Fred Wolfs Approach on Jungian and Freudian Thought
Dreams appear to break free of space and time limitations. Since the beginning of recorded history, humanity has examined the nature of dreams due to their influence upon waking life. For instance Wolfgang Pauli, who was working towards a theory that would overlap quantum physics and psychology, which was revealed to him by dream images. The holographic model of consciousness and certain concepts from quantum physics has also revealed a great deal of insight towards the mind-body problem. Nonetheless, although dreams had been investigated for thousands of years, Sigmund Freud was most likely the first western researcher that scientifically analysed dreams. Prior to his work, most medical professionals perceive dreams to be hallucinations, which were essentially useless. In contrast to this, Freuds model of dreams stated that they were expressions of the unconscious that had become repressed during early childhood,, after the child expressed wishes that remain unfulfilled. Wishes and desires were therefore strongly represented in dreams and represented yearnings that appeared during the four critical states of growth (oral, anal, phallic and genital). It was Freuds hope that he would be able to identify his clients repressed or buried wishes. Thus images were viewed at the disguised representations of the forbidden desires of the individual. Such a disguise was necessary so that the dreamer would not awaken, thus placing sleep as the primary state of consciousness that vital to human life. In Freuds model of the unconscious, two basic drives or instincts were recognized, which are aggression and eroticism. By 1923, he had replaced them with life and death drives. These drives were in turn attributable to the compulsion to repeat, in regards to habits and repeated patterns. In summary, the ego corresponds to the sense of self that is experienced. Just as Freud offered a structure of the psyche based on mechanism, Jung went further and indicated that the structure had to include meaningful relationships other than those that are time-ordered and cause-effect related. It was Jungs perspective that Freud placed too much emphasis on the erotic element of dreams. He also considered that wish fulfilment was far too small to underlie or be the cause of all dreams. Whereas Freud believed that sleep was the cause and dreams were the inevitable consequence, Jung believed that dreams were primary and seep was a sufficient alteration of consciousness to allow dreams to take place. Jungs model for instance places significant value on the process of individuation, which is a personal development wherein a connection between the centre of the psyche and the ego, the central part of consciousness, occurs. Dreams to him were also a map of possibility. Within the dream state, the observer is not localised to one region of the brain. The observer is distributed throughout the brain, picking up information from several memory locations simultaneously. The quantum wave in the brain is dependent upon all of the possible locations of the observer in order for memory recall in one location to be instantly correlated with other locations, giving rise to meaningful overlaps of that which is usually separated memories.
“Our minds operate mostly unconsciously.”
Freud originally discovered that human beings appear to perform tasks unconsciously. Dreams also appear to operate unconsciously. According to the work of Benjamin Libet, a neurophysiologist, the mind mostly operates unconsciously. In essence, this means, that decisions and responses to sensations are made from the outside world on an entirely unconscious basis. Human beings only become conscious of the phenomenal world approximately half a second later. Interestingly, we refer the late moment of conscious awareness back in time to the moment of sensation and out in space to the location of stimulus, even if it is outside our bodies. This is otherwise known as temporal referral and the latter is known as special referral. For instance, if the brain of a subject is stimulated in a particular area of the cortex, if the individual will feel sensations in the body. The mechanisms by which visual images are reconstructed are located within the brains, neural networks and retinas. In a similar manner, human beings reconstruct from sounds through the vibration of the eardrums and the approximate location of the sound source in space. Libets experiments showed that one might expect a certain amount of delay between the timing of conscious awareness of events, assuming that such awareness can be mapped in time and the time when