Sunday, August 28, 2016

On the Difference Between Abreaction and Feeling (Part 11/15)


 Awareness V. Consciousness

 The leitmotif of every intellectual therapy is that awareness helps us make progress. I’ll grant that awareness helps; but being conscious cures. Unless we are able to achieve consciousness in psychotherapy, the most we can do is tread water, having the illusion of progress without its essence. When it comes to measuring progress in psychotherapy, it matters whether one measures the whole system or only aspects of brain function. Awareness fits the latter. It has a specific seat in the brain.

 Psychotherapy has been in the business of awareness for too long. Since the days of Freud, we have apotheosized insights. We are so used to appealing to the almighty frontal cortex, the structure that has made us the advanced human beings that we are, that we forgot our precious ancestors, their instincts and feelings. Thus, when the patient is uncomfortable during a conventional, talk-therapy session, therapists typically take the position that, “More insight is what we need; the patient is not aware enough.” Yet, what lies on low levels of brain function is impervious to the realm of any ideas, where insights lie. That is why we can be anxious and aware, but not anxious and conscious. Consciousness is the end of anxiety.

 Consciousness means connection to what is driving us – our disconnected feelings. Awareness means dealing with only the last evolutionary neuronal development: the pre-frontal cortex. It is the difference between separation on the top cerebral level versus the confluence of all three levels, which is consciousness. Once we are conscious, we have words to explain our feelings, but words do not eradicate them; they explain and elucidate. We are deeply wounded long before words make their appearance in our brains. Words are neither the problem nor the solution. They are the last evolutionary step in processing the feeling or sensation. They are the companions of feelings.

 We need a therapy of consciousness, not awareness. If we believe that we have an id stewing inside of us, there is no proper treatment because the cause is an apparition – a phantom that doesn’t exist. Or worse, it is a genetic force that is immutable and therefore cannot be treated. In any case, we are the losers. There is no powerlessness like being unconscious; running around in a quandary about what to do about this or that, about sexual problems, high blood pressure, depression, and temper outbursts. It all seems like such a mystery. The aware person, or he who seeks awareness, has to be told everything. He listens, obeys – and suffers. Awareness doesn’t make us sensitive, empathic, or loving. It makes us aware of why we can’t be. It’s like being aware of a virus. It’s good to know what the problem is, but nothing changes. The best awareness can do is create ideas that negate need and pain.




7 comments:

  1. What is missing here in Art:s writing is the criminal act that is now practiced in view of what primal therapy talked about for decades ago.

    Are there any excuses for imprisoning suffering with forced medication? Forced medication for what options they never had interest to shed light on primal therapy.

    Is there any substance to succeed in changing someone that signing his death by doing it? Yes for those who have given up their lives... but it has no professional around psychiatry ever thought to do? This is what can be likened to what we have in front of us.

    What more can words do than to tell you that 2 + 2 = 4 ... and if you refuse to admit it ... along with the majority... then just think what the outcome would be... are.

    When reality catches up with us for what the future death means then we face the same anxiety as we have already gone through... as are the reason why aging may be a so dramatic breakdown. No body in a decomposition process can be stopped in the face of aging death!

    What is more important for humanity... there are small innocent children watching in their future of pure hell! Is not that something that can make us act more revolutionary?

    Have I not heard enough of suspicions against a revolution indispensable to human love and warmth?

    Frank

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hi Frank,

    well said.

    As a tradesman and a team leader with 30 years experience learning it myself on the job from others and in intentional workshops, I can only say that we are limited to what we can do as individuals to the extent we can look into the future and trust our perceptions, therein lies the essence of hope. The past will not support us any further than we can allow it back into ourselves. No-one else can do that for us, so, the real inclusions can hardly ever be evidence for a litigation. Who as a patient would want a fight in court? Forgiveness is a red herring. To find the therapist, the mentor, the 'help', well, we can keep trying to do that through collaborating with other feeling people; can't we? I doubt we can rely on the institutions, it's got to be a grass roots thing near where we live as individuals.

    Perhaps that's what the Legacy offers? - A way to start some small grass roots all over the planet.

    Paul G.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Frank and us all,

      I've been on about this here for about 3 or 4 years. But I'm not 'it'. France & Art are 'it'.

      They can't do the 'marketing'. And of course it's not about beliefs or money either. That's the rub with the world we live in; so much of what we conceive has had to rely on a financial or ideational base.

      What we have with the Legacy is an opportunity to really address the issues we face with evolution and our place in it.

      I'm making plans to be more involved with the Legacy and I'm looking for collaborators. In the meantime we could on this blog think about what that really means at the 'grassroots'.

      Paul G.

      Delete
  3. the awareness that i was a child and almost total unconscience* of how it was.

    is it deliberate the use of the word consciousness instead of conscience? the later is older, more common and in my opinion more adequate word. certainly for me easier to translate. it has a more perceptive meaning. "consciousness" is more scientific, spiritual, mindful and buddhist. just an impression. though in english it is visually easily distinguishable from awareness.

    we need a therapy of conscience. how does it sound to you all?



    *this word does not exist

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No, I wrote about it in "Primal Healing". art

      Delete
  4. An email comment:
    "Great article, as I always do with your articles, I have shared this on twitter, g+1, and facebook. It's great to hear about your effective therapy. I just have "wild bear from the woods" therapy, self administered with all the effectiveness of a witch doctor reading about surgery in a language not his own and trying it out on himself. This wild bear therapy isn't lowering my blood pressure. (Imagine that, who would have thunk it?)
    "

    ReplyDelete
  5. Hi Art,

    this post reminds me of another post you wrote about the difference between 'Essence & Appearances'. & that surely is the problem with conventional psychotherapy; that it promotes appearances whilst claiming to address our damaged and hurting essence.

    Until we have had some real breakthrough to old feelings (not those we get from touching movies or rousing music), those feelings and sensations which are impossible to replicate by 'acting', such as locomotive breathing, apnea, or both alternating; or again crying AS a baby which is unmistakable and scary, hivgh pitched and tearing trying to attract a caring cuddle, a 'stroke', a caress. . . Until then conventional psychotherapy is a charade which only locks most patients into an eternal return to personality, to appearances and to mere awareness. . .

    Paul G.

    ReplyDelete

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Bailey Endowed Chair of Animal Well Being Science
Washington State University

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K.J.S. Anand, MBBS, D. Phil, FAACP, FCCM, FRCPCH, Professor of Pediatrics, Anesthesiology, Anatomy & Neurobiology, Senior Scholar, Center for Excellence in Faith and Health, Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare System


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Editor