Communicate with your subconscious mind ?

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  • #26
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I've heard the tape recorder theory so many times, usually attributed to Freud. So he never said such a thing after all?
Any idea who did start the whole tape-recorder thing? I've heard the most ridiculous stories, like that people under hypnosis can remember the door to their childhood home down the most minute scratch and stain.
The notion we have a perfect tape recorder in out brains probably arose from the discoveries of Wilder Penfield who found that stimulating various parts of the brain with a small voltage seemed to evoke remarkably clear and intact memories of childhood. This discovery got widely published and astonished a lot of people.

In fact, though, the people he was doing this to were all epileptics (whose skulls had been opened for surgery), and in cases where it was tried later on non-epileptics it didn't seem to work. Pennfield therefore, strongly began to suspect that the "memories" he initially evoked weren't authentic at all, but pseudo-memories created on the spot from elements of real memory by virtue of the fact that the neurons of epileptics are vastly more "touchy" than those of non-epileptics (google: "the kindling effect" or maybe "neuronal kindling").

The notion that we store every minute detail of our lives in memory is the erroneous notion that lives on from Penfield's work and I suppose it is repeated by hypnotists for the simple reason it serves their purpose. That has nothing to do with Freud, and Freud is not responsible for any erroneous associations of this idea with his theories of mind.

I think the reason Freud has turned into fair game is because there are so many quack psychologists out there. I was talking with my parents about it the other day (sparked by the "is psychology a pseudo-science" thread from PF actually :tongue:), and it's part of why my dad has decided to leave the field for good. They feel it has lost its way. There are too many psychologists out there that are either poorly qualified, looking to make a quick buck, or just completely nuts.
My mom still wants to keep practicing. But my dad is completely frustrated with the field and the way it's going. All the nuts doing mystic healing and crap like that get all the press coverage, while people doing real research are barely even mentioned in the news.
That's a completely different topic though.
The reason Freud is fair game is because he raised the subject of sex at a time when sex was taboo: it was clear to him that the content and subject matter of dreams and the things that drove neurotic behaviors were all those things we automatically repress from our conscious mind during the day. At that time, mores being what they were, this mostly meant sexual things. It was important to most to maintain the status quo and Freud had to be denigrated, made to appear silly or everyone would have to face the fact they were all very much more sexual than social and religious pretence allowed them to admit. He was somewhat in the position of someone who wants to criticize a dictator while the dictator is still in power and most people's energies are monopolized by trying to obey the dictator. The habit of criticizing him without reading what he'd written became firmly instituted and continues to this day, despite the fact, strangely, that we can all be very much more open about sex because of Freud.
 
  • #27
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then again, in most cases, the complete oposite is true:
Or:

Childhood abuse and other extreme stressors can have lasting effects on brain areas involved in memory and emotion. The hippocampus is a brain area involved in learning and memory that is particularly sensitive to stress.8,9 As reviewed in greater detail by Bruce McEwen in other Cyberounds high levels of glucocorticoids (cortisol in the human) released during stress were associated with damage to neurons in the CA3 region of the hippocampus, and a loss of neurons and dendritic branching.10,11,12 Glucocorticoids disrupt cellular metabolism and increase the vulnerability of hippocampal neurons to excitatory amino acids like glutamate.13 Other neurochemical systems interact with glucocorticoids to mediate the effects of stress on memory and the hippocampus, including serotonin14 and brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF).15,16 Stress also results in deficits in new learning that are secondary to damage to the hippocampus.17,18 Exciting recent research has shown that the hippocampus has the capacity to regenerate neurons and that stress inhibits neurogenesis in the hippocampus.19
http://www.lawandpsychiatry.com/html/hippocampus.htm
 
  • #28
great article zooby. I didn't know stress can affect the brain to that extent.

from the same article, about memories resurfacing:

Many abuse victims claim to remember only certain aspects of the abuse event. For instance, a patient who was locked in the closet had an isolated memory of the smell of old clothes and the sound of a clock ticking. Later, she connected that with feelings of intense fear and, then, the entire circumstances relating to the abusive events
 
  • #29
The notion we have a perfect tape recorder in out brains probably arose from the discoveries of Wilder Penfield who found that stimulating various parts of the brain with a small voltage seemed to evoke remarkably clear and intact memories of childhood. This discovery got widely published and astonished a lot of people.

In fact, though, the people he was doing this to were all epileptics (whose skulls had been opened for surgery), and in cases where it was tried later on non-epileptics it didn't seem to work. Pennfield therefore, strongly began to suspect that the "memories" he initially evoked weren't authentic at all, but pseudo-memories created on the spot from elements of real memory by virtue of the fact that the neurons of epileptics are vastly more "touchy" than those of non-epileptics (google: "the kindling effect" or maybe "neuronal kindling").

The notion that we store every minute detail of our lives in memory is the erroneous notion that lives on from Penfield's work and I suppose it is repeated by hypnotists for the simple reason it serves their purpose. That has nothing to do with Freud, and Freud is not responsible for any erroneous associations of this idea with his theories of mind.