a stimulus is applied. Libet referred to his theory of consciousness as time-on theory or subjective referral in time. His data showed that an individual, although able to react swiftly to stimuli within a hundred thousandth of a second (one hundred miliseconds) is not actually aware of what the individual is reacting to for several hundred milliseconds, up to a full half second. Yet, when interrogated in regards to the time of awareness, the individual responds as if he or she were aware at the time of the stimulus. His model portrayed that unconscious processes are far more important in our lives that previously imagined. Consequently, a large amount of experience of the phenomenal world is projected from the subjective inner worlds. To grasp Libets findings entirely though, it is necessary to carefully examine the form of the signal as it is detected on the somatosensory cortex. One discovers that it consists of four distinct time zones. The first time zone of the signal is a sharp electrically positive potential that arrives 15ms after the skin stimulus and persists for around 35ms. Libet believed that this pulse served as a time marker, a referral signal for apparent conscious awareness. This is quickly followed by a deep, wide negative potential that persists for around 100ms. Thirdly a low positive hump can be found lasting for around 150 to 200ms, followed fourthly by a shallow negative potential lasting for around 200 to 250ms. All together, the sum of intervals, composes the complex signal that lasts for around 500ms. Conclusively, Libet also showed that there is no conscious sensation of this until the full five hundred millisecond period of the total signal has passed. In other terms, the brain requires to have all of this signal passing into the somatosensory cortex before any awareness of the skin stimulation is consciously felt. If for any reason, certain parts of the signal are blocked, the individual will not be aware of the skin stimulus. In fact, Libet has shown that the S1 response is not even necessary for awareness. When the cortical surface is stimulated, it was found that individuals became aware even though no S1 response was present, thus no one is aware of any stimuli until 500ms have passed.
Purpose of REM
During the day, human beings take in an exponential amount of data. Numerous amount of the input to the brain are of the type described by the neural networks, partial memories that evoke full memories. A certain amount of these inputs, however, eventually cause the interneural connections, via the synapses, to overload. When REM sleep is entered, the dreams are the products of neurons feeding back on themselves without stimuli coming in through the senses. As such, they are negative feedback loops, weakening the strengths of some of the connections with other neurons, similar to the negative weight biasing in the computer networks used by Hopfield et al. Thus, the dreams can turn into erasure modes, helping the individual to become refreshed by making desired or important for survival memories equally accessible and ridding us of undesirable, bizarre memories, those that do not play any role in survival. A major objection is found in experimental studies of individual that are deprived of REM sleep for numerous nights, usually up to one week, one would expect according to theoretical evidence that these individual would exhibit increased periods of fantasy and imagination, possibly even hallucinations. This is because the ‘unlearning’ throughout the night has not taken place and the unwanted memories would not be erased. Although there is some evidence for this, however, the general opinion of researchers is that when human beings or animals are deprived of REM sleep, their behaviour is not affected in any obvious or predictable manner. Waking a dreamer at the onset of REM tends to after several nights produce a rebound effect. It becomes more and more difficult to accomplish. By the end of a weeks deprivation of sleep, the individual enters REM states around fifty times night, suggesting that in these cases the individual may be ‘snatching’ periods of REM during the waking hours. Drug-inducted suppression of sleep is not much better since the medication is known to produce countless side-effects that could mask the result.
It should be noted that certain animals, although they possess larger brains, do not experience REM sleep. Hence, the relatively larger brains of these animals is connected to their lack of REM sleep, as they would require a larger neural network to absorb unwanted associations. This would tend to minimize overlaps in the networks of these animals.
