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Living, Process, Politics and Dissociation

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posted on Jul, 23 2014 @ 01:25 AM
What do all these things have in common?

Whenever we form a perception we should be mindful of the fact that there is a lag between our "perception" and our immediate felt experience. Perception is a "content" of awareness that follows a process which "frames" how we will perceive something. This is basic knowledge nowadays for cognitive scientists, psychoanalysts and anyone else who works with mind and consciousness.

Living involves process. How we think, the way we respond, how we feel about certain issues, can be described pithily as:

a) past experiences and ideas which you have already developed towards this subject
b) the interpersonal dynamics regulating awareness that are communicated subsymbolically as affective - tone of voice, facial features, etc - information, taken in by the right hemisphere, so to speak.

I just finished watching an interview on CNN in which the anchor, Don Lemon, discusses the media angle of the Israel-Hamas conflict. He asks Alan Dershowitz - streaming on skype - what his views are. Dershowitz basically says that Hamas deliberately exploits western media coverage - and how it generally covers things - by endangering their own citizens. He then reads a statement made by a Hamas official who said that "we" would need to form human shields between ourselves and the enemy.

Makes sense. Why would you dispute this, right?

Well, Don Lemon briefly disputed it, and then reformulated his views after Dershowitz "corrected" a misperception he had had. And then the next person to speak, a woman....This is how she handled herself.

After remarking (somewhat pettily) that Dershowitz was going off on a tangent, this woman, who has written a few books on the subect. simply repeated all the facts that Dershowitz had collected.

First, I noted that this was a highly demagogic response. She merely repeated, in an addled voice, the surreality of the situation - but for the purpose of shooting the idea down.

"You say it isnt mother and children. So then its fathers. You're saying fathers are coming together and planning to kill their own wives and children, and you're saying that a society, a human being, could do this. That is unbelievable".

Now, after hearing this complete bull#, obvious example of demagoguery in action, I thought to myself: does she actually believe what shes saying, or is she complicit?

I'll ignore the latter concept and explain from a interpersonal-relational psychology perspective what happens when someone accepts a perspective that leaves out important pieces of information. First, why does this happen? Why can people be so stupid - so stubborn - so immured from the truth, or the reality, that may be conveyed by another person. What sort of process is in play?

Dissociation is a fairly normal and unavoidable fact of being human. We do it all the time. And just as colours or weight or any other sensory perception can bias consciousness, so can ones personal "self" history. How you feel, for example, about yourself as believing "this" - this is coded in your brain and plays a formative part in how you perceive what is being said to you. And the catch is: it's complete unconscious. We are not conscious of it's occurring until after we see it happening. And then we stop it. If of course were mindful enough.

Although I never got the opportunity to see how that interview was received by Lemon or conversely by what anyone else has known, what I do know is that one group of people experienced dissociation in hearing the interview.

Dissociation separates "self states" from conscious awareness. For example, rejecting a piece of information which challenges a favored self state - one which provides positive affect - would be dissociation in action. The dissociation works by shaping attention to focus on particular facets of the issue. While "screening out" through a process of defense and deficit incompatible information. Our minds are simply torn away from an objective perception by a lack of awareness to how the information we take can bias and literally cause dissociation from a very relevant piece of knowledge.

In the above example, the very relevant piece of information being excluded is the fact that suicide bombings exist. Hamas terrorists - and Islamists in general - kill themselves ALL the time. We know this. This isn't a new piece of information.

Just contemplate for a second what this means. For Hamas to act as they do, they must be....different from us
.. Yes, strange. Their minds must be conditioned by a different body of ideas. The knowledge they value - the Quran, The Hadiths, and theological writings - are nothing like our own.

In dissociating, whats partly happening is that you take a hyper-literal perception of Hamas. Instead of perceiving them as different, and as having different views, feelings and perceptions - the woman who gave us that florid incredulous response;: "how could any human being do that?", basically makes a generalization derived from her society and culture and applies it to them as if the conditions and dynamics between the two were the same.

It's really a simple matter. The suicide bomber kills himself because of a profound religious and spiritual experience. Theologically, his mind is formed by the words of the Quran and major theological writers. Spiritually, he takes the duty of Jihad to be the ultimate expressionof submission - Islam - to Allah.