The reason Freud is fair game is because he raised the subject of sex at a time when sex was taboo: it was clear to him that the content and subject matter of dreams and the things that drove neurotic behaviors were all those things we automatically repress from our conscious mind during the day. At that time, mores being what they were, this mostly meant sexual things. It was important to most to maintain the status quo and Freud had to be denigrated, made to appear silly or everyone would have to face the fact they were all very much more sexual than social and religious pretence allowed them to admit. He was somewhat in the position of someone who wants to criticize a dictator while the dictator is still in power and most people's energies are monopolized by trying to obey the dictator. The habit of criticizing him without reading what he'd written became firmly instituted and continues to this day, despite the fact, strangely, that we can all be very much more open about sex because of Freud.
thanks. great info.

I also never though of it from that point of view, I guess I'm too used to modern society and it didn't even occur to me.
I think some of his writing is interesting even if you're not interested in psychology. He was very artistic in the way he wrote sometimes. It wasn't boring and dry (well, some of it was).
I can't say I've read a lot straight from him though, mostly books that reference him or have the odd quote. I have his complete works, leather bound, in 4 volumes sitting on my library and I read a bit from it sometimes. They're in spanish and I find spanish a bit hard to read when its too dense; I'll probably get it in English at some point.
It's also incredible HOW MUCH he wrote. It's endless.
 
  • #30
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thanks. great info.

I also never though of it from that point of view, I guess I'm too used to modern society and it didn't even occur to me.
I think some of his writing is interesting even if you're not interested in psychology. He was very artistic in the way he wrote sometimes. It wasn't boring and dry (well, some of it was).
I can't say I've read a lot straight from him though, mostly books that reference him or have the odd quote. I have his complete works, leather bound, in 4 volumes sitting on my library and I read a bit from it sometimes. They're in spanish and I find spanish a bit hard to read when its too dense; I'll probably get it in English at some point.
It's also incredible HOW MUCH he wrote. It's endless.
When I was studying acting they made the point that when depicting the past it was often necessary to indirectly communicate the morals and social attitudes of that time. Despite his directly addressing sexual issues, Freud was not, himself, free of the prevailing attitudes, and an actor could pick up alot about those times from his works. His choice of words and delicate, always professional, set up of such discussions betrays that he, himself, was given to a very prudish sensibility that comes out clearly in his wording here and there. Things were very different then.
 
  • #31
Morella
In lieue of an earlier post re most of Freuds assumptions being wrong - on the contrary, there are many of hs views which have been proven through neuro-science.
 
  • #32
This is a great question. Everyone's answers are also great! It is my personal belief that yes, the subconscious mind exists. Whether or not it is a physical part of your nervous system, cannot be confirmed or denied. Modern psychology, though there are some knowledgeable individuals and organizations, is not (in my opinion) "open" meaning that the theories and philosophies, to the psychologists themselves, are set in stone. It is people with tenacity, like Bandler and Grinder (Neuro Linguistic Programming) and people like Deepak Chopra that truly have the upper hand in terms of getting to the bottom of the phenomenon we call consciousness.

This is my personal belief. Whatever works for you, is true for you. This cannot be denied either way. The answer to your question is yes, the subconscious mind can be spoken to. This is essentially what hypnotists do. They speak to the part of your brain that accepts, without judgment, suggestion. It is my belief that through altering your state of consciousness (meditating), you can give yourself your own suggestions, that seat directly into a deeper more receptive layer of your mind. One day, out of nowhere, using this same technique, I no longer was a smoker. Thanks for reading!
 
  • #33
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I think I have a good example of sub-conscious thought:

Imagine you had a hard time keeping track of time as a child. People were always getting upset at you and teasing you about being late. It was emotionally traumatic and you eventually learned to keep very good track of time and now you feel a strong sense of confidence in always being on time.

Now you have a friend or colleague who is bad at keeping track of time. Let's say they work in a different department as you so them being late for work doesn't affect your work in any way. Still you feel intense irritation at their sense of time, even though you like them at lot in other ways.

I think that you could say that your irritation is caused by your subconscious cognitive-emotional programming that occurred during your childhood when you were informally disciplined all the time about your bad time-keeping.

You can't communicate with your subconscious as such, but you can identify patterns in your thoughts and behavior and become mindful of past experiences that might have "programmed" you to think and act in certain ways.

When you identify such patterns, there's a good chance you experience fear that you could lose power by deconstructing your programming. In the previous example, the person might fear losing the discipline that keeps them being on time, because they are afraid of feeling like they did as a child when people disciplined them for being late.
 