‘Aborigines believed in two forms of time. Two parallel streams of activity. One is the daily objective reality to which you and I are confined. The other is an infinite spiritual cycle called the dreamtime, more real that reality itself. Whatever happens in the dreamtime establishes the values, symbols and laws of the Aboriginal society. Some people of unusual spiritual powers have contact with the dreamtime.’ In modern times, the aboriginal outlook is still shaped by the dreaming, as it may. Yet, the relationship between dreaming and life remains a problem. Firstly, dreaming must be considered a phenomenon. It is that which is. According to the Puntupi tribes of central Australia, it is a framework for human behaviour. It is a projection into a symbolic space of social processes and it must be related to individuals lives. For the Pintupi, it must also be related to something that transcends everyday life. Dreaming can also be presumed to transcend the space-time of the immediate. The landscape is viewed as tracks of the totemic animal spirits that once walked the earth and by becoming stone themselves, they became the earth. Just as everyday animals leave their tracks ob the ground, these totemic beings leave theirs. In addition, this can be related to the concept of solipsism. In the book, The Secret of Dreaming, Jim Poulter shares a story, which is in actuality a dreamtime recounting of evolution, yet this time evolution has a purpose that transcends mere survival, for each individual dreams of something beyond itself. Poulter believed that this capacity to see beyond oneself, to see into the future, to imagine possibilities that do not seem to exist in the immediate environment, is a unique facette of consciousness. The Spirit constructs existence through this ability in order to go beyond what is to what could be. In other terms, to dream. The reason behind this for Poulter lies in responsibility. The crucial aboriginal concept is the belief that the Big Dream continues, as humanity is awakening to a greater sense of care and responsibility for the future. All humans et to be are waiting in the dreamtime for their births. The astral dimension, as it is also called. Gradually, as evolution proceeds, the responsibility will become clearer that all mankind is a part of a bigger dream of a larger spirit and that the care-taking of ones fellow man should become a necessitated priority. The development of the fetus is a microcosm of the development of the universe itself. It is stated that the fetus goes through every state of life, beginning with the single-celled animal, passing through the final state, complete with gills, all the way up th the present human form. The dreamtime therefore also represents a step towards the meaning of matter. It is to communicate all possibilities to all existences in order for the collective consciousness to attain a higher degree of self-awareness and realisation.
Certain definitions of consciousness are restricted to waking perception processing. Hobson perceived that consciousness is a kind of awareness that may not be only awareness of the outside world but also its representation in the brain. If so, the dream consciousness is definitely an altered state of consciousness. With quantum physics as a metaphorical basis, an insight into the timeless nature of dreams can be gained. Nearly entirely unconscious, the processes of the ID include mental forms that have never been observed as well as memories that have been repressed. These memories unlike the unobserved mental forms, influence the mental and physical life of the individual. It should be noted that during REM periods, the EEG pattern is similar to the waking state pattern. Evidence towards psychic phenomena often involves information that is normally received or experienced in one state of consciousness being made available when the recipient was in another. For instance, the dreamer would become aware of events occurring in waking life. Montague Ullman and others regarded telepathic dreams and the role of dreams in the interconnectedness of the species. Telepathic dreams include dreams of prophecy, links between a dream and an individual in waking life, dreams that connect one dreamer with another, and dreams in which an awake individual attempts to send images to a dreamer. Ullman pointed out that the precognitive dreams are distinguished from telepathic dreams and that even though both are paranormal, telepathy normally refers only to paranormal contact between ones mind and other minds present or past but not future. He also explained that most paranormal dreams are precognitive rather than telepathic. Consistent with the possibility for quantum waves to travel forward, backward and sideways in time. Ordinary or non-telepathic dreams differ from telepathic dreams in only one way. The data that is correlated during the dream. Ordinary dreams usually correlate the days remembered experience with past associations or future expectations contained as memories. They can also introduce anti-correlations as a mechanism to wipe associations or memories that do not serve the survival or the individual or the species. Telepathic dreams are quite different in that they tend to correlate feelings and emotions with space-time events. Closely connected to telepathic dreams is the related issue as theorized by Montague Ullman that dreams serve to help the human species survive with survival of the individual as a secondary but necessary issue.
