Where one directs their attention (where one intends their consciousness), where one focuses and receives their perceptual experiences of reality, is largely a function of which brain hemisphere one habitually employs in orientating themselves to their environments, to others and to their world. Absent either the adequate neurological apparatus or the stimulating impulses emanating from the direction of ones environment, no relations, no context, no meaning and no understanding can be constructed by those functional regions of the brain that require both processes and their interrelations for an accurate synthesis of reality.
As so astutely described by Iain McGilchrist in his work, “The Master and his Emissary”, the brain hemispheres function largely autonomously and are connected by an ever evolutionarily shrinking band of intrahemispheric nerve fibers (corpus callosum, directly connecting about 2% of the two hemispheres connections to one another) allowing for either the inhibition or excitation of one side of the brain by the other; although inhibition of one hemisphere or the other seems to play a larger net effect in the process. Additionally, the brain is asymmetrical in all three of its physical dimensions, right-left, front-back, and top-bottom, suggesting evolutionary advantages for its current polarized structure.
Like a movable lens, the left hemispheres focus of attention is directed by the right hemispheres ever vigilant global “all seeing eye” (or the z-axis), allowing one to focus on varying depths of those things it focuses its two dimensional attentional awareness of its left hemisphere (x and y axis) upon. The attraction of what the left hemispheres lens peers on and into, can abstract it from the less focused but more global and highly relational and contextual view of the right hemispheres modes of attention.
Naturally the broad and embodied orientation of the whole of perception, as perceived and manifested through the working processes of the right hemisphere of the brain, intentionally directs ones narrowly focused left hemisphere towards the direction of the surfaces of those processes that it recognizes as parts of the whole that would relationally benefit ones being from being further investigated, and thus, seeks to extensionally expand ones understanding and experience of the whole, thereby providing the essential relations between the objects of its focus in the three dimensions of space, relative to time.
If ones environmental experiences are such that they internally feel it is unfavorable for them to approach life with a broader and contextual, yet less certain view of things, as the many experience through the ever-present conventions of their cultural and social powers and influences, then through the conditioning effects (of a sufficient measure and magnitude) of such conforming forces, the many discover it more profitable to sacrifice their broader integrating contextual perspective for the relative certainty and comfort of their more narrow and superficial orientating hemispheric processes, automatically provided by the functioning of their left hemispheres.
This focus on the known, certainty and survival over the whole (and our beings relations and deeper connections to that which resides outside the confines of ones skin), affords such individuals with a relatively static slice of reality, largely divorced from its relational context and meaning. This provides an experience of reality that appears very real, predictable and safe, however in doing so, the individual unwittingly sacrifices the depth and breadth of their contextual relationships with the whole, for the utility and pleasure of the predictable, the pleasant, the entertaining and the safe.
Both Autism and Schizophrenia, as well as related psychiatric conditions, are believed to be the consequences of an over-reliance on the narrow processes of the left brain hemisphere, its representations and overall experience of reality. (Louis Sass, “Madness and Modernism”)
Perhaps the current view of the Autism Spectrum, is but a limited view of a larger Spectrum that includes the extremes of expression and behavior for all humans, from the debilitating consequences of schizophrenia and the more severe forms of autism on the far left side of the spectrum, to someone like Nietzsche of the far right, (as Jung described a man of pure intuition).
Perhaps the narrow intensionally abstracted view that the processes of the left hemisphere provide, as evidenced by the conditions of our current global crises, are the consequence of narrow focus and our collective myopia.
Empathy costs us emotionally, it’s an investment in others.
Judgement costs us nothing, but it does reinforce our rightness over others however!
Which one should we employ when dealing with other souls?
Language made possible the accumulation and communication of knowledge; it was language that permitted the formulation of ideas and the codification of laws.
It was language that turned us into human beings and created civilization
*We created our own code for programming ourselves (and by default social norms), but we created neither ourselves nor the environment(s) we live in and interact with.
*Language allowed us to share our intellect with others (to communicate and distribute), through agreed upon definitions and meanings of symbols, and the relationships between them.
A Language is a code, a particular way of structuring, representing and employing our intellect in order that we may accurately apprehend our existence and to aid us in coping with, adapting to, and surviving in the particular environments in which live.
As a result, language, fosters our ability to pass on and redistribute any knowledge and wisdom that we may accumulate, in order to assist our progeny in their life experiences, and so on.
A Language is a virtual philosophy, and through its particular coding processes, our conceptions of both our inner and outer reality, are given a particular flavor, angle or perspective that is unique to the language itself, resulting in a powerful influence on the individuals who employ any particular language(s).
Ones worldview is initially most influenced by the particular language(s) that they employed to construct their understanding of reality.
