Positive Dissociation?

Marcus-Aurelius

Jedi Master
Approaching Infinity said:
manitoban said:
Approaching Infinity said:
What I meant by difficult, emotionally, is the experience of watching a character suffer. The movies that make me cry, for example, are ones like The Pianist, Magnolia, Oliver Twist, The New World, Lives of Others, Waltz with Bashir. Many people I talk with don't like watching movies where the characters suffer. They simply want to watch movies to be entertained. I've never understood that. I like movies that make me suffer, because the characters suffer, and I think I learn something about compassion and empathy. When you see a movie or read a book about a character that really shows the life experiences that contribute to the way they act, and how they are treated by others, it helps you grow in understanding of people in real life. I think the purpose of literature and drama is to do just that. Lobaczewski quotes the saying, "To understand all is to forgive all," and I think films can help in that.
This has really made me think AI - I had thought (at least since I read Laura's work) that when we feel fear, pain etc when watching a certain type of movie, that we are somehow feeding the 4D STS with these negative emotions. But if I am understanding you right, it would be different if the movie generated emotions that led to growth and understanding. In other words, a movie that makes you think deeply and suffer, but in a way that you learn, then it would be a positive use of these emotions. Almost like the FRV of what you are viewing makes a big difference in terms of how it affects you. Not sure if this makes sense or not, but fwiw.
I think it makes sense. If you're watching a horror movie that just makes you scared for the sake of making you scared, I think that emotion feeds 4D STS. However, if you are watching a movie about a character in a realistic situation where they experience fear (e.g. a movie about a Nazi raid on a house hiding Jews), there is an element of empathy (an understanding of the fear normal people feel when oppressed by very real enemies) and of learning: learning the things that happen to make such situations a reality, and the things that can be done (or not) to create a world in which these things do not happen. It's similar to watching the news. Watching the news is difficult, because you learn of others' suffering and the hopeless situations on earth. But this is necessary knowledge, and it's only when we are aware of it that we can grow from it. It's a fine distinction, and it's difficult to find the words to express it, but I think it's definitely there.
Yeah this is exactly my understanding of positive dissociation. i think that it's this possibility to learn something there taht can be applied constructively in the real world that makes it positive, whatever be the activity.
 

shellycheval

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
Hi shellycheval - just a reminder of the definitions of 'dissociate' and 'disassociate': Wink

"disassociation or dissociation" (from Encarta)

Both these words, and the verbs (disassociate, dissociate) from which they come,
share the meaning "separation from a relationship with another," and in this
sense they are interchangeable: sought disassociation/dissociation from the
scandal;sought to dissociate/disassociate themselves from the
scandal.

Dissociation, however, does have two senses not shared by
disassociation: in psychology and psychiatry, "separation of emotions as a
defense mechanism" and in chemistry, "the breaking up of a molecule into simpler
components." Do not confuse the two words."
:-[Thanks 1984, I did not know the difference. Sorry I did not respond in a more timely manner--it's been a busy week and I am just now catching up with the forum.

Regarding positive dissociation, while I agree with most of what has been said here about experiencing and learning about empathy and other human feelings from watching movies, reading books, looking at beautiful pictures (all of which I love to do), in addition to observing the art of others, I think positive dissociation that helps us learn and grow can also come from doing--from actively participating in some creative activity ourselves--creating our own visual arts, or dancing, singing, doing martial arts.

Using our creative powers in these active ways takes learning how to focus and be in the present, be aware of our bodies, our thoughts and emotions and how they interact. Physical activity that is done creatively requires intense self observation; even when we are learning new skills and not doing them very well they can be enlightening, helping us learn about ourselves. When people are deep into their practice they often describe a type of positive dissociative state, "being in the zone,"--the rest of the world falls away and they are in that perfect place where mind, body and spirit are functioning in harmony.

I use to love to do pottery using an old fashion kick wheel. The motion required of the legs to keep the wheel going was repetitive and relaxing. Centering the lump of clay on the wheel required one to obtain a "centered" physical and emotional state or the clay would collapse as you were trying to create a pot. I rarely reached that centered place back then and made a lot of ash trays even though I didn't smoke :lol: as you can usually salvage an ashtray-like form from dead bowls and vases! Although I never got good at it and haven't done it for more than 35 years, doing pottery taught me how negative emotions buried in my body would cause me to be tense, unbalanced, and ruin my creations.

So, I am interested in hearing about other people having positive dissociative experiences by creative doing as well as seeing.
shellycheval
 

truth seeker

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
shellycheval said:
Regarding positive dissociation, while I agree with most of what has been said here about experiencing and learning about empathy and other human feelings from watching movies, reading books, looking at beautiful pictures (all of which I love to do), in addition to observing the art of others, I think positive dissociation that helps us learn and grow can also come from doing--from actively participating in some creative activity ourselves--creating our own visual arts, or dancing, singing, doing martial arts.

