The Living Force
whitecoast said:One thing I have trouble wrapping my head around is Kohut's definitions of vertical versus horizontal splitting. It sounds like the only difference between the two is that vertical is utilized in interpretive denial, while horizontal splitting is used in implicatory denial?
My understanding of vertical splitting is that it is like two or more "I's" with largely incompatible attitudes existing side by side without being consciously aware of each other. An extreme form of vertical splitting would be a case of MPD (multiple personality disorder). Vertical splitting is like two or more windows open on the computer screen running different programs.
Horizontal splitting could indicate a repressed layer which activates a particular "I" having certain fixed attitudes and characteristics in response to certain situations. It is like the code that launches a program window in the computer screen. A more appropriate image could be that of an island which has mountains and rivers and lush green valleys on its surface (vertical split) while in the portion under the water, it could be a dormant volcano (horizontal split). This is my current understanding which may or may not be accurate.
Since splitting seems to be tied to the instinctive substratum, it is most likely connected with the neuroception process. The brain acts on the neural image provided to it by the 5 exterior sense organs and through the interoception process called the "6th" sense organ by Porges which provides information about the internal state of the body. When this neuroception process is faulty, it presents an image of the environment/situation to the brain which is incompatible with the real situation at hand. The brain starts running with this image creating narratives and generating responses inappropriate to the real situation. If this view of the process is accurate, then there should be a sensation arising out of the neuroception process in the background of all the emotions, narratives, and even what can appear as logical thinking but wrongly applied to a faulty premise.
In my case, I have observed that a certain sensation can sometimes be discerned momentarily when this splitting process starts. In words, it can be described as a pressure or weight coming down to destabilize a structure. This sensation is irrational and its perception is quickly lost in the storm of the response mounted to keep things under control. I have felt the glimpse of this sensation many times in the past under different circumstances but since this is deemed irrational by some part of my consciousness, it has been quickly suppressed. I do not know yet whether catching this sensation in the right time can consistently serve a useful purpose but I have started working with it with some encouraging initial results. The hope is that if I can catch (or become aware of) this sensation in time, I can have more control of the machine. This sensation appears to come from a deeper layer than the accompanying thoughts, rationalizations and emotions and through anchoring into the sensation, it may be possible to create the space needed to invoke the Stoic scripts which I am working on internalizing. OSIT