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Hypnosis reveals the Unconscious is structured like a language
12-17-2016, 06:57 AM (This post was last modified: 01-17-2017 05:53 AM by Ontical.)
Post: #1
The phenomena of hypnosis

Hypnosis is a peculiar phenomenon that allows a practitioner to have some kind of dialogue with the unconscious realm of the human mind. What is curious however, is how the unconscious that is accessed though hypnosis, is responsive to language.

If a hypnotist induces the victim to eat a lemon by describing it as a juicy, sweet apple, the victim does not presumably hallucinate the visual image, as they will hold the lemon according to its proper shape. The victim will however, interpret the lemon as an apple and in spite of their taste buds, actually enjoy the apple! This means that interpretation is no longer based on sense perception, it has been short-circuited and the word 'apple' now dominates the senses. We form our sense through language.

Signifiers without signified

The implications of this phenomenon are quite profound. A hypnotist can bring about long or short term modifcations to the structure of the Unconscious, sometimes a therapist may provide post-hypnotic suggestions that provoke nausea when the patient encounters a cigarette, the words 'take over' the senses whenever temptation for cigarettes come about. Similar effects are seen in neurotic patients, a myth speaks to the subject. The myth is essentially the 'discourse of the other'. The Unconscious works like a language of signifiers without signifieds, marks on a page without meanings behind them.

This means that language is a part of the Unconscious, the subject (I) is created from otherness. The Unconscious can be seen like a grid of signs that are nothing more than marks on the grid without meaning, no signified relation to the outside of the subject. I is a creation of language, which is the other.

In the hypnotic state, verbalisation is disassociated from realisation.

The stage hypnotist may inflict upon their victim the curse of barking like a dog whenever someone claps, or says a keyword (trigger phrase) through post-hypnotic suggestion and much like a neurotic patient when behaving in an odd way, will rationalise and justify their actions as normal and under their own control.

The Unconscious is structured like a language

This famous and profound phrase is from the psycho-analyst Jacques Lacan, through the phenomenon of hypnosis he discovered that the Unconscious was not primordial and primitive, full of animal instincts that were completely irrational and without structure. It is composed of drives and what it knows about the elementary is no more than the elements of the signifier.

We become ourselves through the other, in a previous thread on the concept of Incorporation (the embodiment of the world around us) I discussed how we are nothing more than what we ingest around us,from those closest to us. The Unconscious as a language shows how we desire what others desire, it's just how we are wired.

Need can be satisfied, but desire is never satisfied. In understanding how language and symbols can shape our inner world, we can simply find 'others' to inform ourselves that can best suit our needs. Understanding this structure of language as something instrinsic to the way our psyche operates should not be taken as a kind of inauthenticity, but rather a determinism that we can be aware of and then expose our Unconscious to different desires.

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12-17-2016, 01:54 PM (This post was last modified: 12-17-2016 01:56 PM by Rashnu.)
Post: #2
Saving this for a later time to read.. I myself wrote a whole thread about a hypnosis tutorial

In order to Hear, we must Listen; In order to See, we must Look; and in order to Understand we must Want To.
Nature is the teacher of art..
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12-17-2016, 03:23 PM (This post was last modified: 12-17-2016 03:25 PM by SteampunkScientist.)
Post: #3
"we are nothing more than what we ingest around us, from those closest to us."

Poppycock. The unconscious mind is so infinitely more than this line of drivel, that it is like comparing an atom to a universe. Language came from it, and we are the eyes that look out of it.

Magic: When you pull a rabbit out of a hat...
Magick: When the rabbit pulls you out of a hat...
In either case, you should keep a jaundiced eye on that hat...
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12-17-2016, 07:08 PM (This post was last modified: 12-17-2016 09:36 PM by Ontical.)
Post: #4
(12-17-2016 03:23 PM)SteampunkScientist Wrote:  "we are nothing more than what we ingest around us, from those closest to us."