Languages are works of genius, and were created by people as stupid as ourselves, Therefore to believe in the existence, within ourselves, of a higher source of intelligence than the conscious self, seems a coherent and sound conclusion.
Like the code that is the source of the programming that allows computers to compute, as the programmer intended, language, as it relates to human cognitive processes, is one of the primary facts of human existence.
Although language admits us into a conceptual world of ideas, through its gift of contextualized thinking and the knowledge it may provide us, it does so only at a price – the conceptual world of doctrines, ideologies and beliefs, that as a result of a language system, are both thrust upon us from others, and bubble out of our own imaginations and thoughts.
A world where delusions and created realities keep popping up over the horizon: where all kinds of poison came pouring out from the propaganda factories of religion, politics and commerce.
THE INDEPENDENT MIND
By Gregory Mitchell
Solomon E. Asch was a world-renowned American Gestalt psychologist and pioneer in social psychology. He became famous in the 1950s, following experiments which showed that social pressure can make a person say something that is obviously incorrect. Solomon Asch thought that the majority of people would not conform to something obviously wrong, but the results showed that an alarming number of participants gave the wrong answer.
The inner-directed person has discovered the potential within themselves to live and act not according to established norms, but based on what they discover using their own inner compass. They have their own moral code and values. They are originally influenced by parents and other authority figures, but later the source of their direction appears as an inner core of principles and character traits. The inner-directed person does not derive his sense of value or identity solely from tradition nor from conformity to peer-group fashions, but from the resources of his own nature.
Other-directed persons tend to be dependent. They may be anxious and fearful about others’ approval or disapproval of themselves. They tend to be oversensitive to others’ opinions and are compulsive conformists. They often are manipulating in order to please others and insure constant acceptance and approval.
Research by cognitive psychologist Herman A. Witkin reports that one aspect of cognitive style, namely field-dependence/field-independence, is affected significantly by socialization and child-rearing practices.
The term ‘field‘ relates to the external perceived world.
Relatively field-dependent individuals thrive more in situations where decisions are made for them.
They tend to prefer a ‘spectator’ approach to life with responsibility on the shoulders of others.
They operate with a relatively external frame of reference, as opposed to the greater ‘inner-directedness’ of the field-independent individual.
Inner direction is considered a desirable trait in Mind Development. This orientation can only be achieved by an individual who is in the process of developing his own character, of becoming ‘field-independent’, his or her volition self-determined (based on self-knowledge) rather than the effect of manipulation or propitiation.
The most original, creative and outstanding men and women are invariably of this type, and yet it is no ‘elitist’ type, for it is available to all human beings with the courage of their convictions.
It is the way of life that takes ‘Individuation’ (as described by Carl Jung) as its goal: to manifest one’s highest potential. To achieve Individuation, the individual needs to become much more field-independent and inner-directed than is generally the case. There is a significant correlation between field-independence and IQ.
Rely on the surrounding perceptual field.
Have difficulty attending to, extracting, and using non-salient cues.
Have difficulty providing structure to ambiguous information.
Have difficulty restructuring new information and forging links with prior knowledge.
Have difficulty retrieving information from long-term memory.
Have a tendency to be extrinsically motivated.
Have a disposition to be other-directed.
Have a tendency to be extraverted.
Field-independents: (independent thinkers)
Perceive objects as separate from the field.
Can dis-embed relevant items from non-relevant items within the field.
Provide structure when it is not inherent in the presented information.
Reorganize information to provide a context for prior knowledge.
Tend to be more efficient at retrieving items from memory.
Have a tendency to be intrinsically motivated.
Have a disposition to be inner-directed.
Have a tendency to be introverted.
Field independence/field dependence are a semi-independent dimension to introversion/extraversion, but the separation is not complete.
There is a moderate correlation between introversion and field independence, as well as between extraversion and field dependency.
The capacity to introvert is a skill dependent on a certain level of maturity – children and the immature are not good at this.
The process of introversion is a skill that the child will need in order to develop greater intelligence and wisdom.
Introversion reaches a maximum at about age forty, the true age of maturity.
By the age of forty, most people have had twenty years of adult life, they have had the experience of marriage, children, ownership of property and forging a career, and they have become politically aware.
Introversion is the tendency to focus one’s attention towards the inner, mental world, but it is only with maturity that harmony may be found.
The American bias toward extraversion as a sign of maturity is a dangerous but little-discussed political phenomenon.
Let us consider how dangerous this bias is.
It requires that the introvert abandon her particular genius in order to join the crowd.
Consider the extraverted leader who values loyalty above clear thinking; consider the dangers we are led into by a coarse, unsubtle extravert who distrusts the loner, the doubter, the thinker.
Ironically, although extraverts tend to have developed outgoing social skills, people who are truly great at working social interactions such as diplomats tend to be introverts, since they have needed to look inside to develop meaningful empathy between themselves and others.