Relationship Between Dreams And The Physical Body
Implicit in the holographic model is the notion that we sense as out there in the physical world is not as it seems at all. It is reminiscent of the Buddhist idea of impermanence. Nothing within the phenomenal world appears to be permanent or fixed. All remains to be in a state of flux. Solid objects are not really solid at all, they only appear to be such to the human senses. Thus, everything that is sensed is only a passing instance, a glimpse of reality. Virtual images are created as illusions of objects. The light that would be seen, when the virtual image that appears is viewed, which is coming from the image, when it in actuality it is not. Von Franz stated that ‘Whenever the human mind confronts an unknown, it invents symbolic models, drawing on preconscious process of projection. In the history of mankind, we therefore find numerous symbolic representation of the unus mundus. This one world as a continuum consisting of images, as a geometrical continuum or as a numerical structured system. With Einsteins general theory of relativity, mass becomes part of space-time and is unified with energy through the famous equation E=MC2. The idea is to see all of physics as a geometrical continuum, paralleling Jung’s one world concept. So far, science has attempted to look at all processes in the universe in a rational manner has failed to grasp how the material universe could be affected by the processes that resist measurement based on space, time and mass. Yet, it is clearly visible that human behaviour is often determined by the images carried by the individual consciousness. Thus, a body’s symptoms are not to be dealt with purely mechanically similar to pathologies. Instead, symptoms are potentially meaningful and purposeful conditions signalling a phase of life or in order to bring one closer to the centre of existence. Mindell concluded from his patients illness that the condition could be an expression of emotion, which is how the dreambody was developed. It is both a dream and a body. Mindell also states that he not once found a case, in which the individuals dreams did not reflect the body’s symptoms. The dreambody can be related to the physical body in much the same way that the quantum wave function that gives the probability of a particle’s state can be related to the particle’s physical state.
If the imaginal realm is ontologically real, which means that is has objective existential quality as Henry Corbin suggests, then the question is how come only few individuals of the human race have encountered this reality? For Corbin, the imaginal realm was more irrefutable and coherent than the world experienced during the waking state. Beholders of the imaginal realm had reported to him that they were perfectly aware of having journeyed elsewhere. These individuals were not schizophrenic or mentally ill. The world that they had experienced was not fantasy. It was a world with form and dimension and even other life-forms. One may wish to consider the words of Carl Sagan, who believed that there was a connection between dreams and evolution. In shamanistic terms, one may refer to these phenomena as evidence towards a universal mind. The self-reflective mind that knows that it knows. The universal mind knows everything, anything and perhaps surprisingly it knows nothing. Its nothingness is described by Buddhist philosophers and practitioners as the state of pure awareness, consciousness without an object of consciousness. In it, moments, events, fly by as ephemeral flashes like fireflies, but nothing is adhered tom nothing is given any value. In essence, everything is seen as a dream. If the universal mind is a composite of our minds, then how is that composite mind integrated? If the process is akin to a superposition of quantum states of awareness, then the results of that superposition will be another state that does not share in the qualities of the separated states. Only if the minds are decoupled, only if there is something that keeps the patterns in the superposition of the minds from emerging, will there be anything like an objective quality emerging in any single mind at all. Yet, if one were to carry this concept further, given the reality of the universal mind, then the mind separations that produce the results of objectivity are an illusion and as such, the reality of the universal mind will from time to time appear within the individual minds. However, it should be noted that the ability to predict and control nature violates the basic paradigm of science, which is not entirely accurate. Humanity has the capacity to predict and manipulate nature, yet it has its consequences, as noted by the recent polar vortex, which is currently passing through Russia. Nonetheless, Niels Bohr was of the opinion that the complementarity, which existed between the wave and the particle aspects of nature were indications of a much deeper complimentarity in which irreconcilable pairs of opposites need not be contradictory. As he once stated, “the opposite of a small truth may be a lie, but the opposite of a great truth is also a great truth.” In essence, the universal mind would strive towards overall self-realisation of its true nature. The non-ordinary reality merely offers symbolic truth in order to decipher the larger picture and recognize the interconnected nature of the universe.
