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Adam Crabtree's Models of the Mind
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Models of the Mind

Models covered in paper:


- Hawaiian Huna tradition


Quote:Huna is the name used to designate the magico/religious system developed in Hawaii. This system was studied by Max Freedom Long over many years and he published several books describing its theory and practice. Because he could not get a clear picture of the Huna approach from native Hawaiians, Long studied the language for the names used to represent their magic. Long discovered that Huna believes there are three spirits or selves in each person. They are called the Low Self, the Middle Self and the High Self, and Long concluded that they correspond roughly to the subconscious, the conscious, and the superconscious.

The Low Self is seen as a kind of animal spirit in the human being. It is defective in reason. It is the seat of emotion and of memory. It is also subject to suggestion and tends to automatically accept the convictions of the Middle Self. The Low self has a sticky shadowy body that adheres to things. It connects to others by 'aka' threads that are sticky. Once a thread has been strung between a person and someone else, it cannot be shaken off, so that the two are from that time, for good or evil, connected. Over this thread can be transmitted thoughts, feelings, even chemical substances and jolts of magnetic energy. The Low Self is the source of psychic abilities, like mind reading, telepathy, clairvoyance, psychokinesis, and astral travel. The Low Self brings about healing that involves application of vital force and suggestion. It also makes contact with the spirits of the dead. Very importantly, it is the Low Self that contacts the High Self.

The Middle Self is the ordinary conscious mind. It is what we think ourselves to be most of the time. It possesses a strong reasoning faculty and powerful will. The Middle Self can hypnotize Low Selves, including its own, and convey effective suggestions, while being itself impervious to suggestion. The Middle Self lacks memory and emotion. It is also the only self that can sin.

The High Self is a male/female duality. It may be thought of as two: one that looks after the Low Self and one that looks after the Middle Self. The High Self is divine and can perform miracles. It can know the future and also change the future. The High Self can do instantaneous healing and can raise the dead. It can also do extraordinary things like protect the feet of lava walkers against the intense heat. In addition the High Self can control the weather, sharks, and turtles...

- Puységur’s Magnetic-sleep Model Of The Mind


Quote:...Puységur set forth the basic characteristics of the hitherto undefined condition he had observed in Victor, which he called 'magnetic somnambulism' or 'magnetic sleep': a sleep-waking kind of consciousness, a 'rapport' or special connection with the magnetizer, suggestibility, and amnesia in the waking state for events in the magnetized state. He also described a notable alteration in personality: "When [Victor] is in a magnetized state, he is no longer a naive peasant who can barely speak a sentence. He is someone whom I do not know how to name” (p. 35) He also noted that Victor had certain paranormal experiences: mental communication and clairvoyance.

Another thing that Puységur noticed was that although the individual, when returning to his ordinary state, could never remember what occurred during the state of magnetic sleep, the person’s somnambulistic consciousness was aware of all that happened to the person when in his or her waking state--the amnesia barrier went only one way. The result is two distinct memory chains, one belonging to the waking person, another to the somnambulistic consciousness. This gave the impression that one was dealing not with one person, but with two...

- Du Prel’s Transcendental-ego Model of the Mind


Quote:...We have to distinguish between our sense-consciousness, our soul-consciousness and the still problematical Subject-consciousness. Representing these as three unequal circles one within the other, the sense consciousness filling the smallest, the soul-consciousness the middle one, and the Subject-consciousness the largest, the periphery of the innermost circle would stand for the psycho-physical threshold. By its displacement in the rising series to the ecstatic conditions, sleep, somnambulism, trance, apparent death, etc., the centre of the inner circle is more and more obscured; that is, the sense-consciousness tends more and more to disappear, but the circle itself is widened; that is, the consciousness extends itself more over the region of the so-called Unconscious. Already in common sleep the Ego of sense sinks; in the magnetic sleep the line of the inner circle is so far thrown back towards the periphery of the outer one that the somnambulists speak of their sense-Ego--the inner circle--only in the third person. That happens also in delirium, and is conventionally expressed by saying “He is beside himself “or “He is wandering.” The content of consciousness in these conditions naturally retains its full reality, even when it is dramatically transferred to another person. Now there is no condition of ecstasy in which the outermost circle can be completely reached....It thence happens that the progressive displacement of the threshold of sensibility with the deepening of sleep multiplies also the divisions of the Ego; that is, continually brings new dream-figures upon the boards without the retirement of those already present. Therefore in the crisis of somnambulists the number of their visionary forms increases...This is evidently an effect of the gradual deepening of the sleep, with which continually deeper layers of the Unconscious and its faculties are raised above the threshold, giving occasion to multiplied personifications.... But if consciousness in even our highest ecstasies does not exhaust our whole being, leaving beyond an unmeasurable fund of the Unconscious, which can furnish new divisions, then certainly man appears as a being of groundless depth, reaching with his roots into the metaphysical region...