Now, when understood within this obviously relevant perceptual framework, the idea that Hamas literally endangers civilians lives for the sake of winning a propaganda war - the value which comes from winning support from others - should not be taken as implausible. It is merely applying on a larger scale what we already know is done by individuals.

In the fervor of the moment, an IDF mission in Gaza can be perceived by some Gazan families as an act of Shahid - for example, that they live in a building where Hamas builds bombs or gathers. Or, conversely, if they don't respond to the pamphlets that Israel leaves, Hamas may encourage families to stay put as an expression of support and solidarity.

So, it's not like Hamas speaks clearly about it. Perhaps it's just the process - the fervency of their religious conviction - that impels them to act as this, and not any particular "concept' which they mean to exploit. On the other hand, I am skepitcal that the more sophisticated Hamas officials aren't aware of the value that a large civilian death toll can give to their international propaganda war against the Israelis.


To be on the wrong side - and many times there really is a wrong side (such as the current Russia/West situation) and not recognize the falseness of your views implies an unrealistic idea about how our minds work. The unconscious constantly "informs" and shapes consciousness. And when a relevant piece of information - contextual constraints - aren't being integrated into your perceptual system, you need to really probe deep within yourself, and ask yourself why that is. Eventually, if you are honest and do not subscribe to a purely subjectivist point of view (which would be extreme: perception is constructive, i.e outside reality INTERACTING with inside reality. The two together forming a "construction" of whats 'objectively there) you will allow yourself to accept it without fearing the feeling of "being wrong".
edit on 23-7-2014 by Astrocyte because: (no reason given)

posted on Jul, 23 2014 @ 01:43 AM
a reply to: Astrocyte

"The suicide bomber kills himself because of a profound religious and spiritual experience".

Except in Islam suicide is a great sin. Its also the greatest sin to kill an innocent person. So I am highly skeptical of all reports of suicide bombers. A woman that survived UK bus bombing told that when they had heard on a radio of the train bombing, she saw the panic on the face on one of the passenger as he tried to get away from the case he was carrying. But it exploded before he could get clear.

People just don't blow themselves up for no reason. They could easily just leave bombs in places and explode them remotely. So the propaganda on western media is just a mantra, up is down, good is bad, black is white to fund continuous wars that enrich the military industrial complex. Upon realization, our minds can automatically translate the propaganda to read between the lines.

posted on Jul, 23 2014 @ 01:49 AM
Mind you, following the acceptance of this perception comes the issue of extent. How much can Israel do in it's war against Hamas - knowing that Hamas deliberately endangers the lives of it's civilians?

This is what makes morality "sticky". where can we begin. We have the context above, but how do we justify it in action. How much is "too much"? Has Israel done to much? Or does destroying Hamas take priority to preventing Palestinian deaths?

If Israel does nothing, the issue persists without any end in sight. This is a nightmare for Israelis. If they go forward and act as they currently have been, they have to suffer the price of a large Palestinian death count, as well as an IDF death count.

This issue shouldn't be sweeped under the carpet. It wouldn't be fair to the Israelis to "tolerate them", and accept a situation that is dangerous and psychologically menacing. On the other hand, the large number of Palestinian deaths is horrific. As is the 700 deaths in Syria, and the 300 Christians recently killed in Iraq by ISIS. Just tallying these numbers - all recent events, coincidentally, or not, brings us back to the point of Islamism.

It's a dangerous and utterly psychotic belief system. Desperation, Religion, Death. These are ideas that permeate their lfestyle. They are desperate to improve the status of their civilization - religion, culture - in the world, and they are willing to go the most utter extremes, end justifies the means, situations, to accomplish that quixotic goal.

posted on Jul, 23 2014 @ 01:57 AM
a reply to: glend

Except in Islam suicide is a great sin. Its also the greatest sin to kill an innocent person. So I am highly skeptical of all reports of suicide bombers.

How many different perspectives exist in the Christian world? Do you know? Do you think all Christians agree on all issues? Same thing with Islam. In the Islamic world, different people hold different "authority'". And the men who interpret the law extract from the theological writings the ontological basis for their particular morality.

Since i am pretty well read in this area, let me show you how the continuity of thought works for them.

Metaphysically, according to Al Ghazali, Allah is absolutely one with no division. All things exist "crystallized", as it were, within the boundaries of the Quran - which is considered to be his literal word. For Al Ghazali, temporality doesn't exist in reality. Neither does space. Or any "separateness", in fact.