Sense of Self
Bruce S. Dewitt once stated “The many world interpretation of quantum mechanics reveals a universe that is constantly splitting into a stupendous number of branches, all resulting from the measurement like interactions between its myriad of components. Moreover, every quantum transition, taking place on every star, every galaxy, in every remote corner of the universe is splitting our local world into myriads of copies of itself.” Moreover, there is evidence of brain cellular mitosis occurring, but not in neural cells. Certain studies indicate that the glial cells perform metabolic function, also providing nourishment for neural cells. It should be noted that Albert Einsteins brain autopsy after the time of his death showed a larger than average amount of glial cells associated with his visual cortex. This led countless of individuals to suspect their association with intellect and the enhanced ability to visualise abstract concepts. Nowadays, it has been discovered that dementia severs the connection between the glial cells and neurons, resulting it neuronal death. Studies performed by Karl Lashley between 1920 and 1950 indicated that memory was based on the formation of engrams, which are not localised in specific places but distributed holographically, as it may, throughout the brain. Furthermore, the sense of self is connected to self-awareness through memory and body awareness. With diminished body awareness and volitional control, the self appears to expand, losing its bearings in time and space. In conclusion, there are more than likely thousands of pieces of information and/or images within the glial cell memory. These images are states of quantum physical observables and must follow the rules of quantum superposition. Consequently, any composition of a superposition of states will be complimentary to all other levels. Thus, the secondary images are complimentary to all the primary and tertiary images. The tertiary images are complimentary to all primary and secondary images and so forth. Although a single automaton cannot simultaneously hold multiple images consisting of complimentary observations of another system, it can hold multiple images simultaneously, consisting of complimentary observation of images built up self-reflectively. In other terms, if the images contain the observer as well as the observed, the automaton can recall them. Images of objective, external observations cannot be held simultaneously as the simultaneous knowledge of objective complimentary observables is in violation of the uncertainty principle. Thus to perform the same act with objective images is scientifically impossible, according to quantum physics. In conclusion, an object in a state of self-reflection can hold both truth and its opposite at the same time without the creation of a paradox, while the attempt to determine the same thing results in doubt or uncertainty. It should be noted that any single image will correspond to a specific quantum physical state, while the superposition of images would also correspond to the complimentary physical state of an emotion, thought form, archetype or superarchetype. The automaton could measure and thereby obtain various combinations of images in groups of 1-4 or more of these images, It could obtain a single image or all of the images together, thus constructing the complete superarchetype. Conclusively, the awareness of self is intrinsically linked with the decrease of automatic and mechanical behaviour, resulting in greater choices and becoming more aware of ones own behaviour, dreams, decisions, universe and subsequently of existences in other worlds.
One Single Being
In essence, reality is made of probabilities that can be coherent in order for the possibility to form into solid matter. The dream state is a location, in which the quantum reality becomes especially transparent and the mixture of mind and matter is revealed in a variety of ways. Nevertheless, if we all possess such archetypal images constituting the unconscious minds, these images would be on a deeper level than personal experiences. Conclusively, these archetypes would arise from a more fundamental level of reality. In this sense, the dream becomes more fundamental than the objective reality. Fred Alan Wolf suggests that “When we dream, we return to that reality in order to gain information about how to survive in this reality, yet survival may not be as it seems from a single perspective.” The materialist philosopher believes that consciousness arises from matter. If consciousness exists in matter, then matter is consciousness. Furthermore, everything arises in relation to everything else, reality appears not only interconnected, but also interdependent. Conversely, we as human beings often become afraid when others inform us of that which is real and that which is not. We sense an inner conflict with that which we are told. We feel fear, as we know that the viewpoint of a political system is not consistent with our own standpoint. Communism, capitalism and war is not the answer to the world, it is a tendency towards self-hatred and self-destruction. Whatever we imagine often begins to appear, as if it was called into existence, particularly fearful images, which is reminiscent of a self-fulfilling prophecy created by ones own mind. We create these images as realities because the universe is ambivalent and paradoxical. It is of no matter what is produced, as at the most fundamental level of existence, it is capable of forming reality into whatever images are produced. A famous philosopher once enquired “If we light a candle and walked out of the room, does it still burn?” By this he was trying to highlight that it takes a mind to confirm something’s existence. Existence depends on mind because all of existence occurs within mind. We can know of the existence of our universe only because we have a mind and we can manipulate creation only because we have a mind. Mind is the true cause behind effect and therefore all things are of mental nature. Life is interconnected and is truly capable of being one giant life form that is continually expanding, adapting, and evolving in complexity. The binding force of all life therefore becomes consciousness.
Should Psychology And Physics Be Combined?
