Monday, January 23, 2012

After reading up on surrealism for my essay. i was finding myself being drawn to the surrealist views of the subconscious. i was intruiged by their exploration of dreams and their subcnonscious. i want to explore my own subconscious and dreams in my extended major project. i will produce a body of work throughout the project that will be exhibited at the end of term. To reflect the liquidity of subconiscous thoughts and dreams i will not specify what, how or why until i know. I want to discover the true potential of my brains and its inner wokrings; the discoverery of a fantasy world and what can be created within and out of it.

i will use this blog to show my way of thinking and my research throughout the project.

SUBCONSCIOUSNESS - in Freud's opinion is a repository for socially unacceptable ideas, wishes or desires, traumatic memories, and painful emotions put out of mind by the mechanism of psychological repression.

however freud said "If someone talks of subconsciousness, I cannot tell whether he means the term topographically – to indicate something lying in the mind beneath consciousness – or qualitatively – to indicate another consciousness, a subterranean one, as it were. He is probably not clear about any of it. The only trustworthy antithesis is between conscious and unconscious.

In the New Age community, techniques such as autosuggestion and affirmations are believed to harness the power of the subconscious to influence a person's life and real-world outcomes, even curing sickness

Idealists maintain that the mind is all that exists and that the external world is either mental itself, or an illusion created by the mind.

There are countless subjects that are affected by the ideas developed in the philosophy of mind. Clear examples of this are the nature of death and its definitive character, the nature of emotion, of perception and of memory. Questions about what a person is and what his or her identity consists of also have much to do with the philosophy of mind. There are two subjects that, in connection with the philosophy of the mind, have aroused special attention: free will and the self.


The term unconscious mind was coined by the 18th century German romantic philosopher Friedrich Schelling and later introduced into English by the poet and essayist Samuel Taylor Coleridge.[1]

Articulating the idea of something not conscious, or, actively denied to awareness, with the constructs of language has been a process of human thought and interpersonal influence for millennia. For example, influences on thinking that originate from outside of an individual's consciousness were reflected in the ancient ideas of temptation, divine inspiration, and the predominant role of the gods in affecting motives and actions.

The unconscious mind (often simply called the unconscious) is all the processes of the mind which are not available to consciousness. In Western culture the concept has its origins in the romantic era and gained prominence in the writings of the Austrian neurologist Sigmund Freud. It might be defined as all those mental phenomena occurring within a person's mind which the person is not conscious of. These phenomena have been held to include unconscious (often repressed) feelings, unconscious or automatic skills, unacknowledged perceptions, unconscious thoughts, unconscious habits and automatic reactions, complexes, hidden phobias and desires. Within psychoanalysis and analytical psychology the cognitive processes of the unconscious are considered to manifest in dreams in a symbolical form.[citation needed] Thus the unconscious mind can be seen as the source of dreams and automatic thoughts (those that appear without any apparent cause), the repository of forgotten memories (that may still be accessible to consciousness at some later time), and the locus of implicit knowledge (i.e. all of the things that we have learned so well that we do them without thinking). One familiar example of the operation of the unconscious is the tip-of-the-tongue phenomenon wherein one fails to immediately remember a given word but then has a flash of insight providing a solution, later on in the day. In this case, it is not that the word is forgotten, but that it needs to be retrieved from the unconscious mind.

It has been argued that consciousness is influenced by other parts of the mind. These such parts include unconsciousness as a personal habit, being unaware, and intuition. Terms related to semi-consciousness include: awakening, implicit memory, subliminal messages, trances, hypnagogia, and hypnosis. Furthermore, although sleep, sleep walking, dreaming, delirium and comas may signal the presence of unconscious processes, these processes are not the unconscious mind itself, but rather symptoms.

Some neuroscientific research supports the existence of the unconscious mind.[18] For example, researchers at Columbia University Medical Center have found that fleeting images of fearful faces—images that appear and disappear so quickly that they escape conscious awareness—produce unconscious anxiety that can be detected in the brain with the latest neuroimaging machines.[19] The conscious mind is thus hundreds of milliseconds slower than unconscious processes.

Sigmund Freud and his followers developed an account of the unconscious mind. It plays an important role in psychoanalysis.

Freud divided the mind into the conscious mind (or the ego) and the unconscious mind. The latter was then further divided into the id (or instincts and drive) and the superego (or conscience). In this theory, the unconscious refers to the mental processes of which individuals make themselves unaware.[27] Freud proposed a vertical and hierarchical architecture of human consciousness: the conscious mind, the preconscious, and the unconscious mind—each lying beneath the other. He believed that significant psychic events take place "below the surface" in the unconscious mind,[28] like hidden messages from the unconscious. He interpreted such events as having both symbolic and actual significance.