  • #34
I think you could be right. Once you step into your brain, through awareness, incantations, meditation, or reconditioning, it can be a bit strange because it is new and can make people feel uncomfortable and because human beings innately move towards gaining and maintaining pleasure and comfort, they may not change the conditioning. (fear of deconstructing programming)

Also, I want to point out that I believe human beings are consciously aware of their own conditioning to an extent, even that it needs to change, and in some cases how to do it, it just never is held in their awareness long enough to and there are many different reasons for that. Fear, Security, Comfort, Inbound Information Filters, definitely avoidance and as a result of those feelings that come to the surface within seconds, the person moves away from it quickly, to forget the thought, and not even think of changing tendency. Great reply brainstorm
 
  • #35
ArchHawk_Eyes
I've been dealing with my subconscious mind for about two years now. I've come to the conclusion that your subconscious mind is a lot like a computer. It has no sense of humor, takes everything literally and only executes the orders it's given. The orders come from your conscious thoughts. Another analogy for this relationship would be, your conscious mind is the gatekeeper. Whatever thought goes in that you most passionately believe, comes out on the other end in your physical reality. Now don't go thinking you can consciously think of a pink unicorn for a year and it'll come into existence. It's "magic" but not really. While it can create the circumstances you desire if you're persistent in your thoughts, it can't bring fantasy into reality... unless you're tasking your subconscious mind with creating a fantasy movie. Then I suppose anything is possible.

I've learned all this from the book "The Power of Your Subconscious Mind" by Joseph Murphy. Another good book that elaborates and provides a formula for harnessing your subconscious mind is "Think and Grow Rich" by Napolean Hill.

Since I realized the subconscious mind's existence my time has been spent perfecting the way I communicate with my subconscious. It can be done. All you need to do is set the frame of your relationship between your conscious mind and subconscious mind. Do you want it to be like a drill sergeant to a private? Doctor to patient? Or like someone send earlier... parent to child? Any frame works the only thing is, you should stick with whatever you choose. So, choose wisely. Just like with every other skill... repetition is key. Once you start communicating and giving out orders in the same pattern with the same frame over and over... you'll notice how potent your new ally in life really is. The more specific the order the better. Generalities don't bode well with the subconscious mind. It needs to know EXACTLY what you want from it. Just like a computer... if one string of code is off... the system crashes... if nothing else, you don't get exactly what you want. I myself have tasked my subconscious with many specific things in the past. Many of which I already have and the other I have complete faith will be delivered in due time. Some of things I've already attained through working with my subconscious mind are 1: A 6 speed BMW. 2: Gorgeous Blond haired girlfriend. 3: Consistent domination in my favorite Xbox game. All three of these I can back with visual evidence. The whole reason I'm posting right now is because I want to help anyone who's legitimately interested, how to harness their subconscious mind. I'll admit I am a ways off from completely getting it down. I still consciously psyche myself out in situations even though there's no point... basically... old habits die hard... some harder than others. Nonetheless, I have a lot more to talk about but I want to make sure I'm not wasting my time here. If anyone is interested in hearing more let me know.
 
  • #36
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I think you could be right. Once you step into your brain, through awareness, incantations, meditation, or reconditioning, it can be a bit strange because it is new and can make people feel uncomfortable and because human beings innately move towards gaining and maintaining pleasure and comfort, they may not change the conditioning. (fear of deconstructing programming)
Sometimes they also innately move toward suffering and self-deprivation because they are subconsciously programmed to think these will automatically bring rewards. This could be as irrational as avoiding asking for something they want because they subconsciously feel that asking will sabotage their chances of getting what they want. I notice this in children a lot. They just subconsciously come to associate asking with "no," so they subconsciously think if they don't ask they won't get "no." If they thought about it consciously, they probably wouldn't reason that it is better not to ask - unless later in life they manage to develop an explicit superstition that matches the subconscious behavior, which I think also happens a lot.

Also, I want to point out that I believe human beings are consciously aware of their own conditioning to an extent, even that it needs to change, and in some cases how to do it, it just never is held in their awareness long enough to and there are many different reasons for that. Fear, Security, Comfort, Inbound Information Filters, definitely avoidance and as a result of those feelings that come to the surface within seconds, the person moves away from it quickly, to forget the thought, and not even think of changing tendency. Great reply brainstorm
Thanks & right back at ya :) Also, I believe the fear, security, comfort, etc. is often based on subconscious (implicit) associations they hold, which prevent them from even thinking in terms that would liberate them to engage in more conscious rational decision-making. I guess this is how psychotherapy works so well; i.e. by bringing people's subconscious fears to light so they can consciously reflect on whether they really think it makes sense to fear what they do in the way they do. Then they can start to build up a track record of positive experiences with situations where they overcome that fear, which deconstructs the subconscious associations that caused it. I'm not a professional psychotherapist though, so I should probably be careful with talking about therapeutic processes except theoretically.
 
  • #37
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Ancient Chinese saying, "Don't listen to what people say, watch what they do."

There have been studies of what is sometimes referred to as the zombie aspect of our personalities. For example, when asked to estimate how steep a hill is, people are often wildly inaccurate. However, ask them to show you with their hand and their accuracy goes way up. Such studies demonstrate clearly that our so-called subconscious mind tends to appraise the situation quite differently from that of our conscious mind.

Edited - off topic
And how often do we regret not paying attention to that persistent gnawing feeling that our decisions are wrong. More often than not they are wrong and we should have listened to the feelings generated by the accurate evaluation of our subconscious mind. But hoist on our own petards we plow ahead anyway into such things as disastrous marriages only to bitterly regret it when too late.
 

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