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Your Mind Is a System!

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posted on May, 17 2015 @ 10:51 AM
Part of the problem with psychiatry and psychology is it's reductionistic approach to the human mind. In this brief and hopefully coherent thread, I want to outline in point form how future people will understand human consciousness.

1) We are systems. Because everything we exist within is a system, from the solar system our planet inhabits to the system-like dynamics of the natural world around us, to the system dynamics of our body. Consciousness "supervenes" upon these systems, thus, it partakes of its quality.

2) What are units of this system? Experiences. The brain registers a new experience every .100 to .500 milliseconds, despite our conviction of total continuity, consciousness is recreated anew every moment.

3) Experiences differ. They differ both in content (what is being thought about) and intensity (how it feels). Content influences intensity, and in turn, intensity influences content.

4) From the beginning of our human existences, we are being subject to different experiences by the "organizing" influence of immediate care-takers. Through them, are experiences are given shape and form. And through them, a certain future is being etched out.

5) Experiences in the beginning are primarily sensorial. But this doesn't mean that much, as throughout the lifespan, affect - the feelings experiences produce in us - are the main channel in processing how we respond to the world.


Evolution has shaped mammalian minds to connect via expressions of emotion. Love brings minds into closer proximity; anger asserts boundaries; shame announces ones existential separation from the group. Affects in reptiles let their reptilian minds know what is being felt "within" their body's. But in creatures which connect with another conspecifics conscious experience, it is no longer the body per-say which determines the health of the organism, but the organism in it's relation to the whole group. Animals spontaneously connect and find an equilibrium with one another. Human beings, on the other hand, in being self aware, possess a faculty of mind that allows, and can even foster, the appearance of delusion.

6) When we become older, we have a suite of experiences which work together to define our sense of Self. The illusion is the belief, that indeed, this is how I FUNDAMENTALLY AM.

7) Experiences separate from one another according to the affects they produce in us. Good and Bad stand in opposition. The Good can be "emergent properties" of the influence of the occluded - and dissociated - bad. Mental Illness is born from these dissociations.

8) Splitting is how the human organism maintains a coherent self-narrative. Experiences of shame, anxiety and depression, unless fostered and 'contained' by an other, are 'dissociated'. Narcissism - excessive self regard - rides upon the coattails of ones personal pain.

9) Since narcissism develops early - and for the most part, is normal - the distinction between healthy narcissism and destructive narcissism, unless made clear by the 'containing' capacity of another, becomes welded into the persons Self-system. They believe it wholeheartedly.

10) Narcissism is what Martin Buber means by I-It relations. When I am fully in-my-body, I relate with the other - the world - as a blank screen upon which I project my whims and fancies. I am the subject, and the world is my object. Ones comedic skills emerge in just this sort of way.

11) But there are times when one oversteps ones boundaries. When the other is dehumanized and left so because one fails to take in the evidence - the cues - being told by the others body, voice and language.

12) When important decisions need to be made; when emotions are high and feelings are contentious, one MUST transition - as a MATTER OF RESTORING EQUILIBRIUM in the system - to an I-thou, subject-to-subject way of perceiving. Life is a balance, and emotions let us know when to switch.

13) Good experiences intoxicate us. When we feel good, and something goes wrong in the system of our relations, we need to understand the 'hypnotic delusion' were foisting upon ourselves. The Mindful mind disengages from such delusion and understands the need to call into being a different self-state. A switch is called for when we perceive such changes. To not notice such perceptions in ourselves is the hallmark of dissociation.

14) Dissociation in ourselves breeds defensiveness in the wider social systems. Unless a mind is cognizant of its multiplicity, it will never know or understand how to restore equilibrium in it's immediate relations. A Breakdown results from not recognizing another's pain.

15) Repairing situations in our relations entails coming closer. Not moving away or fleeing from your fears, but in coming closer, with a compassionate awareness, are we able to "Create" the properties needed to generate healing. Self honesty and open discussion of what one is experiencing supports healing in our relations, and also in ourselves.

16) This understanding needs to be taught in our school systems. Mindfulness needs to be cultivated so that the system - both of our own minds and the larger social system - can be brought to a state of health and harmony. If we skirt this system approach in either sphere - if we refuse to acknowledge the self-states and experiences "internalized" in us as action plans (learned in our past relational experiences) we will never be able to know when and how to implement constructive change in our relationships with others.

posted on May, 17 2015 @ 08:03 PM
a reply to: Astrocyte

And how is this system organized?

A 'system' is 'an organized whole over time'.

You need to define your terms: Mind? Conscious - Unconscious, cognition - emotion, freewill - habituation.


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