"The Myth of Sanity" by Martha Stout

vinny

The Living Force
Re: "The Myth of Sanity" by Martha Stout

Kila said:
Can I also ask... is the predator mind.. is that a Castaneda thing?

it is indeed, check here for a short quote:
http://www.cassiopaea.org/forum/index.php?topic=13583.msg101970#msg101970

Kila said:
I think I understand what programs are.. I will do a search on that. Is that Gurdjieff or Ouspensky?

Both, really, Bearing in mind that Ouspensky was a student of Gurdjieff. 'In Search of The Miraculous' is a very good introduction to them both - it is an account by Ouspensky of his time spent as Gurdjieff's student where he relays to us his understanding of Gurdjieff's teachings, and Gurdjieff's assessment of the book was: "he has a good memory", so we have to assume it is a pretty accurate account of that part of Gurdjieff's work (Gurdjieff himself goes much further in the 'All And Everything' series, but this is not for the faint hearted). Programs are the workings of separate little bits of the personality that work mechanically by themselves - Gurdjieff refers to them as man's many "little i's", and there is significant overlap with modern psychological information about dissociation.

edit: I see RyanX got in there first, with a good link.
 

Marcus-Aurelius

Jedi Master
Re: "The Myth of Sanity" by Martha Stout

RyanX said:
Kila said:
Can I also ask... is the predator mind.. is that a Castaneda thing?

I think I understand what programs are.. I will do a search on that. Is that Gurdjieff or Ouspensky?

Kila,

I think you may find answers to your questions in this topic:

Buffers, Programs and "the Predator's Mind"

Hi Kila,
Think you can also check the Cassiopedia glossary in case you have difficulty understanding other terms used in the forum.


Approaching Infinity said:
Kila said:
At the end of the book she talks about integrating these various parts into a whole, but doesn't go into much detail. Is there some other book I should read now? Because I can't really afford any therapy or anything like that.

Perhaps others have more recommendations, but I think one of the most beneficial things you can do is to continue the EE program. It works on the emotional center and all those things "under the surface" that can't really be accessed or modified with the intellectual center.

I think the next thing in line after the EE program should be Self-remembering as praticed in the 4th way Work: trying to see one's emotions, actions and reactions, thoughts as objectively as possible.

Edit: clarity/grammar.
 

Windmill knight

SuperModerator
Moderator
FOTCM Member
Re: "The Myth of Sanity" by Martha Stout

Kila said:
Do a search on the forum for John Schumaker's book "The Corruption of Reality". He makes a very good point that most mental illness is dissociative in nature, including paranoia. It's like a stabilized form of extreme "subconscious selection and substitution of premises", as Lobaczewski called it.


I searched the forum but didn't find anything, but then weirdly enough it was sitting on the table right next to me. :shock: When I went to the library and got the Myth of Sanity, quite a few of the books I wanted they didn't have so I grabbed a couple of books on the shelf next to it that looked interesting, and I must have grabbed that book..so I have it... wow..

Wow indeed.

In the Thought Loops thread I tried to explain a little what Schumaker says about mental illness as dissociation:

I recently read [The Corruption of Reality] and it explains that what the human mind seeks the most is order. One way to achieve a sense of order out of a chaotic and frightening world is to dissociate, which can happen in many ways, some pretty obvious (like tv or music) and others not so obvious. The book argues that many forms of mental illness - if not all - are extreme forms of dissociation. For example, obsessive compulsive disorder, in which the mind dissociates from reality by occupying itself with obsessive order and tidiness.

Or paranoia, in which the mind, rather than facing the vast unknowns and dangers of reality, prefers to create, or focus and exaggerate a single manageable threat, even if it suffers while dissociating into this delusion.