In psychoanalytic terms, the unconscious does not include all that is not conscious, but rather what is actively repressed from conscious thought or what a person is averse to knowing consciously. Freud viewed the unconscious as a repository for socially unacceptable ideas, wishes or desires, traumatic memories, and painful emotions put out of mind by the mechanism of psychological repression. However, the contents did not necessarily have to be solely negative. In the psychoanalytic view, the unconscious is a force that can only be recognized by its effects—it expresses itself in the symptom. In a sense, this view places the conscious self as an adversary to its unconscious, warring to keep the unconscious hidden. Unconscious thoughts are not directly accessible to ordinary introspection, but are supposed to be capable of being "tapped" and "interpreted" by special methods and techniques such as meditation, free association (a method largely introduced by Freud), dream analysis, and verbal slips (commonly known as a Freudian slip), examined and conducted during psychoanalysis. Seeing as these unconscious thoughts are normally cryptic, psychoanalysts are considered experts in interpreting their messages.

Extrasensory perception (ESP)

involves reception of information not gained through the recognized physical senses but sensed with the mind. The term was coined by Frederic Myers,[1] and adopted by Duke University psychologist J. B. Rhine to denote psychic abilities such as telepathy, clairaudience, and clairvoyance, and their trans-temporal operation as precognition or retrocognition. ESP is also sometimes casually referred to as a sixth sense, gut instinct or hunch, which are historical English idioms. The term implies acquisition of information by means external to the basic limiting assumptions of science, such as that organisms can only receive information from the past to the present.

is the ability to acquire knowledge without inference or the use of reason.[1] "The word 'intuition' comes from the Latin word 'intueri', which is often roughly translated as meaning 'to look inside'’ or 'to contemplate'."[2] Intuition provides us with beliefs that we cannot necessarily justify.

refers to an unconscious burst of creativity in a literary, musical, or other artistic endeavour. Literally, the word means "breathed upon,"
in the 18th century John Locke proposed a model of the human mind in which ideas associate or resonate with one another in the mind. In the 19th century, Romantic poets such as Coleridge and Shelley believed that inspiration came to a poet because the poet was attuned to the (divine or mystical) "winds" and because the soul of the poet was able to receive such visions. In the early 20th century, Sigmund Freud located inspiration in the inner psyche of the artist. Carl Gustav Jung's theory of inspiration suggests that an artist is one who was attuned to racial memory, which encoded the archetypes of the human mind.

Sigmund Freud and other later psychologists located inspiration in the inner psyche of the artist. The artist's inspiration came out of unresolved psychological conflict or childhood trauma. Further, inspiration could come directly from the subconscious. Like the Romantic genius theory and the revived notion of "poetic phrenzy," Freud saw artists as fundamentally special, and fundamentally wounded. Because Freud situated inspiration in the subconscious mind, Surrealist artists sought out this form of inspiration by turning to dream diaries and automatic writing, the use of Ouija boards and found poetry to try to tap into what they saw as the true source of art. Carl Gustav Jung's theory of inspiration reiterated the other side of the Romantic notion of inspiration indirectly by suggesting that an artist is one who was attuned to something impersonal, something outside of the individual experience: racial memory.

people to read up on:

Carl Jung - He divided the unconscious into two parts: the personal unconscious and the collective unconscious. The personal unconscious is a reservoir of material that was once conscious but has been forgotten or suppressed, much like the typical notion of the unconscious to Freud. The collective unconscious, however, is the deepest level of the psyche, containing the accumulation of inherited psychic structures and archetypal experiences. The collective unconscious is therefore said to be inherited and contain material of an entire species rather than of an individual.[29] In addition to the structure of the unconscious, Jung differed from Freud in that he did not believe that sexuality was at the base of all unconscious thoughts.[30]

Jacques Lacan. - Jacques Lacan's psychoanalytic theory contends that the unconscious is structured like a language. In Lacan's view, the unconscious is not a more primitive or archetypal part of the mind separate from the conscious, linguistic ego, but an equally complex and linguistically sophisticated formation. Lacan's idea of how language is structured is largely taken from the structural linguistics of Ferdinand de Saussure and Roman Jakobson, based on the function of the signifier and signified in signifying chains.

Jean-Paul Sartre offers a critique of Freud's theory of the unconscious in Being and Nothingness,

Sigmund Freud

key words:

cryptic messaging
free association ( freud)
dream analysis
verbal slips
automatic writing

meditation -

(speak to joel and emily about their meditation (feelings, thoughts and visions)

There has been some research into physiological changes in yogis and people who practise various techniques of meditation. Some research with brain waves during meditation has differences between those corresponding to ordinary relaxation and those corresponding to meditation. It has been disputed, however, whether there is enough evidence to count these as physiologically distinct states of consciousness.[93]

precociousness -

"distinguish two kinds of unconscious – one which is easily, under frequently occurring circumstances, transformed into something conscious, and another with which this transformation is difficult and takes place only subject to a considerable expenditure of effort or possibly never at all. [...] We call the unconscious which is only latent, and thus easily becomes conscious, the 'preconscious', and retain the term 'unconscious' for the other". [Freud, New Introductory Lectures on Psychoanalysis (1932)]

"If consciousness is then the sum total of everything of which we are aware, pre-consciousness is the reservoir of everything we can remember, all that is accessible to voluntary recall: the storehouse of memory. This leaves the unconscious area of mental life to contain all the more primitive drives and impulses influencing our actions without our necessarily ever becoming fully aware of them, together with every important constellation of ideas or memories with a strong emotional charge, which have at one time been present in consciousness but have since been repressed so that they are no longer available to it, even through introspection or attempts at memory". [David Stafford-Clark, What Freud Really Said (1965)]

consciousness -
is a term that refers to the relationship between the mind and the world with which it interacts.[1] It has been defined as: subjectivity, awareness, the ability to experience or to feel, wakefulness, having a sense of selfhood, and the executive control system of the mind.

