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> Psychoanalysis is Quantum Mechanics
coberst
post Jun 08, 2010, 02:01 AM
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Psychoanalysis is Quantum Mechanics

I use the metaphor Psychoanalysis is Quantum Mechanics as a linguistic means to convey to you my comprehension of PSA (psychoanalysis) is somewhat based upon my comprehension of QM (quantum mechanics). This is not to say that I know a lot about either of these domains of knowledge but that I think that you may know more about QM than you do about PSA. The linguistic metaphor and the conceptual metaphor are the means that we humans have for comprehending the “unknown” based upon our comprehension of the “known”.

The physicist is a scientist studying the inner reality of the atom and the psychoanalyst is a scientist studying the inner reality of our psyche. The inner reality of the atom is “weird” to our day-to-day comprehension of reality just as the inner reality of the psyche is also “weird” to our day-to-day comprehension of reality.

Richard Feynman, now deceased, was a theoretical physicist and professor of physics at MIT gave to his students the following description of what physics is all about:

“We can imagine that this complicated array of moving things which constitutes “the world” is something like a great chess game being played by the gods, and we are observers of the game. We do not know what the rules of the game are; all we are allowed to do is to watch the playing. Of course, if we watch long enough, we may eventually catch on to a few of the rules. The rules of the game are what we mean by fundamental physics. Even if we know every rule, however…what we really can explain in terms of those rules is very limited, because almost all situations are so enormously complicated that we cannot follow the plays of the game using the rules, much less tell what is going to happen next. We must, therefore, limit ourselves to the more basic question of the rules of the game. If we know the rules, we consider that we “understand” the world.”

The natural sciences, especially physics, have been very successful at learning the rules of the game. Our didactic (teaching by telling) educational system has been very successful at teaching these rules to their students. The students have been very successful at using these rules and the algorithms and paradigms developed from these rules in developing the high tech economy that we have.

I claim that, metaphorically speaking, Otto Rank is Richard Feynman.

Alois Riegl’s major work in art history Historical Grammar of the Visual Arts foreshadowed the direction that contemporary art history was to take. Riegl was a major figure for establishing art history as a self-sufficient university study as a means for understanding art.

Riegl’s concept of “art-will” contains a strong psychological element that dictates a focus upon the personality of the creative artist. The study of the growth of personality sponsored by the creative individual will is Otto Rank’s major contribution to psychoanalysis.

The individual will means the freedom of choice; with that will comes ethical responsibility and guilt, the footprint of freedom. Will psychology introduced by Rank represents the birth of individuality as it manifests it self in civilization and the accompanying art, literature, music, science, and the possibility of immortality. Rollo May, a well known exponent of existential psychotherapy was deeply influenced by Rank and commented “I have long considered Otto Rank to be the great unacknowledged genius in Freud’s circle”.

If you would like to learn more about Otto Rank's theory, his most important works are Art and Artist, Truth and Reality, and Will Therapy.

“The rules of the game are what we mean by fundamental physics.” This is Richard Feynman speaking and is quoted in his most remarkable book QED: The Strange Theory of Light and Matter.

This book is a masterful exposition by a master teacher and scientist of quantum mechanics; aimed not at teaching students to do calculations, but at teaching them to understand what's going on behind calculations. Reading this book helps students avoid "a false sophistication which emphasizes technique rather than understanding." Most important, in my estimation, is that it is a book that any lay person can read, understand and enjoy. It will give the rugged individual--undaunted by preconceived notions--an opportunity to appreciate the mysteries and marvels of modern physics.

Feynman, in my opinion as well as many others, is a master scientist, wonderful human being, and most of all a master teacher.

There is a layering quality in book publishing that works marvelously for the lay reader. Such individuals as Kant, Einstein, and Darwin write books explaining their original thoughts. A second layer of authors condense and clarify the thoughts of these original thinkers into a form more accessible to the learning student seeking to join the ranks of the experts. Then there is a third level where a person with fine writing skills takes this material and writes a book that is accurate, polished, and readable for the person looking to understand the general aspects of a domain of knowledge without too many complications.

Richard Feynman is one of those rare creatures who fit all three levels of authorship. Most important to us, who wish to understand without too many complications, Feynman has written a book “QED”, which makes it possible for us to accomplish this task with much pleasure and awe.
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GodConsciousness
post Jun 08, 2010, 05:24 AM
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Quantum mechanics and quantum physics generally have been over-applied in psychological circles to help proffer new agey psychological theories. Unfortunately, many of the theories appear to be based on a weak understanding of the brain/mind and perhaps a weaker understanding of quantum physics. With that said, however, we may see the connection between the fields to be quite fruitful in the future, but I don't think we are there quite yet.
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Cale-Construct33
post Jun 08, 2010, 10:40 AM
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[The physicist is a scientist studying the inner reality of the atom and the psychoanalyst is a scientist studying the inner reality of our psyche. The inner reality of the atom is “weird” to our day-to-day comprehension of reality just as the inner reality of the psyche is also “weird” to our day-to-day comprehension of reality.