Poppycock. The unconscious mind is so infinitely more than this line of drivel, that it is like comparing an atom to a universe. Language came from it, and we are the eyes that look out of it.

I'm not being reductive and here's why -

The Unconscious is a language, or at least structured like one. Languages are like operating systems, it's not only words that qualify as language. Language can be expressed through body movements for one and the symbiotic and parasitic search for stability is another form of language for communion, or to be more accurate exchange. What is profound, is that as language is the operating system, it has the objective of communion with the other, so it has the other already in mind before the construction of ego (I). I don't think we can trace a cause and effect here in the way you describe, all we ever see is a constant conjunction, which is why I prefer to use a dialectical monism 'the unconscious is a language'. Language is both dependent and independent on the Unconscious and vice versa, they emerged with each other. one cannot be without two.

Humans incorporate the world around them through mimesis, performativity, normativity and subjectivation (the formation of the subject). This starts from early childhood and continues throughout the rest of our lives. We have to bring things towards us, or we move towards things, we grasp that which is present-at-hand, that which has presence and we make it our own. That's not comparing anything to anything. It's acknowledging the operating system, the signifiers without signified, we learn through language and what we learn is embedded into our Unconscious. See my thread on Incorporation, this is explained in more detail.[1]

If we are the eyes of the Universe, then that works with what I have explained - we are what we have ingested from around us, we can't be anything more, but this doesn't mean it's insignificant, you only have to look at how vast reality is to see what we have ingested and made our own. We can however, have a limited view of reality due to the language we use. Language informs our reality.

Structuralism is tackling the claims of earlier philosophy that talk about 'essences', instead of using that term it says 'signs lead to other signs' and this makes language the main focus of philosophy, not as something epistemic, but as something that is ontological. Each sign has no meaning without its relation to another sign, or combination of signs. So Lacan shows how the Unconscious is the bare bones operating system that is full of these signs, but they don't yet have any relation, but they have the equipment for relation and exchange.

footnote: [1] http://wizardforums.com/Thread-Incorporation

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12-17-2016, 09:56 PM (This post was last modified: 12-17-2016 10:00 PM by Feywer96.)
Post: #5
Language does not constitute reality. It is a tool used within it.
The unconscious is far more vast, not structured, and speaks chiefly through symbols. We use language to describe reality and sense-impressions. The unconscious is not a language, but has a language.
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12-17-2016, 10:36 PM (This post was last modified: 12-17-2016 11:04 PM by Ontical.)
Post: #6
(12-17-2016 09:56 PM)Feywer96 Wrote:  Language does not constitute reality.

I am not only referring to words when I say language, it is not limited to spoken words. That's why the term that is used for language is 'signs'. It's another way of saying essences, but the signs are irreducible, they only have value and meaning in relation to other signs. Lacan's take on language being the structure of the Unconscious as 'signs without signified' allows infinite possibilities of relation. Reality is a communion of signs that exchange through relations. Take a look at the Merleau-Ponty quote below.

Quote:It is a tool used within it.


That does not differ from the way it's described by Lacan. We can understand it better as a language structure.

Quote:The unconscious is far more vast, not structured, and speaks chiefly through symbols.

Symbols are languages. I don't percieve explaining the Unconscious as a language as in anyway a limitation of its vastness, if the signs have no signified, then there are infinite possibilities as to how they will relate to other signs.

Quote:We use language to describe reality and sense-impressions.

Yes, but language informs the senses, language has to first be present to be able to interpret what is being sensed. The more language I have to describe reality the more I can discover and understand, grasp. I will refer you to the opening post, the lemon and the apple domination of the senses through the sign 'apple' and 'sweet'.

Quote:The unconscious is not a language, but has a language.

You have said the Unconscious uses symbols, so it's structured in such a way that is like a language, it can be accessed and is responsive to language. It can't be the Unconscious if it did not have a language structure, therefore the Unconscious is a language structure of signifiers without signified. That allows infinite possibilities of relations, exchanges and more. Language is not only words, all of nature is about communion, communication - it has the structure of a language.