Internal motivation is an attribute of the introverted personality.
An introvert spends inordinate amounts of time processing the world around him through his own emotions, thoughts, and beliefs. He frequently thinks about how his environment impacts his existence.
As a result, when he is enthusiastic about a life task, he is able to discipline himself for greater periods of time for the purposes of reflection and problem solving.
This process of inner reflection energizes him and propels him forward toward new ways of thinking, believing, and behaving.
In essence, an introvert is motivated by his own self-talk. Introverts work well independently, and usually prefer to work alone. Internally motivated individuals are frequently insightful and can more easily see the association between cause and effect.
On the down side, an introvert is more susceptible to mood swings and depression because he spends so much time reflecting upon the significance of his life.
Introverts tend to be intrinsically motivated.
Intrinsic motivation is inner-directed (field-independent) interest in a task.
In studies on field dependence and field independence, it was found that field-independent individuals tend to engage in a hypothesis-testing, participant role in learning.
They seemed to function on intrinsic motivation and were perceptive of the subtle and inconspicuous information relevant to the task.
Intrinsic motivation, field independence, reflection, cognitive complexity, deep-level processing, and task orientation are all positive traits exhibited by introverts.
On the other hand, field dependent individuals tended to notice only the most prominent information and seemed to be motivated by extrinsic rewards.
The source of motivation tends to be externally based when individuals are other directed and seek affirmation of traits, competencies, and values from external perceptions and influences.
In stressful and/or threatening circumstances, field dependent individuals appeared to utilize repression and thus exhibited inferior or distorted recall.
The Illusion of Normality
Experiments were undertaken by Gestalt psychologists early last century, in which a person viewed through a mechanism of titled mirrors. At first all seemed to the person to be indeed tilted, but after a period a normalization effect took place and the mind auto-corrected the view so it seemed normal again.
When exposed to the real scenario, this now seemed tilted to the person. The normalization effect represents a wearing off of the influence of the framework of the outer world. In the mirror world, the framework of the normal objective world could not be sustained, and a new framework takes its place.
The subject felt he must conform to the influence of the titled framework, even when it meant not only suppressing bodily feelings (his sense of bodily uprightness) by subsequently feeling tilted when objectively upright but denying the obvious perceptual conflict when the frame could not possibly be upright when it was not lined up with his body. This indicated not only a denial of his body as a standard of reference and an inability to relate it to what he could see in front of him, but a denial also of perceptual contradictions. These are strong illusions and indicate the potent effect of the normalization phenomena.
Those who excepted the field as upright in its tilted position insisted they were quite correct in their judgments, or that “the longer I look at it the less faith I have in my judgments.” With continued conflict between visual and postural determinants, the conflict is resolved in the direction of even greater reliance upon the visual framework. Thus, when a person loses one of their main points of reference – in psychology it may be significant people, or one’s job, for example – and outer cues become stronger, inner conflicting cues are ignored in determining the objective reality.
In addition, as outer cues begin to saturate the person for longer periods, inner cues become less and less useful as a basis for judging reality. The surrounding field becomes increasingly accepted as normal, even though its acceptance leads to an inaccurate judgment of the world and represents a tilted and distorted view.
A field-dependent person actually has a much narrower visual field so even in everyday life he is actually blind to certain reference points that would exist on the periphery of his vision – his vision is more literal and central. Such a person when reading makes very small fixations, and cannot read more than one word either side, or one line above or below the fixation point they are looking at. They are focused on a single point without reference to the total context. Of course, there are many fields beyond the perceptual, such as cognitive fields and social fields.
By analogy we can think of many everyday life situations which provide a person with this kind of conflict, between his own inner feelings and the outside stimulation that surrounds him. It seems that although a person may at first resist the intrusions of the surrounding field which might be quite distorted, without a point of reference or with supports of the objective reality taken away, he cannot for very long maintain himself. An obvious example is the situation of sensory deprivation. The distorted world tends to right itself and be perceived as normal.
We may speculate that in social situations an individual’s judgment may be rendered less useful for making a true assessment of what the objective reality is, by constantly saturating him with a bold, distorted field whilst at the same time limiting his access to independent assessment of the outer situation. Although he may at first rely on his inner standards and judge the socially induced reality to be distorted and untrue, in practice he will tend gradually to be overcome and accept the distorted reality as normal and true.
These observations derived from the perceptual laboratory may also help us to understand such phenomena as propaganda and brainwashing, and how they insidiously work their pernicious effect over a period of time, even on individuals who under optimal conditions might demonstrate good judgment.
It would also seem that this is the model used by some governments and organizations, surrounding their people with stimuli that are presented as reality, while at the same time limiting popular access to other sources of information. In the beginning the people may resist and protest and view the offered reality with suspicion, but little by little they too may succumb to the normalization effect, to accept as true, right and normal that which was previously perceived as a distortion.