Using our creative powers in these active ways takes learning how to focus and be in the present, be aware of our bodies, our thoughts and emotions and how they interact. Physical activity that is done creatively requires intense self observation; even when we are learning new skills and not doing them very well they can be enlightening, helping us learn about ourselves. When people are deep into their practice they often describe a type of positive dissociative state, "being in the zone,"--the rest of the world falls away and they are in that perfect place where mind, body and spirit are functioning in harmony.

I use to love to do pottery using an old fashion kick wheel. The motion required of the legs to keep the wheel going was repetitive and relaxing. Centering the lump of clay on the wheel required one to obtain a "centered" physical and emotional state or the clay would collapse as you were trying to create a pot. I rarely reached that centered place back then and made a lot of ash trays even though I didn't smoke :lol: as you can usually salvage an ashtray-like form from dead bowls and vases! Although I never got good at it and haven't done it for more than 35 years, doing pottery taught me how negative emotions buried in my body would cause me to be tense, unbalanced, and ruin my creations.

So, I am interested in hearing about other people having positive dissociative experiences by creative doing as well as seeing.
shellycheval
I'm glad you brought up this point. I was finally able to find the quote by Laura:

I'll tell you something that came to me not too long ago: any technology that does not require human interface to make it work is entropic. That is, any machine that you can set to work by turning on a switch (and loading it up first), that does not require matching actions by a human being, or numbers of them, is entropic to humanity. It increases the mechanization of society and takes it on a downward spiral.
In my opinion, this is a very important key to positive dissociation.
 

Prodigal Son

Ambassador
Ambassador
FOTCM Member
In terms of positive dissociation, as something else to add as useful, I came across the following passage in Women Who Run With the Wolves, Chapter 14 –Initiation in the Underground Forest,
The Handless Maiden
If a story is seed, then we are its soil. Just hearing the story allows us to experience it as though we ourselves were the heroine who either falters or wins out in the end. If we hear a story about a wolf, then afterwards we rove about and know like a wolf for a time. If we hear a story about a dove finding her young at last, then for some time after, something moves behind our own feathered breasts. If it be a story of wrestling the sacred pearl from beneath the claw of the ninth dragon, we feel exhausted afterwards, and satisfied. In a very real way, we are imprinted with knowing just by listening to the tale.

Among Jungians this is called “participation mystique” – a term borrowed from anthropologist Levy-Bruhl – and it is used to mean a relationship wherein “a person cannot distinguish themselves as separate from the object or thing they behold.” … the ability of the mind to step away from its ego for a time and merge with another reality, that is, another way of comprehending, a different way of understanding. Among healers from my heritage, this means experiencing and learning ideas via prayerful or non-ordinary state of mind and bring the insights and knowledge one has gained in the circumstances into consensual reality.
So myths and associated stories may be added to the list, in my opinion.
 

Adaryn

SuperModerator
Moderator
FOTCM Member
Laura said:
Which leads to the article pasted in below which, I think, relates strongly to this issue: how art, music, film, literature, and so on, are used to ponerize society - to inculcate normal humans into the pathological reality:

Here is an essay in two parts by Lasha Darkmoon which is partly based on
Shamir's Study in Art:

The Plot Against Art, Part 1

http://www.theoccidentalobserver.net/authors/Darkmoon-ArtI.html
This article posted some time ago on the forum seems to support Darkmoon's "Plot against art" article (and its follow-up) and the idea that art is used as a means to ponerize society.

Extract:
http://www.countercurrents.org/rajiva200107.htm
Portrait Of The CIA As An Artist

By Lila Rajiva

20 January, 2007
Countercurrents.org

According to Frances Saunders, in her well-documented book, “The CIA and the Cultural Cold War,� the CIA financed and groomed the avant-garde art movement from which abstract expressionism, performance art and the other freak shows of the art world emerged. In the 1950s, at the height of the Cold War, the Agency wanted to move the center of art away from the social realism of European artists, which threatened the status quo with its powerful, realistic depictions of the human condition. So, it brought to national attention a group of bohemian artists who were busy struggling on the sidelines painting abstract scenes devoid of any identifiable representation of human figures. The groups included the likes of Robert Motherwell, Jackson Pollock, Mark Rothko, and William de Kooning.

In 1947 when Pollock dipped a stick into a gallon of diluted house paint and swirled and dripped color across his canvas, he had set off a new style in art. The man was famous for splattering paint on his canvasses any which way to create his paintings. Sometimes he even got young models with paint rubbed over their naked bodies to roll across the canvasses. So dissolute was Pollock that he was called the wild man of expressionism. After he became famous, rich people would invite him to their parties hoping he would live up to his reputation and pee in the fireplace. All the new artists were rebellious, disaffected, self-destructive. Arshile Gorky hanged himself in 1948. Pollock himself was killed in a drunken car crash in 1956….that looked suicidal. Another suspicious car accident finished off sculptor David Smith. And in the decade following, Kline drank himself to death, Smith died in a car accident, and Mark Rothko slashed his arms and bled to death after announcing, “"Everyone can see what a fraud I am."

