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Neuroscience: Hmmmm. Freud’s unconscious returns?

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From the Guardian:

The reasons are twofold: science and necessity. First, neuroscience has demonstrated conclusively that there’s far more going on in the mind than the owners of those minds are generally aware. Mark Solms, a professor of neuropsychology and psychoanalyst who has pioneered much of the effort to test Freud’s findings against the neuroscientific, often points out that the conscious mind is capable of attending to six or seven things at once, while the rest of the nervous system is performing thousands. In that light, it seems perverse to deny that much of psychic life lies over the horizon of our awareness, doubly so when you consider experiences such as dreaming and slips of the tongue, or ordeals from infancy that can’t be remembered and yet demonstrably shape adult life.

We knew this:

The second reason that the unconscious is worth exploring has to do with medical necessity. Take the phenomenon of medically unexplained symptoms. These are widespread and everyday. In her recent book, It’s All in Your Head, neurologist Suzanne O’Sullivan reports that up to a third of people who go to the doctor have them. Their distress is real; the patient is not making it up. And yet no biological cause can be found. When you consider how much this costs – one 2005 study for such psychosomatic disorders estimates an annual cost of over $250bn in the US alone – it’s clear that any reasonable candidate for explanation should be investigated with urgency.

We didn’t know this:

The unconscious is one candidate, and conversion disorders provide a case in point. Also known as hysteria, these too are remarkably prevalent. All neurology clinics, for example, will have on their books many individuals with lives severely limited by seizures, but for whom an EEG reveals no epileptic activity in the brain. Other patients will be impaired by breathlessness, blindness, pain, paralysis. As O’Sullivan admits, even though there’s now technology to see inside the brain, the science is barely providing leads, let alone explanations.

But Freud’s central idea on conversion disorders – namely that a trauma, or perceived trauma, lies at the origin – is now routinely shown to have clinical efficacy. More.

File:A small cup of coffee.JPG Let’s keep an eye on this file.

See also: The human mind, the skinny

and

What great physicists have said about immateriality and consciousness

7 Replies to “Neuroscience: Hmmmm. Freud’s unconscious returns?

  1. 1
    Robert Byers says:

    Dreams? they still don’t understand dreams? This was settled by Aristotle.
    Dreams are simply memories being observed without the senses showing , by realuty, they are just memories.
    There is no difference between dreaming and real life. its all observation of the memory. So the mechanism is the same but only the input is different.

    All these issues are about memory i say.
    The rejection, of the soul concept, by Freud too has been what stopped a better investigation and healing of the problems.

  2. 2
    mw says:

    Hi Robert,
    Is the soul then a memory?
    Jung, a muddled mystic some would say; both a prolific writer and first a disciple of Fraud, “introduced to psychoanalysis crucial questions about religion and the soul which Fraud neglected,” (Jung for Beginners: back cover).

    Jung showed that dreams are also the gateway to the spirit, to the anima, the unconscious, the soul. He believed in the Spirit, whereas Fraud rejected it.

    As for dreams being totally comprised of memories, then look at the Judaeo-Christian scriptures to see how the Spirit guided in dreams.

    An awakening of trying to solve the riddles of dreams have helped many on the road to recovering mental and spiritual health: to gain inner strength and regain purpose in life.

    Still, Fraudian analysis, centring more on dsturbances of a sexual nature for the interpretation of psychological illness has merit.

    Make no mistake, dreams contain super intelligence; lead to realms undreamed of, and the state of the soul. Dreams at times may offer daily guidance in certain nebulous terms, and in others, more concrete.

    Dreams are not without its dangers.

  3. 3
    Robert Byers says:

    mw
    NO. The soul is immaterial and is who we are. The memory is material. Its just a machine the soul uses to connect to the material world. if we are a soul its he biggest deal to connect a immaterial thing to the material. Priority one.

    While on earth its this way. Jesus was stuck to his memory and thats why he had no memory of gods wisdom. Jesus had to grow in wisdom as the bible says.

    Dreams are simply simply our souls watching our memories.
    Dreaming is the same mechanism as when awake. in both cases we watch the memory. Thats all we do. When asleep senses are turned off so we simply look over previous memories.

    dreams being interfered with by God changes nothing. its special. God just appears to us by way of this mem,ory operation. yet no different then if awake.

    Dreams don’t contain superintelligence. jUst our memories however intelligent.
    Yes analyzing them could help healing but not much or many.

  4. 4
    mw says:

    Clearly, Robert; Jung would have, and others today may disagree with what you say, if I understand you correctly what memory is, in total, and in your opinion.

    With respect, if Jesus was “stuck” to his memory with a supernatural intelligence, when he demonstrated memory of other’s past, that simply does not add up. And memories of the future simply do not stack up, which he also demonstrated, when he knew he would do the impossible: rise from the dead in three days.