Not to extend this idea. If the end of an action in a temporal sequence of events ends up supporting the "end goal", which is a world where Islam is accepted by everyone, than everything which happens between now and "then" is subordinate to this metaphysical 'end point'. All things exist in this end point, and the confusing political realities of our present moment, according to the theologians which justify suicide bombings, don't really exist; they are like the hindu "maya" concealing the underlying unity - and reality - concretized in the Quran.

This how they think^^^

And, I hope you've picked this point up, the Islamic world has multiple theological perspectives.

posted on Jul, 23 2014 @ 02:17 AM
a reply to: Astrocyte

The suicide bomber kills himself because of a profound religious and spiritual experience.


The suicide bomber kills himself because of a hypnotic maniacal drug/alcohol induced frenzy.

posted on Jul, 23 2014 @ 02:43 AM
a reply to: Astrocyte

There is no fuzziness, murder is the greatest sin in Islam, killing one innocent person in Islam is equal to killing all of mankind. And no hadith written by any man over-rides the Koran.

Another example of western propaganda I witnessed was a BBC report that headlined Osama bin Laden admits to 9/11. Their written source for that news report was an interview carried out by the pakistani newspaper called Ummat. When I clicked their source it took me to a Ummat interview in which Osama bin Laden was claimed to have said "We are against the American system but not the American people. Islam does not allow killing of innocent people, men, women and children even in the event of war.". He claim 9/11 was carried out by forces within the US.

So media doesn't even hide the fact that they lie because they know 99.9% will never check their sources. Today they don't even provide sources they just tell you what they want you to believe.

Unfortunately people like yourself either have to accept the lies to re-enforce your belief system or admit that your belief system is built from lies (propoganda). Its easier to believe the lies than risk a mental break down.

God Bless.

posted on Jul, 23 2014 @ 04:06 AM
Once one understands the way our perspective is influenced by so many subconscious factors, I don't see how anyone can be so sure of their own as being THE objective truth?

To me, you are just one more of the millions claiming "MY perspective is the real truth- everyone elses is biased."

For that reason, I speak in terms of what I perceive, and respect the right of others to do the same.

posted on Jul, 23 2014 @ 04:31 AM
a reply to: Astrocyte

I enjoyed the OP. Good job.

I have some questions though...

Do you think it's sociopathic to manipulate people byway of having knowledge of how the mind works?

And a followup question: Do you believe not doing so would make you partially guilty of their actions? Or would you be guilty of something worse, if you did?

posted on Jul, 23 2014 @ 12:53 PM
a reply to: Bluesma

To me, you are just one more of the millions claiming "MY perspective is the real truth- everyone elses is biased."

The funny and paradoxical thing is, once you understand THE PROCESSES that work, you are able to be "more" objective than someone who is ignorant of them.

So to say that I am "just one of the millions", placing me in the same category without any distinction I think may be an example know...subconscious forces affecting how your processing the information at hand.

Fact is this. The world is non-linear. human relations are non-linear. All the subconscious forces which affect our judgement , both impersonal (physical sensations, framing, etc) and personal (past history) when understood, WILL enhance your ability to make a more ACCURATE objective perception.

We can never arrive at perfect objectivity. But we can inch closer towards it by offsetting the processes that work between us when we think about matters.

For that reason, I speak in terms of what I perceive, and respect the right of others to do the same.

So...a pure subjectivism. Moral relativism? Yeah. That's wrong. Just as wrong as a pure objectivism.

Every perception is an intake of "outside" information and it's interaction with "inside" information. It's constructivist.

Some opinions are just dumb and wrong. Others are more right and more well thought out. And, out of necessity, complex. Because life and living and the realities relate with are so embedded in a context of relationships.

Hope I'm not irking you - I sense maybe a bit of that.

I do appreciate your views bluesma.

edit on 23-7-2014 by Astrocyte because: (no reason given)

posted on Jul, 23 2014 @ 12:55 PM
a reply to: glend

I would say your ego is far bigger than mine.. And probably anyone else you relate with.

I can see that everything you believe is probably a joke.

God Bless.

posted on Jul, 26 2014 @ 02:48 PM
a reply to: Astrocyte

I just disagree, that's all.

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