Or bulimia and anorexia. The obsession of eating disorders is an attempt of the mind to have something to control as a way to dissociate from life. Some mental illnesses are specific to certain cultures because they relate to cultural taboos and fears, like bulimia. Another example: some Native Americans suffer from 'windigo', which is a form of mad cannibalism, because the cultural taboo against eating human flesh is very strong. So, paradoxically, the unconscious mind, rather than live under the constant pressure and fear of life, obsesses with a very strong taboo, until it decides to flee further into dissociation by becoming that which it fears the most. The mind would rather live in the 'controlled' (from an unconscious level) and predictable misery of such a delusion than face reality! The content of the delusion is actually secondary in importance for the unconscious mind; what it achieves in terms of dissociation is what fuels it.

Mental illnesses aside, I think this theory goes a long way in explaining many negative thought loops and obsessions, which we could say are mild forms of mental illness. When we are stuck into a negative thought loop that is only making us suffer and will not leave us alone, we are dissociating! Because the mind would rather have this sense of 'order' than face the complex, unpredictable, fearsome, threatening and largely unknown reality. How it manages to dissociate is just instrumental to the purpose of escaping from reality into a predictable and well known fantasy (or thought loop).

So in many cases, I think that negative thought loops will become more manageable, or perhaps go away completely, if we realize that the thought that is obsessing us is not important in itself, and that in reality our mind has simply found an excuse to dissociate - in a way that makes us miserable. Realize that if the mind needs dissociation, there are less destructive forms than negative thought loops.
 

Kila

Jedi
Re: "The Myth of Sanity" by Martha Stout

Thanks to all..

I am now reading and I'm sure I'll have more questions later. In the interim many many thanks for all your help.
 

Buddy

The Living Force
Re: "The Myth of Sanity" by Martha Stout


Kila, have you read the online Wave where Laura describes the physiological basis of the predator's mind and describes examples of 'programs'?
http://www.cassiopaea.org/cass/wave13h.htm

Since you have The Myth of Sanity, I thought I'd mention that Ms. Stout also gives some space to the physiology and the psychology of alter formation. Whether experienced as inside or outside oneself, alters are considered inner voices or hallucinations that can be described as subnetworks of the brain, centering more in the amygdalan network than the hippocampal.1

1Martha Stout, The Myth of Sanity: Divided Consciousness and the Promise of Awareness. New York: Viking, 2001, p. 17.
 

Carlybee

Padawan Learner
Re: "The Myth of Sanity" by Martha Stout

wow what an insightful read!

I gained some important insights from reading this book, particularly regarding disassociation!

I found the mechanism of disassociation is like a double edged sword, it is helpful in extreme fear or painful situations, but if you don’t re-visit and recognise later on that you’re ‘zoning’ out under certain circumstances, it can make it difficult to re-member and heal those emotional wounds.

Sweeping things under the carpet may make the room look clean, until you trip over it! Lol :P

I remember after my Mother died I could tell the story of her gruesome death like it was someone else’s story, for years I thought I had grieved, mourned and moved on until I read this book.

I realized that when I tried to re-visit the actual memories and events surrounding her death I could not actually recall much at all! I learned that I had been regurgitating bits and pieces of what I had been told. Well, during an E.E breathing and meditation session, I had the most powerful feeling of grief, that I had become disassociated from that situation so much that I could barely remember my own Mother and boy did that hurt. I think I cried in the shower for a good hour till nothing else came out. It was the best thing I could have done, as painful as it was, it was a huge milestone for me. Its funny because I remember telling people that I was frustrated that I could only get my grief to come up only so far, like something was holding it back and it would only get to my throat than get stuck, this has now been released.

Thankfully I have been able to recently recall many authentic memories and flashbacks of her, what happened, and I have released a big part of the grief I’d been unconsciously harbouring for so long. You just never know how a book’s gonna grab you do you lol!

Well worth the read! ;)
 

Michal

Jedi Council Member
FOTCM Member
Re: "The Myth of Sanity" by Martha Stout

Thank You for recommendation Bud and FORUM. I kissed that book twice after I had finished reading it.
 
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lwu02eb

Guest
Re: "The Myth of Sanity" by Martha Stout

I am currently reading this book, and let's just say that the effect is rather unpleasant but enlightening nevertheless. Reading this makes me feel deeply sick and brings up inexplicable emotions.