That should have been enough of a hint that there was something dead-end in the whole business. But the CIA took a larger and more pragmatic view. It thought that the would-be geniuses might be useful props in an impending face-off with Joe Stalin. Of course, many of the artists themselves were socialist in sympathy or at least, they made gestures in that direction. Rothko, for instance, agreed to a commission from New York’s swankiest of the swank, the Four Seasons restaurant, solely in order to torment the patrons with claustrophobic scenes. He had modeled them on Michelangelo’s blocked off windows in the vestibule of the Laurentian Library in Florence. Michelangelo’s anteroom of death, leads off the cloister of the Medici church of San Lorenzo, and is a nightmare in architecture. Rothko was hell bent on reproducing its suffocating effect in the New York watering hole.
 

Mike

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
After reading this thread the idea that I didn't see mentioned is using memorization and recitation as a tool for positive dissociation. The idea came from the druids use of memorization. I've use the recitation of the POTS during exercise some in the past to keep my predator's mind from making quit early. So maybe some form of memorization of key principles or something and reciting it might be a form of positive dissociation.
 

hnd

Padawan Learner
I have been thinking about whether it is good or bad to read literature for some time. Before I found out about the information provided here at this forum, before reading the sessions and so on, I spent enormous time reading novels, both classics and modern ones.Now, I prefer to read articles here or certain books related to the work and I can't help thinking that reading literature these days will be a waste of time. However, at the same time I miss the joy of it.

I've always believed that reading about the mistakes human beings make and their shortcomings, knowing about your own mistakes and shortcomings, you may become more understanding towards yourself and others- you say we are in the same boat-, but now I realized that reading literature may have thought me more if I discovered the sessions and this forum before. For example,you see examples of psychopaths and various petty tyrants who are usually depicted as `bad guys`in novels and a good author usually provides information about the reasons that make them behave that way (e.g Lieder in Trevanian's `Incident At Twenty-Mile`) and sometimes you can't help empathizing with them as well. In the past, I thought they would be different if they were treated better and loved, now it is suprising for me to read about what they inherently lack or how it is impossible to help some. (I guess I tend to be naive sometimes.)

Also, I remember Kurt Vonnegut's comment about the people governing today's world..that they are addicted to war and chaos and should be treated as any alcoholic and should attend group therapies and try to get rid of it, of course it was just a sarcastic remark, and I guess he was just pointing out the fact without using the terms used here.

When I feel I'm better informed about what I missed in the past, I'd like to go on reading literature with a new perspective.
 

kannas

Padawan Learner
shellycheval said:
So, I am interested in hearing about other people having positive dissociative experiences by creative doing as well as seeing.
shellycheval
I am a serious amateur photographer... close to semi-professional, digital artist, and craft artist and consider all of these as positive dissociation. I tend to zone-out when I am out photographing or working in my art, and I love it. For me, it has actually taught me to be more in tune with what is hidden in plain sight from within and without among nature and humans. In that, I photograph and portray the reality behind the reality, and my digital paintings are from realistic impressionistic (yes, an oxymoron and could be subjective realism in a way) to the abstract. With the abstract, it is the feeling tone and expression without words... well, actually, all my photography and art is expression without words. I paint photographs to make abstract or paint abstracts or create mandalas and kaleidoscopes as well as portray nature and landscape photography 'as is'.

Lúthien said:
Laura said:
Which leads to the article pasted in below which, I think, relates strongly to this issue: how art, music, film, literature, and so on, are used to ponerize society - to inculcate normal humans into the pathological reality:

Here is an essay in two parts by Lasha Darkmoon which is partly based on
Shamir's Study in Art:

The Plot Against Art, Part 1

http://www.theoccidentalobserver.net/authors/Darkmoon-ArtI.html
This is very interesting as I have always felt this instinctively with certain art, music, film, and literature; however, I had not seen the wording for it.... ponerize society-to inculcate normal humans into the pathological reality. Indeed.

Perhaps growing in knowledge and awareness as such as this, the ponerization in art, music, film, and literature, is building a solid knowledge base one can use careful discernment as to what one exposes oneself to. This I have practiced more and more. There has been times when a certain song, even played for a commercial on television, and certain art that is garbage in my estimation would make me feel ill at ease, and normally I would heed this and disconnect, move away from, cease my attention with it. There are some things I certainly do not want to have inserted in my mind.

Anyway, my photography and art is positive and nurturing for my being as human and is spiritual substance/substantive also for me.