    How could he memorise an event before it happened? A guess? No, the evidence of a superior intellect, and one pure; that is truthful. We, on the other hand cannot say all our memories are even truthful.

    Jung; from his dreams; his psyche, realised he had a spirit guide named Philemon (Memories, Dreams, Reflections: written by Jung himself, p 210). He wondered, was such analysis deserving to be called science. At that moment, an inner voice of a woman said from within his psyche, “it is art.”

    Then arises another problem that some people suffer from, and need to cope with; hearing voices (ref. Accepting Voices by Prof. Marcus Romme and Sandra Escher). Further; in dreams, we may discern entities, even of saints. Whether we believe that or not is immaterial, we have in the end only made a choice; the consequences ours, if truth be truth. Then other problems may arise: what sort of spirit? Or, a malfunctioning unfit memory?

    Jung was hijacked and ‘baptised’ into the New Age Movement; he also tried to relate synchronicity and quantum mechanics, and in relation to the I-Ching (a Taoist divination book.)

    Finally, to imply that Jesus could not remember, or did not know intellectually and spiritually that he is God in part and God in whole, is not in accordance with scripture. Jesus said he was ”before Abraham,” and equal to God, as, “I Am”. That is why he was crucified, for blasphemy, (Yahweh first identified himself as “I am” to Moses).

    Yes, Jesus in his humanity grew in grace, as “son of man,” because he was under obedience to the Father, as a perfect sinless human. If God could not remember He is God, God help us, and Himself.

    For some, dreams contain a rich harvest for healing and guidance: they may be used as a stepping to greater faith. Dreams are infinitely more than memories. As many will testify, they are a road to the unconscious, meaning; beyond our everyday consciousness. Dreams relate to a higher intelligence in us, possibly our soul, which relates to other mysteries.

  5. 5
    Robert Byers says:

    The bible is clear. Jesus grew in wisdom as a kid. He was not faking being a baby and dumb as one. One of hios eye healing miracles needed to be done again because of not knowing some things about eyesight.
    his sense of self is not from his memory but from the soul as it were. Future things also is a separate point.
    Yet the evidence is that he had a human memory and was stick in ints controls. He had to relearn everything as a kid.
    We do but also we have a soul.

    The unconscience doesn’t exist except its just memories having some effect on ons thinking.
    There is only a soul and a memory machine.
    Its not mysterious or complicated.

  6. 6
    mw says:

    Hi Robert,

    Of course God “grew” in wisdom. As Human/Jesus/God in hypostatic Nature, He also “grew” physically. But He first reduced Himself of His glory at His incarnation in order to grow as Man/God; to experience sinless Humanity, and not to Sin as Adam in order to be Saviour.

    Are we saying, in total, He could not remember why He descended from heaven at the incarnation, why He was Saviour? That He lost all knowledge of His former place in glory, at the right hand of God, who He is: God in part and God in whole. God could not remember what His main purpose was?

    Yahweh wrote as divine law at Sinai (the only scripture God ever wrote; hence, in that sense, the Holy of holies) the Genesis Sabbath Commandment. Divine law, points back to Genesis and ultimately forward to the Transfiguration, where Jesus illuminated with supernatural light spoke to the law giver Moses.

    Jesus surely retained His divinity, His essence, His oneness with the Father, “The Father and I are One” (Jn 10:30). He therefore could remember creation in six days, and that creation was through Him (Col 1: 15-19). A Law which He said was unbendable (Matt 5:17-19). And if He died for a lie, for manipulating truth, a phantom truth, He is no Saviour. The same for Yahweh, who is also called Saviour.

    Jesus said He was equal to God (Jn 8:59). He did miracles equal to the power of God. How did He remember to do miracles? How did He remember the super intelligence, the super science that must be known in order to accomplish miracles, having the powers to create or regenerate life instantly, as with Lazarus, and more; His own physicality, demonstrating in Spirit supernatural biological knowledge, and while His dead body was in the grave in order to resurrect it?

  7. 7
    Robert Byers says:

    Jesus said anyone , with faith, could move mountains. Its possible he did miracles by this method and not by other God ways.
    I’m not sure.
    He knew, past a point in childhood, his true identity. its his soul. Yet his memory would not allow this as a baby surely.
    So in practical wisdom, knowledge, understanding the bible implies he had to relearn it.
    This makes sense if he had no memory of it.
    So its a conflict between soul and memory. Just like with us.
    When Jesus dreamed he probably didn’t dream of heaven. No memory.

    When we die our soul goes but our memory stays with the body. I do think we take a memory somehow but memory is a function of the material world. It breaks. the soul never breaks.

    I think Jesus God identity and human identity is based on the memory machine issue.
    It would make sense Jesus soul stayed as divine as ever but he was different in his human brain. Or rather his mind. Which is the memory as I see it.

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