Both hypnotic suggestibility and vulnerability to non-hypnotic social influence have positive and significant correlations with field dependence. Rhetoric and reality can be confused even when there is a clear and definite need to distinguish between them. A person may be immersed in a philosophy and a context which permeates by a process of osmosis until it seems normal. The context therefore has a hypnotic effect.
In contrast the effects of work with Mind Development techniques lead to greater field-independence. The student is continually encouraged to objectively reality check his internal belief system, against the context of his relationships, his hobbies, the outside world in general, his occupation, and to utilize objective tests of performance such as biofeedback, IQ and personality tests.
Unless we are dead, we are all individuals to a certain extent, but when we have achieved Individuation we are inner-directed and field-independent, so we would not be compelled to be conformist. Solomon Asch stated that most of the participants in his experiment were field-dependent and other-directed. They may of course be classed as individuals, but they were a million miles from being Individuated. They may have been free to express minor individuality within a bounded reality, but they were unable to express their individuality in an unbounded reality.
When we have achieved Individuation, we can say metaphorically, we are in the world without being of the world. There is an enormous gap between being an individual in a small way, to being a person who can write his own script.
Sell Swords (The Highest Bidder) trade their time and efforts in exchange for rewards that they think they need to adequately function within the confines of their particular environment, although it is not necessarily consistent with what the Sell Sword professes to believe in to those within their particular group.
This mechanism leads to a stress and internal inconsistency that often leads to unpredictable and unintended consequences for the Sell Sword.
In order to alleviate, or at least to minimize, the unpleasant feelings associated with the unintended stresses of ones internal inconsistencies, relative to their external power acquisition strategies, a Sell Sword must artificially attempt to balance their conflicting internal feelings set against their perceived external needs.
This is acheieved through additional external energy procuring strategies, that provide the Sell Sword with alternative channel(s) through which to neutralize their unhealthy and dangerous psychic energy imbalances.
This is also part of ones natural psychic venting mechanism, that is intended to calm their internal inconsistencies and consequent brain chatter that tacitly conspires to derail the Sell Sword from functioning adequately within their external environment(s).
Consequently their allegiance to the group is contingent upon them receiving the rewards that they feel they need in order to continue to be in relationship with others and groups.
They believe that power (the energy gains and investments made by an individual to comfortably interact, communicate, and work with one or more people) flows in the direction from the environment to the Sell Sword, and in such a way motivates the Sell Swords to align themselves with people and organizations that will provide them with sufficient rewards in order to gratify their perceived preferences and needs, and to continue the association.
The peculiar motivation of an individual to place their psychic needs outside of themselves and onto their environment, is a consequence of the immense gravity felt by the individual to conform with the groups, that shaped their foundational experiences.
This mentality is consistent with, and a direct consequence of, the desires of the current ruling classes (controlling, influencing), and is the best indicator of the current success of the group(s) that most powerfully influence and/or control its’ adherents, intended or otherwise.
A Sell Sword’s motivational energies, power, beliefs, overall perspective, values and behaviors, are all powerfully influenced by the hand that feeds them (the external direction from which their power flows), and if this mentality becomes the dominant one in ones life, this phenomenon forces the individual towards superficial interests and behaviors and away from their natural inborn tendencies and gifts.
Ones environment primarily shapes a Sell Sword’s global perspective and consequent behaviors, and consequently they cannot shape their environment deliberately, but only unwittingly, supporting a more tenuous relationship with ther environment and fostering a personal identity that is primarily dependent upon the perception of ones external circumstances.
A Sell Swords Perspective then, centers around their own personal gain, relative to and above those that they work and interact with, and their awareness is centered around events, people and objects that provide them with their needs from outside of themselves.
“We all must serve something beyond ourselves; the devil or the law, chaos or order, our hearts or our minds, but we all must serve.”
A primarily objective worldview, is by definition also a narrow superficial worldview, and as such confines the subject to a restricted understanding of themselves, limits ones comprehension of their experiences, and ultimately diminishes the meaning and the very value of ones internal feelings associated with their own experiences.
A narrowed, convergent, compliant and easily predictable individual and populace is produced in such ways.
Inductive reasoning and confirmation bias are all that are required to supply those with a primarily objective and externalized worldview, with certainty enough to function securely in their own tightly controlled internal and externally designed and constructed environment(s).
Eventually ones natural subjective intuitive perspective is replaced by a lesser adopted externally focused objective one, and is often labeled with such concepts as growth and maturity, by those who succumb to the pressures to adapt and survive in a world that is now unwittingly set against ones own nature.
Stress, disease, addiction, unworthiness, separation and destruction are all the result of such seemingly innocent choices, or shrugs.