Friday, January 6, 2012

the Daemon

The Daemon


            Every man is born with the power to heal himself and make himself sick, though the process is mostly unconscious and rarely is mastered by the consciousness. There are gurus who can slow or quicken their pulse, cut their arms and make the blood flow or not flow. These prodigies show us what is latent in all of us – though it has all the attractiveness of circus shows. There are many ways to master the self, and all of us come to master ourselves – the fishes, the dogs, the criminals, and the saints.

            Faith healers of all sorts, from Pentecostal Christians to Freudian Psychoanalysts give us a story that impresses us enough to learn what we might have done otherwise. Dreams don’t have a Freudian meaning until you’ve read about Freud. At that point you internalize his id demons, your unconscious makes the dreams he is supposed to have discovered. A Jungian patient has Jungian dreams, a Freudian patient has Freudian dreams, a Scientologist has no dreams at all.

            The unconscious has a sort of intelligence to it, and this we know: schizophrenics can talk at length to their voices, some of them positively love the voices, others are absolutely convinced they have a demon, and are tormented by the “temptations” it throws at them. This is truly a difficult challenge to live with. But it is potentially our problem, it is a part of the brain we have.

            The facilitated communication devices which became a popular way to reach autistic children let those children and adult shave meaningful conversations and even write books: the facilitator helped them guide their hands on a keyboard. Not only were there parents impressed and gratified, but the facilitators fully believed and believe in its method. In double blind tests it has been proven to be the facilitator communicating, perhaps unconsciously with a weejee board effect, and not the patient at all. It is not harmless to hope. Some parents have been imprisoned based on the testimony of sexual harassment that arose from the facilitator’s unconscious.

            Automatic writing is old news: William James, in all his materialism, was interested in how a person may unconsciously write and communicate while the conscious mind is attending something else. With all the weird things we can do with hypnotized patients, such as getting them to believe they are not hypnotized and acting in inexplicable ways, we know the brain is conscious not only as a whole, but also in parts. Usually those parts are in communicating. With patients who have had their corpus coliseum separated, one eye could see a funny image and the person would laugh, but the right eye that did not see the joke would not be able to explain the laugh and would make something up to explain away the laughter.

            This tendency to rationalize when we don’t know the truth, to invent memories and reasons for our behaviors and really believe them, and to convince everybody else of them, is another word for “sanity.” The pervasiveness of this behavior led Freud to the extreme conclusion that all conscious behavior was smokescreen. By misunderstanding the situation, Freud was thereby able to see some unique truths.

            The placebo effect is nearly as strong as most medicines. Up to 40% of cancer patients given placebo chemotherapy lose their hair. If that is the case, how much of our relationships, our job, our family, our life is based on this strange mind over body experience? And can we control it? And if we can, how? And to what extent would this merely be learning to juggle: a skillful way to do nothing productive?

            Theories make truth. Christian Science works because it is confident. Faith in yourself moves mountains, but only the mountains you’ve unconsciously set up anyway. It would take science to drill a tunnel through a mountain.

            Just as governments take your money and then want gratitude when they do things for you, so do the religions wish to give you spiritual gifts and blessings that your own soul can manufacture on its own, if only it new its own power.




Perfection is Easy

Time is now

Apotheosis welcomes

Eternity Bows



No comments: