Buffers, Programs and "the Predator's Mind"

Laura

Administrator
Administrator
Moderator
FOTCM Member
Let's talk today about programs - also called buffers and "the Predator's Mind - and how we get them and how they affect us throughout our lives unless and until we learn about them, examine them, and deal with them cognitively.

Starting with some basics:

As an infant develops, the nature of its moment-by-moment experiences of its inner world and the world around it changes in terms of intensity (affect/emotion). During relatively quiet periods of low affective intensity, the infant absorbs all kinds of information about its environment - cognitive learning. This type of learning does not have a major impact on the infant's motivational system.

At other times, the infant has periods of high affect intensity. These are usually related to experiences of need or wish for pleasure or comfort, or a wish/need to get away from something due to fear or pain.

These periods of peak affect intensity involve the developing infant in an intense learning experience about its relations to itself and others (including the world at large), and these are the experiences that lay down heavily emotion-laden memory circuits in the developing brain that can become very problematical "programs" or manifestations of the "Predator's Mind" in later life.

The emotion-laden memory structures in the brain formed under peak affect states are the foundation of the motivational systems of the individual - what the individual considers to be important for survival, how to obtain what is needed for that survival and how to avoid what is painful or threatening to survival.

Obviously, the most "ideal" concept of the self and other that an infant can have is a "perfect, nurturing other and a perfect, satisfied self" and such images form in the infant's mind as a result of satisfying experiences.

Frustrating or painful experiences, on the other hand, form a concept of a depriving or abusive "other" and a needy, helpless self.

This induces great stress on the organism.

An infant whose caregiver is generally attentive and nurturing CAN internalize images of a sadistic, depriving "world out there and others in it" because of experiences of temporary frustration or deprivation. In other words, a child from a good, caring family can "turn out badly". (Excluding considerations of genetics here.)

At the same time, an infant whose caregiver is generally neglectful or abusive may have accidental satisfying experiences at the right moments that can lead to an internal image of a loving, nurturing world and others in it. That is, a child from a "bad" family can turn out well. (Again, we are not considering genetics which can play an important role also.)

But, in general, because of the duration of the developmental period, it could be said that an infant will have a preponderance of one type or another experience and there can be compensation for the bad experiences that ameliorates them, though even that depends on the genetic nature of the individual.

Now, let's consider the "many I problem" of the ancient tradition, known in modern psychological parlance as "identity diffusion."

Identity diffusion refers to a person who has a psychological structure characterized by the fragmentation rather than integration of the internal representations of the self and others.

Most people suffer from identity diffusion to one extent or another because they have had varying kinds of positive or negative experiences during periods of high affect intensity as infants (or later in life). This problem is the focus of Martha Stout's book "The Myth of Sanity" where she talks about dissociation and how people do it when they are children as a sort of defense mechanism, and then as they do it, it gets to be a sort of habit.

A person can dissociate at any time in their life when they are going through a rough period that puts a lot of strain on their emotions and thinking - the neurological structures. Thing is, once you do it, it becomes easier to do it the next time and the next and next... It sort of lays down a "track" that is easier and easier to follow. It can be thought of as similar to carbon tracks in a distributor of a gas engine that cause mis-firing of the spark plugs or a skip in a vinyl record.

Watching television, movies, reading, (yes!), pornography, video games, whatever, are all common ways of dissociating or dealing with stress. Remember, stress can be caused by the conflict of drives vs reality.

Identity diffusion becomes a problem when it is persistent. It can then lead to pervasive feelings of a lack of values or goals or a "central self." This means that the person is going through life without consistent beliefs, values, goals; they do not have a clear sense of direction, a clear sense of self, and what is meaningful for them is determined solely by the situation in which they find themselves. They are like weather vanes, whichever way the wind is blowing, they spin and go with it. If they are with a group that does this or that, they do it mindlessly because that is what everyone else is doing. They behave mechanically according to the reactions programmed into them by their early experiences.

I think that all of you can easily see that identity diffusion manifests to one extent or another in just about everybody. In most people, it is mild and most of what is inside them is somewhat integrated, though certainly it is still composed of thousands of automatic programs.

Now, let's take a deeper look at Primitive Defense Mechanisms, otherwise known as programs, buffers or "the predator's mind."

Defense mechanisms are the ways we learn to deal with stress or conflict as we develop from infancy to adulthood. Very often, they are formed by automatic brain functions that activate in response to stress.

Some stresses are caused by conflicts between our drives, our emotions, and the "real world." One of the most basic is the early stresses that a child may experience when they are hungry (drive) and do not get fed. Or, they are cold or too hot, or in pain and there is no relief forthcoming.

Later on, a child may want a cookie (drive) and is told "no, not until after dinner," and while the child is not suffering from painful hunger, there is a drive for the cookie that is denied. How does the child learn to cope with this stress of denial? However the child copes, that is called the defense mechanism and it can be either primitive (infantile - the child feels threatened and begins to scream and cry as an infant would) or adaptive (the child is growing up and learns to wait until after dinner for the cookie.)

So, a person grows up with all kinds of competing pressures both from inside and outside; pressures from the emotional states and related drives, the constraints of the reality "out there", and even internalized constraints when the child has already learned that this or that is not okay and controls his emotions or drives (or tries to) even though they are in conflict. (Child wants cookie, knows that eating one before dinner is bad, gets into battle with self about whether or not to snitch it... decides that the stress of snitching is greater than the stress of denial and does not take cookie but continues to suffer because it wants the cookie.)

In short, as a person grows up in a more or less normal way, they move from primitive defense systems against stresses to more mature defense systems. They become flexible and interactive with their reality and can use reason, humor, subjugation of drives for long term benefits (including peaceful coexistence with others, like mother who will not be happy if they snitch cookie before dinner), sublimation and so on.

However, in many, if not MOST, people, there are still some primitive defense mechanisms that get "stuck" in their psyche because they were imprinted at moments of great emotional susceptibility. (Or imprint vulnerability, as discussed in the Wave, though we are not talking about that specifically right now.)

You can always recognize a Primitive Defense Mechanism by its rigidity and inflexibility - the fact that it does not adapt to the REAL situation at hand - and that it divides the world into black and white.

These types of programs originate in the very earliest years of a person's life, mainly the first year, and are a result of the infant attempting to cope with stresses that arise in its interaction with external reality.

Primitive defenses organize themselves around the simplest structure which is "feels good, is good / feels bad, is bad." That's all the infant really can know in its limited state of cognition.

So, a primitive defense mechanism is when a person continues to organize things in this way: black and white, good and bad, and so on.

Another aspect of the primitive defense mechanism is that the infant - being an infant - has no concept of itself. It is helpless and totally dependent on someone else to meet its needs.

So, the infant learns about itself in relation to how the world out there interacts with itself. If it feels bad and there is no relief for this suffering, it comes to perceive the world and itself as "bad". This induces tremendous stress on the organism.

BUT, and here's the biggie: the human instinctive substratum is biologically set up to DEFEND the organism. If the infant is having bad experiences that impact on the brain, putting repeated and concerted pressure on some neurological structures saying "bad, bad, pain, misery, suffering," etc... stressing the coping mechanisms via pain, suffering, unhappiness, etc, the brain will, at a certain point, collapse and go into defense mode.

A split occurs.

In other words, severe or prolonged stress causes a mental breakdown and this is a protective mechanism of the human biological brain.

It is theorized that when this happens, it is due to the fact that the brain has no other means of avoiding actual physical damage to its cells due to fatigue or nervous stress induced by the intense "coping action".

The human brain is constantly adapting itself reflexively to changes in the environment and it seems that this is just one of its defense mechanisms against stress.

The brain basically revolts against abnormal prolongation of stress that impacts any cortical area that is in a state of pathological excitation.


Much human behavior is the result of the conditioned behavior patterns implanted in the brain during childhood. People learn to behave this way or that way (positively or negatively) in the presence of all kinds of stimuli, specific or general. Some of these neurological structures can persist almost unmodified, but most of them (except in extreme cases that I will come to), grow and change with added input and the individual becomes able to adapt the the actual environment.

Much of what is known about this mechanism comes from Pavlov's research. And, the fact is, human brains are not that much different from dog brains in certain respects.

Pavlov showed that the nervous system of a dog could develop extraordinary powers of discrimination in creating its "programs" of responses. A dog can be made to salivate at a tone of 500 vibrations per minute (food signal) but NOT at the rate of 490 or 510.

Human beings are no less complex in their ability to unconsciously create such neurological structures (programs) of responses.

Negative conditioned responses are as important as positive conditioned responses since civilization requires that we learn how to control our drives almost automatically.

Emotional attitudes also become both positively and negatively conditioned: one can learn automatic revulsion against certain types of persons, behavior, etc as well as automatic attraction. If these programs are based on incorrect information, as they often are, there is a problem! If a person is programmed by an intense experience to respond positively to people wearing blue hats, a psychopath wearing a blue hat will also attract them to their great harm.

But, getting back to the issue of splitting of the personality.

When the brain is stressed (and this can come about in many ways) to a maximal extent, there comes a point of what Pavlov called "trans-marginal inhibition." That is, the stress pushes the brain to the breaking point and the brain takes protective measures to inhibit further damage.

This process takes place in stages.

1. Equivalent phase: this is comparable to reports of normal people who are in a period of intense fatigue due to stress (as in wartime), who say that they reached a point whre there was no difference in their reaction to important or trivial experiences. The brain is so exhausted that it is just trying to chug along keep going, but doesn't have enough energy to distinguish between anything.

If the stress continues, you then come to:

2. The Paradoxical phase: This is where weak stimuli or trivial things can provoke more response than a strong stimuli or an important thing. The reason for this is that the strong stimuli only increases inhibition (the shutting down of reactions) while the weak stimulus can produce a response in the brain that is not inhibitory.

If the stress continues:

3,. Ultra-paradoxical: Positive responses suddenly switch to negative and negative to positive. This is something similar to hysteria. An adult in such a state is abnormally suggestible and the most wildly improbable suggestions or ideas can be accepted as fact.

And so it is that, in such states of internal hysteria, an infant can reverse everything, split, go into a state of Identity Diffusion that, because of the extreme affect (emotional state), becomes more or less permanent.

I suspect that you can also guess that such programs can be one time things. A child can have one seriously negative event in a life that consists of mostly positive events, and have a serious primitive defense mechanism (program) that pretty much sticks for life - or until they discover it and seek the way to undo it.

In any event, when the infant splits, the brain seeks to protect an idealized segment of the individual's psyche or internal world from the aggression of the stress. The separation will be maintained at the expense of the psyche. There is no integrating that "dissociated part" with the rest of the self-images the child forms throughout life. Whenever something triggers that particular part of the brain, some stress that is similar, something perceived as a threat to survival, that program will run and all the learning and cognitive skills of the individual be damned.

Next problem with this type of splitting: since the brain has done this as a protective maneuver, has more or less "sealed off" the sanctum of this idealized psychic self, that program is not amenable to successful cognitive processing of the external reality, nor is it capable of accurately reading internal processes, including emotions.

This is effectively what happens when we say that the intellect usurps the energy of the emotional center though that only describes milder states of such conditioning.

This split off internal idealized self that is "good" (defined that way for survival), when activated, takes charge of the system and imposes itself (it is very strong because of the extreme stress and emotion that went into forming it) on the individual's perceptions of the world.

And, since it is formed at a primitive level of the psyche, it has the earmarks of a Primitive Defense Mechanism: feels good, is good / feels bad, is bad; black / white; self good; other evil; and so on.

BUT, that doesn't mean that this primitive defense mechanism has any rationality to it! Opinions are strong, but not stable. Things are good or bad, but what is good or bad depends on the immediate circumstances.


If the person feels that someone close has 'dissed' him in some way, something that activates his "helpless and hopeless" feeling as an infant, that formerly close person will be relegated to the "black list" and everything about him or her that was formerly perceived as good, will now be perceived as bad. Patience will be viewed as weakness, lack of action; strength will be seen as aggressiveness; kindness as weakness, and so on.

This "good / bad" primitive defense mechanism can totally influence the person's mood. A single frustration that triggers the program can make everything in the world "out there" seem bleak, uninspiring, going nowhere, against the person who is, of course, long-suffering and only seeking the ideal of love, peace, safety, beauty, etc etc.

So, the clue that one is running an infantile program (that is, one inculcated in infancy) is that it reveals this "good / bad" categorization of everything, and that there is little flexibility in dealing with the reality of the moment. Under the influence of such a program, the individual is not able to appreciate the subtle shades of a situation or to tolerate ambiguity. This leads to distortions in perceptions since the external reality is filtered through - made to conform to - the rigid and primitive internal structure of an infant.

Now, everyone has some of these infantile programs - or traces of them - that get triggered now and again. It's only when the person continues to use this type of primitive defense mechanism as the PRIMARY defense as an adult that there is a serious problem. That can be termed a "personality disorder."

We have witnessed manifestations of this a few times here on the forum and in QFS. That is, when a primitively organized individual is confronted with something displeasing or threatening, the "threatening object" (person, idea, group, whatever), is placed in the "all bad" category where it is safely segregated from anything with a good connotation.

This is how such disordered people contain their anxiety, the stress of what they perceive as a threat to their survival. (They want something, need something, it is denied, and that is a threat to survival). But obviously, as we have witnessed numerous times, it is at the expense of successful adaptation which could lead to a fulfilling life for that unhappy person.

Now, here's the kicker: if the displeasing feeling is coming from within the self - if the self finds that there is rage or anger or hate or jealousy or pettiness or whatever is considered negative - when a person is operating from the primitive defense mechanism, that feeling must be denied as part of the self and will be experienced as coming from "out there." (Projection.)

We have seen that also. A person will be questioned about their unilateral assertions and this is perceived as a threat to their survival (their entire structure is organized around black and white, remember), and their fear or anger comes up a bit, but this gets diverted because those feelings cannot be tolerated due to the neurological construct laid down in infancy, and the Primitive Survival Defense program kicks in.

That is, at the moment the person is in active primitive defense mechanism mode, even if some other part of their brain is feeling angry or hurt or whatever, that other part of the brain is dissociated and those impulses, feelings, thoughts, are denied, personal relationship with them is suppressed, and they are projected onto someone else.

That is: splitting can be a primitive form of projection when the denied part of the self is experienced as coming from an external object (person, group, whatever.)

There are other primitive defense mechanisms that stem from a split internal organization:

Projective Identification: this is an unconscious tendency to both induce in another what is being projected, AND to attempt to control the other person who is perceived as manifesting those characteristics that the split person is projecting.

That is, a person who cannot tolerate their own feelings of rage and aggression will unconsciously provoke and frustrate their target in subtle and not-so-subtle ways that will lead the target to actually FEEL the emotions that the split person is denying in themselves.

In this way, the split person can have the satisfaction of the expression of such emotions in a non-threatening way because it "doesn't belong to them," and they are, in a sense, "in control" of the manifestation.

This is an important clue to dealing with manipulation. If you know your own machine, if you have worked through your own stuff, and are certain of your own feelings in a given situation, you can pay close attention to shifts in your own state that are induced by the manipulative person and understand that what you are being manipulated to feel is what the manipulator is denying in themselves and cannot accept. This can give you data about their internal world.

Now, keep in mind that a person who operates out of the primitive defense mechanism as a primary mode, DOES have alternating awareness of the different sides of their internal conflict, but denial (and splitting) allows them to tolerate the state of affairs without anxiety. They can deny this for this moment, deny that for that moment. Etc. They do not have CO-consciousness of the contradictory material.

In any event, getting back to more normal manifestations of the problem. If there is a strong primitive defense mechanism laid down in the psyche, it can organize itself around a "belief center" of the brain, and the core belief can be "I'm worthless, helpless, bad," but this has to be projected onto external objects (the brain defending its survival) which leaves the person in a habitual condition of expecting aggression or hurt from the outside world.

If a person has MULTIPLE un-integrated self-object programs like this, each of which determines the person's subjective experience in myriads of situations, at any given moment, then the person's internal world is a series of discontinuous experiences and that person will have great difficulty committing to relationships, meaningful work, goals, values, etc.

Finally, there is another situation in which an individual operates from a primitive defense mechanism: the experience of infatuation, powerful sexual attraction, "falling in love", etc, wherein the "other," no matter what the circumstances, is experienced as "all good."

This type of regression explains why otherwise mature individuals are capable of extreme and irrational thoughts and actions under the influence of drives and primitive defense mechanisms.

Now, there's another interesting thing about this. Pavlov noted that when one small cortical area in a dog's brain reached a state of pathological inertia and excitation, (it was at maximal stress and shutdown), it would generate odd stereotypical movements like shaking or repeated scratching or pawing of something. He concluded that if this cerebral condition could affect movement, it might also affect thought, stereotypically, and could thus account for certain obsessions in human thinking.

Pavlov also learned that these small areas of the brain were subject to the equivalent, paradoxical, and ultra-paradoxical phases of abnormal activity which he had previously thought only applied to larger areas of the brain. Pavlov thought, in fact, that what is called projection and introjection - when a persistent fear or desire is projected outwards or inwards - is a physiological manifestation of localized cerebral inhibition.

Pavlov found that some dogs of a stable temperament were more than usually prone to develop these "limited pathological points" in the cortex when at the point of breaking down under stress. New behavior patterns would be the result such as a compulsive and repetitive pawing or some form of physical debilitation. Once acquired by a dog of stable temperament, patterns of this sort were extremely difficult to eradicate. This may be the way a more stable person reacts to such stress: instead of splitting psychically, they instead develop some sort of external, physical action that releases the stress.

During WW II, quite a few studies were done of shell-shocked patients in hospitals in England. Some of these patients had reached this state of cerebral shut-down and it manifested in gross and uncoordinated, yet regular, jerking and writhing movements which were accompanied by temporary loss of speech, or a stammer or explosive talking.

The parallels between these patients and Pavlov's dogs subjected to stresses should be obvious.

That is to say, these abnormal mental states may be succeeded in human beings as in Pavlov's dogs, by "dynamic stereotypy" - a new functional system in the brain is formed which requires increasingly less work by the nervous system to maintain it just as learning to drive requires increasingly less focus once one has done it for awhile.

The repetitive pattern of movements or thoughts that are formed under these kinds of stressful conditions (and in some people, there are truly extremely stressful conditions in their infancy) do not yield easily to treatment.

But then, in these cases, we are talking about only a statistically small sample.

Nevertheless, Pavlov's findings that severe focal excitation on one area of a dog's brain can cause profound reflex inhibition of other areas of the brain might be a key to the problems of programs, buffers and the Predator's Mind. In a normal person, time and other experiences can disperse the abnormal neurological structure to some extent, but in certain genetically susceptible individuals, it can become a core structure.

But keep in mind that even if one deals with programs and essentially "deprograms" the self from these kinds of abnormal states, sensitivity to what brought about the nervous disruption can persist a very long time in a latent state. Events will remind the person of the "program," and they will have to struggle with it to some extent again and again for some period of time before it is entirely extinct. (And I have no certainty that total extinction ever occurs!)
 

Peto

Jedi
Thank you, Laura, for this great piece of work. Such clarification and confirmation of esoteric ideas in modern psychology terms are invaluable as esoteric texts tend to present the truth in some sort of mystical language. (Maybe it's done to avoid free will violation?)

Laura said:
These periods of peak affect intensity involve the developing infant in an intense learning experience about its relations to itself and others (including the world at large), and these are the experiences that lay down heavily emotion-laden memory circuits in the developing brain that can become very problematical "programs" or manifestations of the "Predator's Mind" in later life.
I think that many child-raising habits and conditions introduced in modern society artificially increase the amount of stressful experiences that an infant may have, for example, sleep training by leaving an infant to cry to sleep, very early potty training, sending an infant a few months old to infant care, etc. Got to make those programs entrenched in as many people as possible!

In any event, when the infant splits, the brain seeks to protect an idealized segment of the individual's psyche or internal world from the aggression of the stress. The separation will be maintained at the expense of the psyche. There is no integrating that "dissociated part" with the rest of the self-images the child forms throughout life. Whenever something triggers that particular part of the brain, some stress that is similar, something perceived as a threat to survival, that program will run and all the learning and cognitive skills of the individual be damned.

Next problem with this type of splitting: since the brain has done this as a protective maneuver, has more or less "sealed off" the sanctum of this idealized psychic self, that program is not amenable to successful cognitive processing of the external reality, nor is it capable of accurately reading internal processes, including emotions.
I guess this is what Gurdjieff meant when he said the horse doesn't understand the language of the driver. And after reading it, I can't help but feel any hope for getting rid of the programs is so small. Recognizing and observing a program when it kicks in is already difficult. Getting to those "sealed off" areas in the psyche and integrating seem to be almost insurmountable... I guess I just have to keep the faith and continue to work on myself.
 

Rich

The Living Force
Laura said:
Projective Identification: this is an unconscious tendency to both induce in another what is being projected, AND to attempt to control the other person who is perceived as manifesting those characteristics that the split person is projecting.

That is, a person who cannot tolerate their own feelings of rage and aggression will unconsciously provoke and frustrate their target in subtle and no-so-subtle ways that will lead the target to actually FEEL the emotions that the split person is denying in themselves.

In this way, the split person can have the satisfaction of the expression of such emotions in a non-threatening way because it "doesn't belong to them," and they are, in a sense, "in control" of the manifestation.

This is an important clue to dealing with manipulation. If you know your own machine, if you have worked through your own stuff, and are certain of your own feelings in a given situation, you can pay close attention to shifts in your own state that are induced by the manipulative person and understand that what you are being manipulated to feel is what the manipulator is denying in themselves and cannot accept. This can give you data about their internal world.
Thanks Laura this particular passage is a useful explanation of why I'm often left feeling fuzzy and confused after conflict with some people. Developing a greater insight into what emotional hooks are being used should assist in seeing what it is felt is being denied behind the actions, words and anger. - edit - and in gaining a greater composure in my own manipulations that occur when I say things in the heat of the moment that are unconsidered and don't help the situation.
 

OCKHAM

Jedi
Very informative, thank you!

This information got me thinking about dogs again, of which they keep popping up lately in my path. If our brains are so much like the 2nd density beings, especially that of dogs, then how do we account for the fact that dogs, and other 2nd density beings, are capable of sensing eminent danger, as seeing in the future, when we are incapable it seems?

The canine can sense these things, even human occurrences that have not happened yet, but humans are mostly incapable of these feats. Is it the programming that is misdirected beginning near birth that blocks these abilities? Wouldn’t it seem logical that humans would also possess these abilities if the education and life experience was altered? And that their level of perception would be greatly enhanced per level of position in density?
 

Rich

The Living Force
OCKHAM said:
The canine can sense these things, even human occurrences that have not happened yet, but humans are mostly incapable of these feats. Is it the programming that is misdirected beginning near birth that blocks these abilities? Wouldn’t it seem logical that humans would also possess these abilities if the education and life experience was altered? And that their level of perception would be greatly enhanced per level of position in density?
Possibly. But canines are biologically gifted with a far more sensitive nose.
hxxp://www.animalhealthcare.ca/kidscontent.asp?id=6 said:
When veterinary scientists mapped out the function of the canine brain, they found that a very large olfactory lobe had evolved to process a large amount of incoming smell information from the sensitive nose. The lobe is four times larger than in humans, even though our overall brain is much larger! With such a large proportion of their brain devoted only to odour processing, it can be assumed that smelling is a sense of great importance to the canine species. The sensory tissues deep in the nasal cavity also have a very large surface area compared to humans, and the receptors that process the molecules carrying odours are significantly more sensitive than those of humans. Dogs seem to be able to discern a mixture of scents and pull out key traces of compounds of interest to them, and also to follow concentration gradients of the scent molecules. It is estimated that the ability to distinguish between different scents and to pick up scents is about 10,000 times to millions of times better than humans. A typical German shepherd, known to be a top scent tracker has 220 million sensory cells compared with a human's measly 5 million! Cats have about 10 times as many scent receptors as humans, so they also have a distinctly better sense of smell than people, but theirs is not quite as advanced as a dog’s.
I would guess that what you percieve to be seeing into the future, dogs are merely reacting to the changes in their detection of environmental odors.
 

name

Jedi Master
@Laura

Your last paragraph confirms something I've been telling myself for a long time: to have been abused in childhood means to remain a psychological and social cripple forever. With such a background, most of ones energy goes into ironing out those creases and 'functioning' normally in society ...

There is also that thing about the intellect usurping the emotional center, or, as you cited ISOTM in that thread about homosexuals, misusing the energy of the sexual center for other purposes (two different things, but both misuse of self nonetheless). What I know is that since childhood I've found refuge in my intellect. Since I remember I've used intellect to solve most problems or situations I've been in, I was 'diagnosed' at age 14 with having an above average IQ, and I've learned (somewhat) to respond to each fit of rage with cool analysis of the situation which brought it about instead of doing something destructive. Each time I used intellect I've ended up at the head of the bunch, and where I invariably failed were situations where regard to the emotional was needed: relationships of all kind. I would say that since all the energy is somewhere else (intellect), one becomes 'slow' in things emotional as there is no energy is available for such purposes. I said in that thread that I had not understood ISOTM (and also the Beelzebub Tales and ...) - I suppose that this is a book one cannot understand by using merely intellect.

And then there are all the 'Greenbaumed' people: What is the difference between them and 'merely' abused children ? Not much I'd say apart from the fact that they were screwed over for a purpose and us 'just because'. If I contemplate all of this, the scariest question about myself is, in what way am I (and others like me) different from a psycho: psychos don't have emotions, we cut them out or redirect that energy - and achieve more or less the same result. Or not ?

Becoming aware of these things in myself is scary as hell. Even more so when I take in account that bit from the C's about being "programmed to open all the wrong doors".

Thanks for the very informative posting.


@OCKAM
People CAN in fact sense danger. I think that civilization has just 'educated' the ability to listen to that soft inner voice out of most people. Your body will invariably tell you if you are in imminent danger, I think it is called flight response. Also, if you are aware (from paying attention) of the given setting and the people, you can sense coming danger.
 

Beau

Administrator
Administrator
Moderator
FOTCM Member
name said:
the scariest question about myself is, in what way am I (and others like me) different from a psycho: psychos don't have emotions, we cut them out or redirect that energy - and achieve more or less the same result. Or not ?
There is a marked difference in the man who has a sleeping emotional center, and a psychopath who has no ability to feel the emotions that a normal person does. From your description it sounds like you are Man #3, which is what G told Ouspensky he was. It would do you good to go through ISOTM again, and pay close attention as to how G pushes O's intellectual buttons to try to get him to see his "chief fault" (he did this with Orage and Bennett also). Even O himself realized it when nearer to his death he remarks to a pupil who is talking about humility, "I should have been more humble in my life."

Now, in relation to your above question, what is needed is to shock the emotional center awake. G called them alarm clocks. You should have received a shock in the other thread on homosexuality. It sounds like you feel emotions but that it gets instantly re-directed elsewhere, whereas the psycho does not have any kind of re-direction of energy. He/she just goes from one whim to the next without any emotional flavor involved at all.
 

Alada

The Living Force
One of the things about going into this area and working on the self to find and adapt to the programs found, is that reality can become very shaky

I find in myself when the black/white mechanical 'reality' is threatened, there is a sense that you don't know what's gong to happen, whats coming next. In other words with no experience of how to read or handle a situation properly - but knowing that the program you feel wanting to run is not going to help - fear and helplessness can come up > which then wants to trigger more programs.

A typical reaction at this point would be to shut down all activity, or go into some kind of self-calming, but this is not very helpful to finding out what the reality of a given situation is, or how to usefully adapt oneself to it and learn. You can learn that there are programs, but not much perhaps about how to work with them. That is perhaps to stand knocking at the door but hide each time someone comes to answer it.

Its a kind of catch 22 that where there are parts of the psyche that wrongly view the world/self as 'bad', in trying to fathom those parts the defence response is to shut down for fear of being found to be 'bad' - a not very helpful response when trying to work those programs out!

What can be a strategy for countering that?

Perhaps this is where one must work to incorporate some of those 'grey' areas that the programs will want to run against. Those being an openness to the input of others - who are working to root out similar programs in themselves - a willingness to explore the new ideas and a certain faith in the process (and its aim) to help to counter those uncertainties.
 

Approaching Infinity

Administrator
Administrator
Moderator
FOTCM Member
beau said:
name said:
the scariest question about myself is, in what way am I (and others like me) different from a psycho: psychos don't have emotions, we cut them out or redirect that energy - and achieve more or less the same result. Or not ?
There is a marked difference in the man who has a sleeping emotional center, and a psychopath who has no ability to feel the emotions that a normal person does. From your description it sounds like you are Man #3, which is what G told Ouspensky he was. It would do you good to go through ISOTM again, and pay close attention as to how G pushes O's intellectual buttons to try to get him to see his "chief fault" (he did this with Orage and Bennett also). Even O himself realized it when nearer to his death he remarks to a pupil who is talking about humility, "I should have been more humble in my life."

Now, in relation to your above question, what is needed is to shock the emotional center awake. G called them alarm clocks. You should have received a shock in the other thread on homosexuality. It sounds like you feel emotions but that it gets instantly re-directed elsewhere, whereas the psycho does not have any kind of re-direction of energy. He/she just goes from one whim to the next without any emotional flavor involved at all.
Also, psychopaths were not born with a functional emotional 'center'. As such, they are never properly socialized. Chances are that those with "sleeping" emotions WERE properly socialized. A psychopath not only has no ability to empathize, he also holds those who CAN empathize in extreme contempt.

So a psychopath has a whole constellation of traits, any of which may be shared by "normal" people. However, while a normal person may be "callous", or "impulsive", a psychopath has ALL (or at least many) of these traits. Chances are that unless you are sitting at your computer, smirking to yourself, thinking: "these suckers are actually buying this! What absurd little pea-brained idiots. 'Am I a psychopath?' Ha!", you are not a psychopath. ;)
 
D

Darren

Guest
Thanks Laura for sharing that. Working on the self is a real challenge (or so I'm learning) and when you begin see to see how many programs you have and how much they make up of what you previously thought was the real you, and I mean really starting to see that that's the case, it sure looks like a long road ahead.

Graham said:
Perhaps this is where one must work to incorporate some of those 'grey' areas that the programs will want to run against. Those being an openness to the input of others - who are working to root out similar programs in themselves - a willingness to explore the new ideas and a certain faith in the process (and its aim) to help to counter those uncertainties.
I guess this is the first step. Being open and not only having faith in the process, but faith in your real self, otherwise like you said, it's catch 22 and going round in circles allowing the programs to win or giving into the fear of that first step and never moving forward.
 

Ryan

Dagobah Resident
FOTCM Member
When I review certain experiences I've had, I can quite easily see situations where "Primitive Defence Mechanisms" have started running. The
symptoms were exactly as Laura has described them - an inflexible, rigid perspective of "good" and "evil"; taking trivial events and using them as "fact" to build wild, paranoid scenarios; a sense of internal hysteria; incapability of taking an accurate reading of internal processes and emotions; placing persons involved on a "black list" where their actions and motivations are read as sinister, treacherous; unconscious projection of the negative emotions of oneself onto another etc.

Other hallmarks of these states are extreme fear, paranoia and an interpretation and projection of a subjective view that explains the paranoia. Subconscious selection and substitution of data occurs, making the paranoid fantasy seem absolutely "justified" and "real".

It also seems that, going from the experiences of others, that this false reality can manifest in the positive direction - a driving need or urge for something that is unambiguously felt as "good" or "safe", regardless of whether it actually is or not.

To use Martha Stout's terminology, I did not ever completely lose my "observing ego" during these states, thus I did not enter a fugue or "black out", and I still retain memory of being in the dissociated state, although there was a definite sense of being "out of control" and incapable of regaining my previous emotional equilibrium. This is possibly what Stout referred to as the "intrusion of a dissociated ego state":

Martha Stout in "Myth of Sanity" said:
Intrusion of dissociated ego states

Kenneth was intruded upon by a dissociated ego state when he visited the airy heights of the World Trade Center's observation deck with his first-grade son. Normally optimistic and friendly, for a few hours after his trip Kenneth felt strangely vigilant and mean-spirited, for no apparent reason. The intrusion of a dissociated ego state is, in a certain way, the converse of the dissociation of a feeling state; instead of having one's own emotions yanked away to leave a vacancy, one's usual feeling patterns and attitudes are temporarily tainted and muddled by the entrance of an extra "personality," an anonymous part of one's mental makeup that is most often silent.

Dissociated ego states that intrude are typically angry, protective, and uneasily suspicious and accusatory of other people. When a person is influenced in this way, he may feel uncomfortable about his hostility during the episode, confused, or even mildly alarmed. The dissociative reaction is sometimes accompanied by unspoken thoughts such as, "Why am I so angry at the world all of a sudden? This doesn't make any sense. I think I'd better chill out." However, deliberate chilling out is not really an option; such a state seems to arrive and depart on its own obscure terms. [...]

Most of these triggering events are, in actuality, not very earth-shaking. In terms of threat to physical integrity, receiving scary medical or dental news can be a trigger, unsurprisingly-but so can a radical haircut. Our sense of being in control can be assaulted, and our consciousness muddled, by minor financial jolts (e.g., the loan refusal comes in the mail), or by even small changes in our work settings-"I got to work and they had moved my desk!"-or by sudden disruptions in our customary means of getting to where we want to go: the car breaks down, the airport is closed. A subway strike, for instance, can launch multitudes of people into brief hazy-eyed demifugue, all at the same time.

Changes, in general, tend to trigger us into dissociative behavior, especially if they are unexpected.
Perhaps what Mouravieff referred to as the "Doctrine of the Present" can be used to strengthen the observing ego and help one not to be completely taken over by the intruding ego state?

Mouravieff said:
Let us study the case of negative emotions that arise in us. Although irritation may build up over weeks, months or sometimes years, its explosion is always instantaneous. In other words, the negative emotion erupts and takes dynamic form in a very short time; in one or two seconds it rises in someone and overflows, putting them into a state of profound mechanical confluence. Finally, it will be exteriorized in words of actions.

Here we are brought back to the Doctrine of the Present.

If, by persistent introspection, the subject manages to observe the rise of the negative emotion in himself immediately after its birth, that is, while
the limits of the slot in his individual Present have not been crossed in the passing of time, it is possible for him to disassociate the components of this emotion.

Introspective observation brightens our inner being just like a streetlamp, and negative emotions can only be formed and begin to act in the inner darkness which characterizes the state of confluence.

The light projected by constatation within the limits of the Present disassociates the negative emotions, and the passions which gave rise to them then fall back into a latent state.

But constatation has yet another effect that is of primary importance: the immediate disassociation of the components which constitute the negative emotion liberates the energy SI-12 which the passions had drawn into the motor centre; a result of constatation is that this is automatically concentrated in the emotional centre which it then sets in motion.

We know that normal the intensive work of this centre is carried out with the aid of fine energy of the 12th degree, A victory over negative emotion brings an inflow of joy into the lower emotional centre. This joy is an expression of the abundance of the energy SI-12 released by constatation. This latter makes the lower emotional centre vibrate at the rapid rhythm that is normal to it, and this enables the establishment of instantaneous contact with the higher emotional centre and triggers the release of a current of energy SOL-12 from the latter.

This indicates that, correctly practised through introspection and effective within the limits of the individual Present, constatation enables man to win a total victory. The inflow of higher joy that the current of energy SOL-12 liberates can then transmute the energy SI-12 freed from the mixture into SOL-12 by induction.

The duration of the contact between the lower and higher emotional centres established by this can then be prolonged.
 

Mikey

The Living Force
Thank you for explaining the matter in such clear and understandable terms!

I can confirm that sometimes I find myself in situations where there is no possibility for "cognitive processing of the external reality" nor being "capable of accurately reading internal processes, including emotions".

Those situations include speaking in front of a crowd, or being the center of attention of a group of people. Besides the dissociated state, there are violent physical effects, like tachycardia, low blood pressure, sweating, etc. which are instantly swiched on and off within seconds, as long as the situation lasts. I am repeatedly in those situations, and repeatedly I try to reason and try to resolve it issue. But it never gets any better, because I do not know how.

My guess is, that this issue also belongs also to the discussed topic about programs and dissociated states, only with additional physical effects.

I appreciate greatly learning about the mechanisms as to how such programs are formed and how they work. But is that enough to "deprogram" or "decouple" them? What exactly has one to do to "deal with them cognitively"?

Maybe going through it over and over again, a hundred or a thousand of times, thereby learning the "hard way"?
Maybe gathering information about what exactly happened in the very first moment of dissocation in the childhood/youth?
Maybe trying to go into a psychic state similar to that of the first dissociation and trying to integrate/release it?
 

Nienna

SuperModerator
Moderator
FOTCM Member
Laura, thanks for posting this timely article. It certainly shows exactly what to look for in finding programs that have been initiated since infancy and up.
 

OCKHAM

Jedi
In thinking about what Laura originally said here, and what Ryan has contributed, I can at least see some of these primitive impulses appearing in my life. An example is when I visit the dentist, and they numb you up real good. I have on occasions had a fear reaction to becoming too numb.

The needle is no problem, I just never open my eyes when I know the doctor is about to administer the drug. You get acquainted with the sound of the instrument. As long as I don’t see the needle, I am fine. If after he administers the dope, I start to feel like I am becoming too numb, near the back of my throat, I will immediately sit up in my chair and being to have what I could best describe as, a Pavlov dog reaction. It is not shaking or trembling, it is more like coughing, and sweating, and an intense inner battle to thwart my fears.

Usually within 2 or 3 minutes I have calmed down and realized that I am not going to lose my grip on life, and that I have gained control.

I can remember at least 2 or 3 incidents where I have had this panic attack, or survival mechanism activated, and I keep studying how I perceive it as it happens and afterwards. During periodontal surgery has been where most of this reaction has occurred. Here, they shoot you up with a lot of juice because they are cutting, well never mind.

I’m having all my teeth pulled this year and saving about $6000, and I’m looking forward to it.

I have felt other instantaneous responses in my thinking about past events, and as an example which is required to understand it, in my background, my family was what I would consider extremely religious [Christianity]. I never seem to fit into that mold when I was young, but was forced to go along with it for the ride. You are at the mercy of the master.

Later, when I became old enough to leave, I did immediately, and I think the dissociated ego altered along with other problems I created. Once I was able to wake up to a certain degree, I continued using that dissociation in negative ways.

Over the past few years I have noticed the instantaneous anger, frustration, wanting to bark, primitive feelings creep into my mind in less than 2 seconds easily concerning the void in which I was born into. But noticing them is not enough to control them, once noticed, a lot more work is needed it seems. I wonder about them creeping in unnoticed and spreading out in my expression upon others.

They come automatically, and maybe we should think more of the automatism relationship and the practice of instantaneous control, as Mouravieff mentions correctly practiced.
 

SophiaSpeaks

The Force is Strong With This One
Hello All,

I've printed this masterpiece out and have been pondering it everyday since it was first posted. This primitive reflex mechanism has caused much dissatisfaction in my life. I knew that many times something was being triggered but didn't know what/how or why. So when Laura distilled this, I could understand the basics and start changing my own infantile behaviors.

"If the person feels that someone close has 'dissed' him in some way, something that activates his "helpless and hopeless" feeling as an infant, that formerly close person will be relegated to the "black list" and everything about him or her that was formerly perceived as good, will now be perceived as bad. Patience will be viewed as weakness, lack of action; strength will be seen as aggressiveness; kindness as weakness, and so on.

This "good / bad" primitive defense mechanism can totally influence the person's mood. A single frustration that triggers the program can make everything in the world "out there" seem bleak, uninspiring, going nowhere, against the person who is, of course, long-suffering and only seeking the ideal of love, peace, safety, beauty, etc etc.

"So, the clue that one is running an infantile program (that is, one inculcated in infancy) is that it reveals this "good / bad" categorization of everything, and that there is little flexibility in dealing with the reality of the moment. Under the influence of such a program, the individual is not able to appreciate the subtle shades of a situation or to tolerate ambiguity. This leads to distortions in perceptions since the external reality is filtered through - made to conform to - the rigid and primitive internal structure of an infant."

"We have witnessed manifestations of this a few times here on the forum and in QFS. That is, when a primitively organized individual is confronted with something displeasing or threatening, the "threatening object" (person, idea, group, whatever), is placed in the "all bad" category where it is safely segregated from anything with a good connotation."

Well, I have given a group a prime example of this except in reverse then... I had placed a group in the "all good" category and myself in the "all bad" spot mainly because of extreme anxiety in my self that was being accentuated by the living situation I was in at the time. I could no longer tolerate it and projected this at a group ascribing to them an exasperation with myself that I could not bear to see as my own.

I have seen too that this has applied to my own level of anger that I have so long tried to suppress. Instead of "owning" the emotion, I have observed my idiosyncrasies firing that would then provoke someone close to me (friends & family) to be very angry and then I could claim a false sense of "righteousness" for not becoming angry myself. Intuitively I knew I was doing this but until Laura described the how and why, the reasoning for it all was slippery and nebulous. This one insight of infantile coping mechanism is profound and something that I am watching now very closely. Knowing my own machine is truly the most important quest for me now. Learning how the manipulation is happening and whether is is internal or external is real mastery.

Now I will be placed in a situation that will again test my programs and my concept of self. I will be going to an alternative science gathering at which one of the big names from Project Disclosure will be there as well as a few other alphabet soup people. Will I clam up and project my insecurities by claiming these guys know more than I or will I speak up with appropriate questions?

So this one post has made all the difference in my life. It is like a powerful enzymatic reaction allowing the core self to come forward. Thank You Laura!
 
Top Bottom