation (albeit at the unconscious, as well as the 'conscious'
level) in the spontaneous 'educing' of the realities, patterns,
structures, and products of the group. As the psychologist, Anton
Ehrenzweig contends, the unconscious (also known alternately as the
'subconscious' or 'subsidiary awareness') is capable of decisions that are
MORE complex than our deliberative thought processes. To the extent that
individuals have developed the creative capacity of their own
unconsciouses (through the 'education' of the feeling function), they
become capable of actively collaborating with each other at the
unconscious level. As a result there is a 'confluence' of individual
(unconscious) process that comprises a much more sophisticated, subtle and
artful collaboration than the kind that occurs as a result of deliberative
planning (T-based collaboration, we might call it). Here we touch on the
possibility (that occurs at this level) of joint creation, through
'interactive empathy' [an idea that parallels the notion of 'active
imagination' in Jung]. Interactive empathy (an F-based skill), IN
COMBINATION with active imagination (an N-based skill), produces a
capacity for 'active empathic imagination' - our capacity to fulfill our
potential for individual self-actualization through the group's capacity
for what we call 'collaborative actualization' - the quintessential
aspiration of the 'NF'. Ordinarily, our capacity to self-actualize is
limited by our FAILURE to achieve 'active' empathy (which, as we have just
pointed out, is enhanced through collaborative attunement of conscious and
unconscious individual processes). The evolution of the individual, in
other words, is contingent upon the evolution of GROUPS. The individual
ALONE cannot achieve 'active empathy', only pairs or groups can do so. And
just as groups (especially groups whose process is constricted by
coercively IMPOSED structures) can INFECT individuals with
counter-productive (anti-actualizing) emotions, so also can fluidly
operating self-organizing groups INSPIRE individuals to undreamt of
heights. The positive contagion of advanced (or 'transendental') emotion
is what Maslow called 'rapsodic communication'. He discovered that in
merely TALKING to people about peak experiences he frequently induced
them, a discovery which ultimately led him to explore which conditions -
in terms of group processes and organizational structures - were conducive
to shared peak experience, and which were not. Imagine the following:
that two or more people are reciprocally engaged in active empathy. There
is an unconscious (eg, 'non-deliberative') but active INTERCHANGE of
feeling. The participants may not even PRODUCE anything at that moment
(they may not educe any structure or product that is readily
identifiable), but they may, nevertheless, walk away completely changed.
It is in this manner that 'INFPs' exert 'unconsciously influence' over
others, through their (active) contributions to the intersubjective field
of the group - and it is this capacity that accounts for their ability to
create 'facilitative environments' conducive to the growth of those who
enter therein. At advanced level-four, then, we have the dawning capacity
of individuals to create facilitative environments via the ACTIVE use of
the feeling function. Here the capacity of the 'bodhisattva' to (seemingly
spontaneously and magically) transform situations through 'exhange himself
for others', gains explication. Rogers comments on this type of

> When I am at my best, as a group facilitator or as a therapist, I discover
> another characteristic. I find that when I am closest to my inner,
> intuitive, self, when I am somehow in touch with the unknown in me, when
> perhaps I am in a slightly altered state of consciousness, then whatever I
> do seems to be full of healing. Then, simply my PRESENCE is releasing and
> helpful to the other. There is nothing I can do to force this experience,
> but when I can relax and be close to the transcendental core of me, then I
> may behave in strange and impulsive ways in the relationship, ways which I
> cannot justify rationally, which have nothing to do with my thought
> processes. But these strange behaviours turn out to be RIGHT, in some odd
> way: it seems that my inner spirit has reached out and touched the inner
> spirit of the other. Our relationship transcends itself and becomes a part
> of something larger. Profound growth and healing and energy are present.
> This kind of transcendent phenomenon has certainly been experienced at
> times in groups in which I have worked, changing the lives of some of those
> involved. One participant in a workshop put it eloquently: 'I found it to
> be a profound spiritual experience. I felt the oneness of spirit in the
> community. We breathed together, felt together, even spoke for one
> another...'

In the very late 'Rondanini Pieta' of Michelangelo an arm floats free from
the rest of the composition...Henry Moore was deeply moved by this
integrally whole work of art. Fragmentation is overcome at one level. Her
body hovers above His emaciated body. Both tremble upon the threshold of a
bifurcation of immense ordinal significance;-) as the son carries the very
soul of his mother.

I am reminded of the 'thief' this christmas.

Andrew Campbell
Angel Meadow



Learning-org -- Hosted by Rick Karash <Richard@Karash.com> Public Dialog on Learning Organizations -- <http://www.learning-org.com>

"Learning-org" and the format of our message identifiers (LO1234, etc.) are trademarks of Richard Karash.