- Janet’s Multiple-consciousness Model of the Mind


Quote:...Janet could not accept the view of those who claimed that psychological disturbances were adequately explained by physiology. He did not accept that defective function of the nervous system could account for hysteria, and he did not agree that automatic actions were merely mechanical reflexes of the brain. Further, duality of the brain function did not, in his opinion, provide an adequate explanation for doubling or multiplying personalities. In a word, Janet rejected the organic paradigm for explaining disturbances of consciousness.

Neither could Janet accept a spiritistic explanation for mental disturbances. He believed that mediumship, thought reading, divination, table turning, and all the other phenomena sometimes attributed to the interventions of spiritual beings could be adequately explained as manifestations of subconscious activity. Janet was also convinced that cases of apparent possession by spiritual beings could best be accounted for in terms of psychological dysfunction, not demonic invasion. Thus Janet discarded the intrusion paradigm for mental disturbances.

Janet’s work was the culmination of a new kind of psychological healing begun by Puységur one hundred years earlier. He viewed mental dysfunction in terms of a stream of thought and of will not accessible to the ordinary awareness, a consciousness that operated independently of the ideas and intentions of normal consciousness. This second level of consciousness can produce actions, emotions, hallucinations, and physical symptoms that are inexplicable in terms of the perceived desires of the individual. Treatment involves bring the content of this hidden level to light and destroying its power to affect the person. Janet conceived of these subterranean or subconscious influences in terms of groupings of thought and emotion that carry with them a consciousness of their own. These secondary consciousnesses are identifiable as personalities, with a selfawareness, a unity, and an ability to act in a coordinated way that is analogous to that of the normal waking personality. Through his work, Janet showed himself to be the foremost proponent and spokesman of the alternate-consciousness paradigm for explaining disturbances of consciousness. With Janet, the alternate-consciousness paradigm had come of age, acquiring a framework that would from that time lie at the heart of every psychodynamic psychotherapy...

- Myers’s Subliminal-self Model of the Mind


Quote:...One cannot help admiring the great originality with which Myers wove such an extraordinarily detached and discontinuous series of phenomena together, unconscious cerebration, dreams, hypnotism, hysteria, inspirations of genius, the willing game, planchette, crystal gazing, hallucinatory voices, apparitions of the dying, medium trances, demoniacal possession, clairvoyance, thought transference--even ghosts and other facts more doubtful--these things form a chaos at first sight most discouraging. No wonder that scientists can think of no other principle of unity among them than their common appeal to men’s perverse propensity to superstition. Yet Myers has actually made a system of them, stringing them continuously upon a perfectly legitimate objective hypothesis, verified in some cases and extended to others by analogy...

- Freud’s Dynamic-unconscious Model of the Mind


Quote:...Freud held very different views from Janet about the nature of unconscious ideas. Freud and Janet agreed in dividing human mental activity into two spheres on the basis of its availability to normal consciousness. They agreed in pinpointing the source of emotional disturbance in mental processes that operate outside of normal consciousness. They also concurred that the remedy for such disturbances involved bringing those hidden elements into ordinary awareness.

Freud and Janet differed, however, in the extent to which they believed that the concept of hidden mental processes can be applied to healthy people and in their view on the precise nature of consciousness. Janet was reluctant to attribute subconscious processes to normal, healthy individuals, since he saw the dissociated elements that constitute the subconscious as basically pathological. Freud, on the other hand, like Myers, believed that everyone was subject to the hidden mental processes of the unconscious. For him unconscious mentation was a fundamental part of human psychological life...