Maurice Merleau-Ponty Wrote:Language is the very voice of the trees, the waves, the forest.

(12-17-2016 01:54 PM)Rashnu Wrote:  Saving this for a later time to read.. I myself wrote a whole thread about a hypnosis tutorial

I just searched the threads but could not find it, would you be so kind as to link it here for me?

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12-17-2016, 11:26 PM (This post was last modified: 12-17-2016 11:28 PM by Feywer96.)
Post: #7
(12-17-2016 10:36 PM)Ontical Wrote:  
Quote:The unconscious is far more vast, not structured, and speaks chiefly through symbols.

Symbols are languages.

Symbols within the unconscious are not coherent or similar enough between two people to warrant it being a "language" in the social sense of the word. While symbols do express things, perhaps the choice of using the word "language" may be a bit off.

Quote:I don't perceive explaining the Unconscious as a language as in anyway a limitation of its vastness, if the signs have no *significance, then there are infinite possibilities as to how they will relate to other signs.

That is true.

Quote:
Quote:We use language to describe reality and sense-impressions.

Yes, but language informs the senses, language has to first be present to be able to interpret what is being sensed. The more language I have to describe reality the more I can discover and understand, grasp. I will refer you to the opening post, the lemon and the apple domination of the senses through the sign 'apple' and 'sweet'.

I think here is a fallacy of this argument.
Language does not "inform" the senses. The senses inform the senses Tounge

Again, maybe you need a better word

Quote:
Quote:The unconscious is not a language, but has a language.

You have said the Unconscious uses symbols, so it's structured in such a way that is like a language, it can be accessed and is responsive to language.

The unconscious has no discernible structure.

Symbols are used to interpret what the unconscious is attempting to convey. The only way the unconscious knows how to communicate these concise but equally vague messages are through symbols.

Quote:It can't be the Unconscious if it did not have a language structure, therefore the Unconscious is a language structure of signifiers without *significance.

Um, what? lol

The very thing about the unconscious -- is that it's unconscious.

We don't know anything about it's depths or what it can swell up - because we're conscious. Things that are spat up from the internal "void" (if you will) happen without us being aware that they are.

Quote:That allows infinite possibilities of relations, exchanges and more. Language is not only words, all of nature is about communion, communication - it has the structure of a language.

Well if you just said that, that makes a whole lot more sense Tounge

I mean I guess you can see it that way, but imo it's not "communication" as it's really about flux. Physical processes do not talk, if you know what I mean.

Maurice Merleau-Ponty Wrote:Language is the very voice of the trees, the waves, the forest.

lol I listen to the wind and hear wind ;P

I get that animals also communicate with a sort of language, and plants also communicate, and physical processes intermingle and do things - and it's amazing how they interconnect and everything - but that does not mean that they are using "language" in the sense of the word. They are just doing what they are doing. Life. It's not all philosophical Tounge Just processes in nature doing their natural processes.

Anyway

There are some useful bits - and I can see what is meant - but this theory as a whole is too much to swallow.
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12-18-2016, 12:55 AM (This post was last modified: 12-18-2016 01:10 AM by Ontical.)
Post: #8
(12-17-2016 11:26 PM)Feywer96 Wrote:  Symbols within the unconscious are not coherent or similar enough between two people to warrant it being a "language" in the social sense of the word. While symbols do express things, perhaps the choice of using the word "language" may be a bit off.

As I said, it's not restricted to the social sense. The actual term is 'langue', which is used by the structuralists. It's opposite is 'parole' which are the utterances of the sound-images (signs/langue)


Quote:I think here is a fallacy of this argument.
Language does not "inform" the senses. The senses inform the senses Tounge


What are senses without interpretation? Taste, smell, sight, sound, kinds, qualities, particulars, all require interpretation. We can often dislike or like things that are part of our culture, not necessarily based on our own sense perception. We observe forms and interpret they way they express, which is a form of language.