There is a breach between the fields of physics and psychology. Indeed, between physics and psychology there is a whole abyss. That is understandable if we take into account the different histories and different goals of each of these disciplines. Yet, it does not have to continue to be so in the future, especially if we take into account the fact that both disciplines aim at expanding our knowledge, if we take into account the fact that in the world around us everything is connected to everything by a communicating vessel. All things seem to be connected either by causal links or, as suggested by a physicist Wolfgang Pauli and psychologist Carl Jung, by some “acausal connecting principle.”
In essence the combination of psychology and physics, otherwise known as psychophysics quantitatively investigates the relationship between physical stimuli and the sensations and perceptions they affect. Psychophysics has been described as “the scientific study of the relation between stimulus and sensation” or, more completely, as “the analysis of perceptual processes by studying the effect on a subject’s experience or behaviour of systematically
varying the properties of a stimulus along one or more physical dimensions.” It was founded in the laboratory of German Gustav Fechner, psychophysics is one of the parents of modern experimental psychology. It demonstrated that mathematical analysis could be applied to subjective reports, and that principled relationships could be discovered between physical quantities and subjective impressions.
Let us examine a famous example, Weber’s Law, named after Ernst Weber, a colleague of Fechner’s. This formula describes how changes in the subjective perception of stimulus intensity (e.g. how heavy a weight feels) are related to the actual change in stimulus magnitude (how much something actually weighs). You can look up the mathematics of this if you’re interested, but a plain-language interpretation is that to increase the perceived intensity of a stimulus you need to increase its physical magnitude by a constant proportion, not a constant absolute amount. Imagine that you can make an empty bag feel heavier by putting in a book, yet a single book won’t make a bag full of bricks feel heavier, even though in both cases you are adding the same amount of weight. Weber’s Law gives you a mathematical way to calculate how much you would need to increase or decrease the physical weight to produce a subjective impression of a change in heaviness. It also allows you to compare sensitivity between the senses, showing, for example that we are more sensitive to brightness than loudness, because the proportional change needed to create a noticeable difference for lights is smaller than that needed for sounds. As well as discovering many of the few laws that exist in psychology, psychophysics has generated methods and theories which are applied across all of experimental psychology, not just in the investigation of sensation and perception. In applying scientific measurement to subjective experience, the early psychophysicists were demonstrating a faith in empiricism, but they were also throwing themselves upon a dilemma – the attempt to relate the world of the measurable and objective to the subjective inner world of sensation. That dilemma is still just as relevant and profound today in all areas of psychology, and psychophysics is still vital as a toolkit for addressing it.
Sensory perception and interart research seems to occur these days in the in-between spaces of art history, literature, media studies, anthropology, neurological sciences, and numerous more disciplines that contribute to the exploration of a new aesthetics. This new aesthetics very much includes aesthesis or the study of physiologically and psychologically infused perceptive abilities in the human. Yet, what happened to the term “psychophysics” in this arena? A long-out-of-print volume, Sensory Communication by Walter Rosenblith, based on a 1959 symposium, has recently been reissued by MIT Press. It reminds us of pioneers like Fechner, criticized therein, in the early days of experiential aesthetics and of the nascent fascination with the human-computer interface and AI around the middle of the 20th century. S.S. Stevens poignantly extracts and highlights the ambiguities inherent to research in psychophysics, playing into the qualitative-quantitative divide co-existent with C.P. Snow’s “two cultures”. “It must be confessed at the outset that psychophysics has often failed to do its part of the job [it tells what the organism can do and it asks those who are inspired by such mysteries to advance our understanding of how such wonders are performed] with distinction. Its task is not easy. For one thing, long-standing prejudices, derived in great measure from a chronic dualistic metaphysics, have triggered a variety of stubborn objections whenever it has been proposed that sensation may be amenable to orderly and quantitative investigation. You cannot, the objectors, complain, measure the inner, private, subjective strength of a sensation. Perhaps not, in the sense the objectors have in mind, but in a different and very useful sense the strength of a sensation can, as we shall see, be fruitfully quantified. We must forgo arguments about the private life of the mind and ask sensible objective questions about the input-output relations of sensory transducers as these relations are disclosed in the behavior of experimental organisms, whether men or animals.”