- Jung’s Collective-unconscious Model of the Mind


Quote:...Since all we know is what the psyche produces, the psyche for Jung in a way seems to embrace everything. In a way that is true. But there are some things that Jung says more particularly about what the psyche is like. In one place he calls the psyche the totality of all psychic process, conscious and unconscious (C.W. 6, p. 463). And in some places Jung describes the psyche as an autonomous realm of human functioning within the person.

But he also talks about an important distinction between the objective psyche and the subjective psyche. The objective psyche is for Jung more or less the same thing as the collective unconscious. Calling it the objective psyche stresses that the psyche is not subject to the control of the individual, but it lives its own destiny and affects individuals, whether they like it or not.(Jung C.W. 12, p. 44) In this sense the psyche surrounds the human being and is antecedent to him or her. It is not inside us any more than the sea is inside the fish (Jung C.W. 13, p. 51; see 30 also Jung C.W. 11, p. 84; 10, p. 271). With the term "objective psyche" Jung wants to make sure that the psyche is not thought to be contained within the boundaries of a single person.

The subjective psyche for Jung seems to be the equivalent to consciousness (Letters 1973, p. 497) but probably the personal unconscious can be included here. So it more or less refers to ones personal identity, and can be seen as equivalent of the ego-complex. For Jung the psyche is the realm in which the biological, psychological, and spiritual aspects of human existence all operate. And although we can talk about these aspects as separate and distinguish their effects, at bottom they are all one. Jung called events "psychoid" that occur on the borderline between mind and body, spirit and matter, the inner and outer worlds. Jung indicated that in the last analysis there is no distinction between these dichotomies. He also indicated that synchronicity (meaningful coincidence) works on the level of the psychoid...

- Erickson’s Hypnotic-trance Model of the Mind


Quote:...Milton Erickson’s model of the mind is best expressed in the form of the hypnotist/hypnotic subject relationship. He was primarily a clinician and only secondarily a theoretician, and for that reason one has to glean his model of the mind from his many writing about trance states revealed in hypnotherapeutic practice.

Erickson’s notion of the Unconscious Mind is very different from that of Freud. For him the Unconscious Mind is a friend and ally, not a place full of negative and unacceptable forces. He believed it was an error to treat the unconscious with distrust. On the contrary, he believed that we can trust our Unconscious Mind, knowing that it will operate for the greatest good of the individual. He also did not believe that it was necessarily helpful for a patient to know past causes for present problems. He thought that healing often takes place without our ever understanding how and why. He did not believe that we need to make unconscious material conscious to get well. He believed, in fact (as mentioned below) that seeking conscious understanding often stands in the way of change.

For Erickson, hypnosis or trance is a state of focus, one that allows the utilization of "unconscious learnings". He believed that every individual has a vast storehouse of learnings, some of which were at one time conscious but then became unconscious (such as the ability to walk), and some of which seem to be a part of our natural endowment (such as the ability to control blood flow in the body). He had tremendous faith in the inner resources of the people he worked with. (In this his attitude resembled that of Puységur.)...

- A proposed model by Crabtree (the author)


Quote:When I examine my experience of being and knowing, I discover that I am an “I” that knows and interacts with the world. I can distinguish between those things that seem to be absolutely mine, such as my thoughts, feelings, emotions, memories, and sense of being an embodied entity, and those things that do not seem part of me, but rather have some kind of independence from me. When I experience those things that are “mine”, I discover that I have some kind of sense of interiority, I feel that I have an inside. One of the ways I experience this as having an inside is that no others can share my experience as such. The can observe from the “outside” but can never get inside me. This “inside” is a kind of world that I always have with me and cannot shake. Recognizing this irreducible interiority, and acknowledging the limitations of any such spacial designation, I am going to call this my “Inner World.”

At the same time I have the experience of knowing things that do not fall within my inner world. They have an independence of me that is undeniable. I do not experience them as “mine” in the sense that I have described it above. Rather they present a kind of “otherness.” I realize that I can know those things and in various ways interact with them. But since they do not partake in my innerness, I am believe I am going to call them the “Outer World.”
"Life is a pure flame, and we live by an invisible Sun within us."

  -Thomas Browne
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I think DR. Crabtree is a much under appreciated resource for the subjects that are discussed here. Thank You for posting this.
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