As Max Velmans and Susan Schneider wrote in The Blackwell Companion to Consciousness: "Anything that we are aware of at a given moment forms part of our consciousness, making conscious experience at once the most familiar and most mysterious aspect of our lives.

Issues of interest include phenomena such as subliminal perception, and altered states of consciousness produced by psychoactive drugs or spiritual or meditative techniques.

Subliminal stimuli - are any sensory stimuli below an individual's threshold for conscious perception.[1] The large majority of research has found that subliminal messages do not produce strong or lasting changes in behavior.[2] Visual stimuli may be quickly flashed before an individual can process them, or flashed and then masked, thereby interrupting the processing. Audio stimuli may be played below audible volumes, masked by other stimuli, or recorded backwards in a process called backmasking.

Altered state of consciousness - it describes induced changes in one's mental state, almost always temporary. A synonymous phrase is "altered state of awareness".

Altered states of consciousness can be associated with artistic creativity.[5] They also can be shared interpersonally and studied as a subject of sociological research.[6]

states of consciousness

The most extensive study of the characteristics of altered states of consciousness was made by psychologist Charles Tart in the 1960s and 1970s. Tart analyzed a state of consciousness as made up of a number of component processes, including exteroception (sensing the external world); interoception (sensing the body); input-processing (seeing meaning); emotions; memory; time sense; sense of identity; evaluation and cognitive processing; motor output; and interaction with the environment.[94] Each of these, in his view, could be altered in multiple ways by drugs or other manipulations. The components that Tart identified have not, however, been validated by empirical studies. Research in this area has not yet reached firm conclusions, but a recent questionnaire-based study identified eleven significant factors contributing to drug-induced states of consciousness: experience of unity; spiritual experience; blissful state; insightfulness; disembodiment; impaired control and cognition; anxiety; complex imagery; elementary imagery; audio-visual synesthesia; and changed meaning of percepts.[95]

ntrospectively, the world of conscious experience seems to have considerable structure. Immanuel Kant asserted that the world as we perceive it is organized according to a set of fundamental "intuitions", which include object (we perceive the world as a set of distinct things); shape; quality (color, warmth, etc.); space (distance, direction, and location); and time.[98]


There are some states in which consciousness seems to be abolished, including sleep, coma, and death. There are also a variety of circumstances that can change the relationship between the mind and the world in less drastic ways, producing what are known as altered states of consciousness. Some altered states occur naturally; others can be produced by drugs or brain damage.[90]

The two most widely accepted altered states are sleep and dreaming. Although dream sleep and non-dream sleep appear very similar to an outside observer, each is associated with a distinct pattern of brain activity, metabolic activity, and eye movement; each is also associated with a distinct pattern of experience and cognition. During ordinary non-dream sleep, people who are awakened report only vague and sketchy thoughts, and their experiences do not cohere into a continuous narrative. During dream sleep, in contrast, people who are awakened report rich and detailed experiences in which events form a continuous progression, which may however be interrupted by bizarre or fantastic intrusions. Thought processes during the dream state frequently show a high level of irrationality. Both dream and non-dream states are associated with severe disruption of memory: it usually disappears in seconds during the non-dream state, and in minutes after awakening from a dream unless actively refreshed.[91]


A variety of psychoactive drugs have notable effects on consciousness. These range from a simple dulling of awareness produced by sedatives, to increases in the intensity of sensory qualities produced by stimulants, cannabis, or most notably by the class of drugs known as psychedelics.[90] LSD, mescaline, psilocybin, and others in this group can produce major distortions of perception, including hallucinations; some users even describe their drug-induced experiences as mystical or spiritual in quality. The brain mechanisms underlying these effects are not well understood, but there is substantial evidence that alterations in the brain system that uses the chemical neurotransmitter serotonin play an essential role.[92]

Higher consciousness

Higher consciousness is generally regarded as a developed state of consciousness in which aspects of the mind, such as thought, perception and attention, are improved, refined and enhanced. It is considered thus to be a higher level of consciousness relative to ordinary consciousness, in the sense that a greater awareness of reality is achieved. In a secular context, higher consciousness is usually associated with exceptional control over one's mind and will, intellectual and moral enlightenment, and profound personal growth.[1]. In a spiritual context, it may also be associated with transcendence, spiritual enlightenment, and union with the divine.[2]

new age theories:

No comments:

Post a Comment