Quote:Again, maybe you need a better word

Language works fine as long as you don't reduce it to words and letters. Body language is devoid of letters, the written word came after the spoken word, our understanding of nature came before we express what it is. 'Signs' are better than representations. nature is communion, which is a form of communication, so language suits it just fine.

Quote:The unconscious has no discernible structure.

Symbols are used to interpret what the unconscious is attempting to convey. The only way the unconscious knows how to communicate these concise but equally vague messages are through symbols.

Dreaming is like reading a book, the language comes first and the imagery derives from it. And in dreaming as in reading, the imagery varies greatly in full-ness and intensity. But the dreamer, unlike the reader, never actually experiences the language to which he or she is responding. The dreamer, like the neurotic, only ever experiences the effects of the language of the Unconscious.

Quote:Um, what? lol

The very thing about the unconscious -- is that it's unconscious.

It has symbols, it has something in it that allows it to respond to language, therefore what we access is structured like a language. This means that the Unconscious has language as a necessity, it is a 'tool' of the Unconscious as you yourself described, therefore the Unconscious would not be the Unconscious without a language.

Quote:We don't know anything about it's depths or what it can swell up - because we're conscious. Things that are spat up from the internal "void" (if you will) happen without us being aware that they are.

Yes, that's correct. We act sometimes as though we are being instinctual, but are infact operating due to the way relations and exchanges have been wired in our subconscious. I'm not trying to say that you can know everything about the Unconscious, only that what we can access and describe, is structured like a language, but it's not like our conscious language which has signifiers and signifieds, it's a language with signifiers without signifieds.

Quote:
Quote:That allows infinite possibilities of relations, exchanges and more. Language is not only words, all of nature is about communion, communication - it has the structure of a language.

Well if you just said that, that makes a whole lot more sense Tounge

Awesome.

Quote:I mean I guess you can see it that way, but imo it's not "communication" as it's really about flux. Physical processes do not talk, if you know what I mean.

Communication allows for flux, communication is never fixed anyway.

Quote:
Maurice Merleau-Ponty Wrote:Language is the very voice of the trees, the waves, the forest.

lol I listen to the wind and hear wind ;P

The cloud is in the piece of paper - Thich Nhat Hanh

Quote:I get that animals also communicate with a sort of language, and plants also communicate, and physical processes intermingle and do things - and it's amazing how they interconnect and everything - but that does not mean that they are using "language" in the sense of the word. They are just doing what they are doing. Life. It's not all philosophical Tounge Just processes in nature doing their natural processes.

As I said, language is not restricted to the spoken word, which is why Lacan, Durkheim, Saussure and other structuralists use the word 'signs'. Except it is philosophical, structuralism came out of the human sciences before it became a philosophical movement, namely out of anthropology, linguistics, semiotics, economics and psychology. There is the one and the many, everything is interconnected, through languages, signs. They commune, exchange and transform, so there has to be a structure that allows this to occur in the first place. We can't learn without language for example. There are many contingencies in the natural world that don't follow predictions, instability leads to predation and parasitism for instance, but eventually they settle into symbiosis. Philosophy is always an over arching term that reviews many disciplines - we have philosophy of science, philosophy of language, philosophy of religion. All being is set up in such a way that it can perform certain actions before it does those actions - which means there is an operating system that allows it to interact with other operating systems ex ante (before the event). Operating systems are full of dead signs, a language without communion, yet it's ready to commune and appear as life. This means that it can transform when it communes, it both includes and transcends itself - it evolves.

Remember when you ticked the box in the other thread 'Meaning is understood through interactions and encounters'? Well, this is what I too believe.

Quote:Anyway

There are some useful bits - and I can see what is meant - but this theory as a whole is too much to swallow.