Furthermore, the theory of psychophysical parallelism states that mental and physical experiences occur simultaneously and are not necessarily bound by any causal interaction. The theory was established in the early 19th century by a German philosopher Gustav Theodor Fechner, also famous for the Weber-Fechner law. While the psychophysical parallelism definition might seem a bit unclear, the theory is very interesting and is one of few philosophical theories which have been accepted by numerous scientists. To better understand Fechner’s approach to mind-body problem a little historical background would be helpful. In the middle of the 19th century, with a more and more rapid progression of scientific thought, many philosophers became interested in explaining the nature of mind and body interaction. This lead to a famous materialism dispute as the opponents of metaphysical philosophy gained many supporters (Vogt, Büchner, Moleschott). Materialistic approach to mind-body dichotomy was at that time seen as very radical, and some of its points still cause much controversy in the 21st century. One of Carl Vogts more memorable quotes around the time was most likely his statement that “Thoughts issue from the brain just as gall is produced by the liver or urine by the kidneys.” Consequently, are our thoughts just like other bodily fluids which are generated in a similar way as numbers in computer programmes? Are we just very sophisticated machines? Gustav Fechner claimed to be able to give the solution to materialism debate. His theory, known as psychophysical parallelism, was first mentioned in 1820s but it was not until 1860 that his approach became widely known, thanks to his mature work Elements of Psychophysics. There are many misconceptions about the meaning of psychophysical parallelism. Countless individuals seem to confuse it with occasionalism, pre-established harmony and Cartesian doctrine of two non-interacting substances. You may read on other websites that psychophysical parallelism is a theory established by Leibniz. It is true that psychophysical parallelism is partially congruent with Leibniz’s theory of non-causal conformity of the soul and the organic body. However, a very important difference is that Fechner rejected any theological grounds for his theory and therefore, even though psychophysical parallelism is a dualistic conception, by no means should it be confused with statements made either by Descartes or Leibniz. Fechner’s theory states that while mental and physical states are not causally dependent they are functionally dependent. What does it mean? It means that to every mental event there is a corresponding brain event. It does not claim causal interaction, it does not deny it. It refrains from explaining the nature of mind and body. It is a very open paradigm. By many it is treated as a good and neutral foundation for more detailed explanations of the nature of mind and body problem albeit the theory itself does not answer many questions.
In other terms, psychophysics attempts to understand the relationship between a physical stimulus and the psychological impression it creates or how the physical world influences the mind. The connection between perception and psychophysics is that perception is one of the constructs examined in the psychological part of the equation. Psychophysics uses quantitative measurements to analyze the relationship between the sensations and perceptions caused by stimuli. The relationship between perception and psychophysics is an important one in that what a person perceives to be so is not always indicative of the stimulus. Stimuli possess different properties which affect whether a person is aware of them or not and dictate their identification. The degree of difference between stimuli will affect whether they are distinguishable or not and to what magnitude a stimulus needs to reach before judgment of similarity and difference can be made.
There are three methods used to measure perception in psychophysics. They are magnitude estimation, matching and detection or discrimination. In magnitude estimation, the subject is required to rate a stimulus on how bright or loud it is on a scale. Matching requires the subject to find the stimuli which are similar in look, sound or pitch. In detection, the subject is asked to discriminate between small differences in intensity or whether a light was flashed or a sound played. Two important terms used in perception and psychophysics are the “absolute threshold” and “difference threshold.” Absolute threshold refers to the smallest detectable amount of stimulus energy, and the difference threshold, or just noticeable difference, refers to the smallest detectable difference between two stimuli.
One of the most important precepts in perception and psychophysics is Weber’s Law which states that the difference threshold between two stimuli is proportional to the baseline or starting intensity. That is, if a small increase in intensity is applied to a small parameter, then that increase can be detected. However, if that same small increase is applied to a larger parameter, it will no longer be detectable.