]


Something is wrong with this statement. Perhaps it is the series of assumptions that must have been reached in order to put it together. I would say the atom is much more measurable than the 'psyche,' which makes it a tough comparison. Or maybe its with how loosely the term reality is used in reference to both QM and PSA. I think they are similar mostly because we don't really know what the inner reality of the atom or the psyche are. The more that is 'discovered' the more convoluted it becomes it seems. Or perhaps it is because I think that Psychoanalysis doesn't expound on the concept of consciousness quite enough to make it a good correlate to physics, focusing mostly on 'unconscious psychic content.'

In the book "The Physics of Consciousness," Evan Walker Harris states that measurement breaks down the moment something is observed (state-vector collapse). Basically, all matter - or its constituent components - exists as numerous potentialities that are probabilities, but only through the act of observation do they take the form the we 'see.' Walker states that a state-vector collapse occurs once consciousness observes, and therefore interacts with the system being observed and all of its potentialities, collapse to a single state.

"We now have a picture in which the processes of the world (QM)...have to be represented by this collection of probabilistic pictures, by possibilities. These possibilities, these potentialities, become actualities whenever we carry out a measurement on the system...But we do know that when we observe the system, we will see only one picture, one state, one condition. We know that state vector collapse must have already occurred or that it occurs at the time of this observation...But observation is just a euphemism for consciousness, for mind; this interpretation of quantum mechanics says that the system undergoes state vector collapse because of our mind!...This effort to obtain an entirely practical interpretation of quantum mechanics...leads us to the incredible conclusion that mind, or consciousness, affects matter!"Evan Walker Harris


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coberst
post Jun 09, 2010, 03:05 AM
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In all domains of knowledge the best we can do “We can imagine that this complicated array of moving things which constitutes “the world” is something like a great chess game being played by the gods, and we are observers of the game. We do not know what the rules of the game are; all we are allowed to do is to watch the playing. Of course, if we watch long enough, we may eventually catch on to a few of the rules. The rules of the game are what we mean by fundamental physics. Even if we know every rule, however…what we really can explain in terms of those rules is very limited, because almost all situations are so enormously complicated that we cannot follow the plays of the game using the rules, much less tell what is going to happen next. We must, therefore, limit ourselves to the more basic question of the rules of the game. If we know the rules, we consider that we “understand” the world.”

We have, through social osmosis, developed the notion that anything that cannot be measured with a stick or a scale is unimportant. Thus we generally ignore the most important characteristics of human cognition from which all human comprehension is founded.
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Cale-Construct33
post Jun 09, 2010, 06:33 AM
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Yes I would agree that their is a bias towards 'hard science.' So what are the most important characteristics of human cognition?
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coberst
post Jun 10, 2010, 02:22 AM
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QUOTE(Cale-Construct33 @ Jun 09, 2010, 06:33 AM) *

Yes I would agree that their is a bias towards 'hard science.' So what are the most important characteristics of human cognition?



We have in our Western philosophy a traditional theory of faculty psychology wherein our reasoning is a faculty completely separate from the body. “Reason is seen as independent of perception and bodily movement.” It is this capacity of autonomous reason that makes us different in kind from all other animals. I suspect that many fundamental aspects of philosophy and psychology are focused upon declaring, whenever possible, the separateness of our species from all other animals.

This tradition of an autonomous reason began long before evolutionary theory and has held strongly since then without consideration, it seems to me, of the theories of Darwin and of biological science. Cognitive science has in the last three decades developed considerable empirical evidence supporting Darwin and not supporting the traditional theories of philosophy and psychology regarding the autonomy of reason. Cognitive science has focused a great deal of empirical science toward discovering the nature of the embodied mind.

The three major findings of cognitive science are:
The mind is inherently embodied.
Thought is mostly unconscious.
Abstract concepts are largely metaphorical.

“These findings of cognitive science are profoundly disquieting [for traditional thinking] in two respects. First, they tell us that human reason is a form of animal reason, a reason inextricably tied to our bodies and the peculiarities of our brains. Second, these results tell us that our bodies, brains, and interactions with our environment provide the mostly unconscious basis for our everyday metaphysics, that is, our sense of what is real.”

All living creatures categorize. All creatures, as a minimum, separate eat from no eat and friend from foe. As neural creatures tadpole and wo/man categorize. There are trillions of synaptic connections taking place in the least sophisticated of creatures and this multiple synapses must be organized in some way to facilitate passage through a small number of interconnections and thus categorization takes place. Great numbers of different synapses take place in an experience and these are subsumed in some fashion to provide the category eat or foe perhaps.

Our categories are what we consider to be real in the world: tree, rock, animal…Our concepts are what we use to structure our reasoning about these categories. Concepts are neural structures that are the fundamental means by which we reason about categories.

Quotes from Philosophy in the Flesh by Lakoff and Johnson
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free thinker
post Jan 02, 2011, 01:45 PM
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This is an astounding debate that has no doubt been argued many times before. I personally feel the debate is pretty much summed up into two different types of thinking.

Concrete Vs. Abstract thinking.

Each side has its own value to its field of study that is so unique, that I believe should be synonymous with progressive thinking, rather than being debated upon which is a better solution to the theory of life. Maybe only by combining both will we ever have an understanding of how the universe really works around us.
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