What would this forum suggest/ recommend for someone who strongly relates to the description of Julia?

I posted only yesterday in the EE thread that I am feeling more patient now, but I have previously researched and done preparation for hypnotherapy. This issue just continues to haunt me. I suffer from the adult dissociative states and the lack of full relation with others described even now (approaching 30). I am working on myself earnestly, but perhaps I need help?

The reason that this is so poignant, is that I have just dealt with the re-emergence of my Father in my life again, and I feel all the same emotions in so doing. I am very confused about what, if anything, has happened to me to make me so awkward and uncertain. I am much more aware of this these days and more loving and patient with myself. On the other hand, I often chastise myself for being too self-reflective when I think about these things and tell myself to get over it, though the irony is that I don't know what I'm getting over. :huh:

Any input would be greatly appreciated.
 

Buddy

The Living Force
Re: "The Myth of Sanity" by Martha Stout

[quote author=lwu02eb]
What would this forum suggest/ recommend for someone who strongly relates to the description of Julia?

Any input would be greatly appreciated.[/quote]

"Julia" was one of the two extreme cases Ms. Stout presented. Julia seems to represent a kind of DID that matches a condition traditionally termed "shell-shocked" due to the extreme nature of the trauma suffered.

People vary in their experiences and the extent to which their experiences negatively impact their lives. To start with, it could be possible that a form of professional therapy or counseling would be beneficial, but I don't know for sure.

There has been other trauma-based research (like Lloyd deMause) that suggests that how deeply a trauma is buried or split off from is related to how well the child or youth was made to accept, or believe, that it was him/her (the child or youth) who was to blame for what happened to them.

After you've made a few more posts, you could probably access a more private area "The Swamp" (unless you already can) where you can explore the more personal aspects of your experience and get more personalized feedback. That is, if you wish. Others may have additional input to offer on this, as well.
 

Laura

Administrator
Administrator
Moderator
FOTCM Member
Re: "The Myth of Sanity" by Martha Stout

This sort of thing really requires professional therapy. Perhaps there are referrals made on Martha Stout's website? I wouldn't hesitate a minute to get this help.
 
L

lwu02eb

Guest
Re: "The Myth of Sanity" by Martha Stout

Thank you both for your responses. I completed the book today, and everything Martha suggests in conclusion, I am already doing. There are certainly benefits to this self-work but I still cannot remember the first 11-13 years of my life and I have displayed such strange behaviours that I really feel that help is required.
 

Laura

Administrator
Administrator
Moderator
FOTCM Member
Re: "The Myth of Sanity" by Martha Stout

lwu02eb said:
Thank you both for your responses. I completed the book today, and everything Martha suggests in conclusion, I am already doing. There are certainly benefits to this self-work but I still cannot remember the first 11-13 years of my life and I have displayed such strange behaviours that I really feel that help is required.

Therapy is definitely a kind of Work and it can be painful, but as Martha writes, when you are no longer willing to be a victim and want your memories back no matter how painful they might be, then it's time to do this work. And we are always here to listen and share, too.
 
L

lwu02eb

Guest
Re: "The Myth of Sanity" by Martha Stout

It's safe to say that I don't wear victimhood well since leaving home at 16 with only the clothes I was standing in to get out from under my Mother's suffocating narcissism! I have no problem at all with hard work, and I think it's time to reclaim some AWOL little I's...

Since I have this opportunity to address you directly Laura, thank you for being you, which has given me the courage to attempt to be me.
 

momo

Padawan Learner
Re: "The Myth of Sanity" by Martha Stout

Morning Dew said:
Since I have this opportunity to address you directly Laura, thank you for being you, which has given me the courage to attempt to be me.

I would really like to join this statement, and THANK YOU.

Martha Stouts book is so helpful, it makes be realize I've got more than a lot of work to do.
And I'm looking forward to real reflection in the Swamp...

momo
 
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