More and more studies, while not disproving altogether Woody Allen’s theory that the brain is the second most important organ, continue to amass evidence to the contrary. In a paradoxical twist, the field of Psycho-Physics may yet reveal that what we think about disorders in the brain may actually have a greater impact on the brain than their treatment, even the disorders themselves. In fact, what we now perceive as abnormal may soon be the new normal. Recent technologies, along with new diagnostic procedures, are so sophisticated that if there is even the possibility of a disorder, or the need or desire for one, it can be detected. This has raised new questions about the nature of consciousness and the impact of thought on the treatment of mental disease. Indeed, on the proposed invention of it.
This re-visioning of how we think casts a not inconsiderable shadow over the mental health profession regarding a possible bias against the individual psychic disposition. Statistics show that abnormalities in the brain have increased significantly with modern treatment, and this has left some experts to wonder if part of the problem might not be obscured in a broad and all-inclusive classification system. Owing to vague definitions and bloated latitudes, they charge, the individual is viewed as a “mere aggregate of eccentricities.” According to self-reports, the average treatment of twelve sessions per mental health consumer indicated substantial progress. Studies by competitors of those undergoing treatment for extended periods, however, showed actual recovery rates similar to those with no treatment at all. Some conditions even deteriorated with more treatment, prompting many to call for a revaluation of criteria. Insiders reveal that cases are presumed cured only upon depletion of the consumer’s bank account: when the aforesaid is enabled to independently obtain the necessities of existence: twice the mortgage affordable under the most ideal economic conditions, insurance-poverty, and self-medication when feeling overwhelmed. Independent follow-up studies by law firms representing creditors and maxed-out family members, however, found that ninety per cent of consumers returned for more treatment within two years. The discovery that they had minds, yet not knowing what to do with them, sent them back to work in such off-balanced whirlwinds of nervous energy that resuming therapy was a priority even after having gone destitute paying for it in the first place. Recidivism rates compared with those of penitentiary internment. This has led some to suggest a possible “addiction to therapy.”
Crime rates, likewise, didn’t vary significantly between the two groups with one notable exception. Those who underwent treatment before incarceration, once out of a facility, tended to commit more heinous crimes than those whose social stations hadn’t permitted therapy. Once in the system, those under such loose parameters as bible-studies, hand-basket weaving as a means of spiritual contact with the underworld were slightly less violent upon release than those undergoing formal therapy. Psycho-Physics has recently emerged as one of a handful of new approaches which have begun to question the uncritical piling up of statistical data in support of the health industry’s interests along with Eye Rotation Therapy and Tapping. Psycho-Physics is discarding the conventional mantle of scientific pretense for more holistic models which address the individual through pledged commitments to wishful thinking and the power of suggestion.
According to Dr. Aylien Creacher of the Institute for Modern Solipsism stated that “Psycho-Physics proper began with my historical studies of individuality. “Psycho” meaning of course, “crazy”, was combined with “physics”. Greek for “out there”, which also included projected ideas of the body to describe a process of self-examination applied by the individual through the use of concepts designed to free the true personality from the Procrustean bed of modern theory. At the core of Psycho-Physics is the concept of projection. Certain feelings and inner experiences confirm it as psychologically meaningful; however, it cannot be scientifically proven to actually exist. The subjective nature of it makes it relative to the individual in all cases. “Since it is recalcitrant to objective appraisal, it’s seldom employed as a conscious tool for assessment. This ensures that its negative effects work unconsciously. The evaluation of one subjective attitude by another automatically assumes the nature of a value judgment. To regard such projections as belonging only to the consumer and not the practitioner, for example, leads to quite arbitrary conclusions and is therefore scientifically untenable, not to say intellectually unethical. The definition of projection presupposes its functioning in all minds, regardless of personal fantasy. In point of fact, the practioner’s projections actually self-replicate based on the very design of the process itself. The principle of negative sums predicts that the practitioner’s projections will exceed those of others involved.” In conclusion, all the examples of scientific research above have clearly shown that psycho-physics, although it has become distributed and separated amongst numerous sectors and titles, continues to result in discoveries that allow for a greater insight into the nature of mind and matter. One may only dream of that which could be possible, if mankind were to concentrate their focus towards the actual merging and development of the two as a scientific discipline.