It's vast indeed, but I don't stop at tables and chairs in philosophy, there is much more to philosophy than that. There's a reason why we still have the human sciences and the natural sciences - they are interdisciplinary, science can't explain everything, it has it's limits.

I find the structuralists to be a way to merge mystical thought with philosophy, East meets West with these guys. Nietzsche was the preliminary to the structural school, he says that there is the 'will to power' indicating there is a language of power that is in all organic life, a priori.

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12-18-2016, 01:37 AM
Post: #9
(12-18-2016 12:55 AM)Ontical Wrote:  
Quote:Again, maybe you need a better word

Language works fine as long as you don't reduce it to words and letters. Body language is devoid of letters, the written word came after the spoken word, our understanding of nature came before we express what it is.

All right; that's a valid and good point~

Quote:Dreaming is like reading a book, the language comes first and the imagery derives from it.

If you mean, as in, the "language" of the dream (the symbols) comes first and the "imagery" (the meaning) derives thus, then I would hold agreement.

Quote:And in dreaming as in reading, the imagery varies greatly in full-ness and intensity. But the dreamer, unlike the reader, never actually experiences the language to which he or she is responding. The dreamer, like the neurotic, only ever experiences the effects of the language of the Unconscious.

I don't want to verge too much off topic here. Some people are more unconsciously effected by the symbols presented (in dreams a.k.a by the unconscious) than others. To be aware of that is a difference in itself.

Quote:
Quote:The very thing about the unconscious -- is that it's unconscious.

It has symbols, it has something in it that allows it to respond to language, therefore what we access is structured like a language. This means that the Unconscious has language as a necessity, it is a 'tool' of the Unconscious as you yourself described, therefore the Unconscious would not be the Unconscious without a language.

We interpret everything through a language, be that "language" a set of symbols or signs presented by the unconscious or what ever. The unconscious would still be the unconscious even if someone couldn't discern what it was conveying through it's symbols.

Quote:
Quote:We don't know anything about it's depths or what it can swell up - because we're conscious. Things that are spat up from the internal "void" (if you will) happen without us being aware that they are.

Yes, that's correct. We act sometimes as though we are being instinctual, but are in fact operating due to the way relations and exchanges have been wired in our subconscious.

I'm not talking about acting on instinct, but how as the unconscious is able to bring things forth into consciousness without us being aware that they are.

Quote:
Quote:I get that animals also communicate with a sort of language, and plants also communicate, and physical processes intermingle and do things - and it's amazing how they interconnect and everything - but that does not mean that they are using "language" in the sense of the word. They are just doing what they are doing. Life. It's not all philosophical Tounge Just processes in nature doing their natural processes.

As I said, language is not restricted to the spoken word, which is why Lacan, Durkheim, Saussure and other structuralists use the word 'signs'.

That's fine~

Quote:They commune, exchange and transform, so there has to be a structure that allows this to occur in the first place. We can't learn without language for example.

Of course.

Quote:There are many contingencies in the natural world that don't follow predictions, instability leads to predation and parasitism for instance, but eventually they settle into symbiosis.

But equilibrium is rarely achieved. And the sad fact is that reality consists of an endless cycle of inexorable opposites. Life is a battleground, it always has been, and always will be. If it were not - it would come to an end! ;P

Quote:Remember when you ticked the box in the other thread 'Meaning is understood through interactions and encounters'? Well, this is what I too believe.

:-)

Quote:...there is the 'will to power' indicating there is a language of power that is in all organic life, a priori.

Web of Life - on a cosmic scale Tounge
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12-18-2016, 03:10 AM
Post: #10
What becomes of those that just give up? In life they die... But beyond? Can a soul, conscious essence, intelligence (for lack of a better wording) just be obliterated if one just throws in the towel.

For that persona it cycles to "whats the point of anything?" The will is gone and you just dont care.

I thought unconsciously things strive to survive. But seems that can break....or be broken.

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