I've enjoyed reading this thread and learned all the more as I've been expanding my awareness, so to speak, about positive and negative dissociation.
 

agni

Dagobah Resident
Hello everyone !

Got a question. I seem only capable of doing anything, only by associating myself with a warrior, it gives strength & dedication. For the rest of the time I can say machine has me. So, it got me wondering, is it considered as positive dissociation or it's some twisted fantasy making of own machine ?
 

Alana

SuperModerator
Moderator
FOTCM Member
agni said:
Hello everyone !

Got a question. I seem only capable of doing anything, only by associating myself with a warrior, it gives strength & dedication. For the rest of the time I can say machine has me. So, it got me wondering, is it considered as positive dissociation or it's some twisted fantasy making of own machine ?
I would say that it depends on the results it produces, your actions, when feeling the strength and dedication of the warrior. For example, do you just sit around feeling and fantasizing about what a warrior you would/could do, or do you actually get up and act in your life as a warrior? ;)

My 2 cents.
 

agni

Dagobah Resident
Alana said:
agni said:
Hello everyone !

Got a question. I seem only capable of doing anything, only by associating myself with a warrior, it gives strength & dedication. For the rest of the time I can say machine has me. So, it got me wondering, is it considered as positive dissociation or it's some twisted fantasy making of own machine ?
I would say that it depends on the results it produces, your actions, when feeling the strength and dedication of the warrior. For example, do you just sit around feeling and fantasizing about what a warrior you would/could do, or do you actually get up and act in your life as a warrior? ;)

My 2 cents.
Hi Alana,

Nope, no fantasizing about image of being one, rather acting in the name of what I think a warrior is.

For an example, I need to get rid of certain influences. I feel tempted to do something different and I would say to myself: "You are a warrior, act in accordance, be strong, show weakness and you shall fall."

Or I feel I want to eat some crap that I know no good for my body. I would say: "Let me remind you, warrior eats to live, not visa-verse. Stay strong, dedicated and un-tempted".

Or I feel I want to react to something mechanically to some frustration, I catch myself short of doing so: "There is no honour in being reactive. You are a warrior, act like one".

In moments of despair: "You will live, some battle result in wounds, what do you expect ? Take care and be thankful you are still breathing. You will emerge stronger if you've learned anything from it. "

And so on and so forth. While I do not fantasize about how cool it is being a warrior, there is no denying the pleasure of accomplishment or self-strength received when acting upon the image of warrior.
 

Alana

SuperModerator
Moderator
FOTCM Member
agni said:
And so on and so forth. While I do not fantasize about how cool it is being a warrior, there is no denying the pleasure of accomplishment or self-strength received when acting upon the image of warrior.
I see what you mean, and fwiw, i don't think there's anything wrong in it. It seems that it is getting the best out of you, and helps you put the mechanical part of yourself under control.
 

Mountain Crown

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
Hi Agni,

Dissociation generally means a temporary forgetting of oneself, as when engrossed in a movie, or daydreaming. Your description of how you associate with a warrior is more like an approach toward life, which seems to me different.

A warrior lives as one who may die at any time, so every moment becomes vitally important and not to be wasted. This could very well lead to consistently remembering oneself, thereby reducing dissociative behavior.
 
G

Gertrudes

Guest
Hi agni,

I agree with Jerry in that I also distinguish how you associate yourself to a worrier from dissociation. It seems to me that you are using a tool to best help you handle reality, rather then temporarily diverging from it.

I also think that associating yourself to a worrier and acting as one as you've described it, can be a useful tool for self growth and even self knowledge. I sometimes experiment associating myself and behaving like a certain character or personality type that I think can be useful to a particular situation. I find that by doing so, the exercise brings out parts in my that I wouldn't normally manifest. Parts that I would otherwise believe as non existent. They are still parts, and they are my parts, but how can we really know who "I" is if we don't acknowledge all the parts?
We grow attached to a certain personality and we believe that is who we are, whilst in reality, there is often a world of potential hiding underneath the surface.
 

Guardian

The Living Force
Well...since folks are fessing up regarding their "Positive Dissociations" ..... I just rented the new "Super Friends, " and I'll probably buy it when it goes on sale.

Hi, my name's Betsy, and I'm addicted to Wonder Woman. I have all her comic books (and I still read them) the complete TV series (and I still watch them) a Wonder Woman lunch box, clock, doll, action figure, bobble head, t-shirt ... in fact, I have the whole dern costume.

Wonder Woman has been my Shero for as long as I can remember, and my parents definitely encouraged the addiction.... I think in hopes that I would stop tying a towel around my neck and jumping off of stuff trying to fly. I distinctly remember not being allowed any Halloween costume that involved a cape.

I KNOW it's escapism, pure fantasy, but I love my mental bubble gum now and again.
 
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