UFO Conjectures

Wednesday, May 02, 2012

UFOs of the Mind

Excerpts from Integration of the Cognitive and the Psychodynamic Unconscious by Seymour Epstein

Superstitious Thinking

The widespread prevalence of superstitious thinking provides compelling evidence that the human mind does not process information by reason alone. In a recent Gallup poll ("Behavior," 1991), 1,236 U.S. adults were interviewed about their superstitions. One in 4 reported that he or she believed in ghosts, one in 6 that she or he had communicated with someone deceased, one in 4 that he or she had telepathically communicated with someone, one in 10 that she or he had been in the presence of a ghost, one in 7 that he or she had seen a UFO, one in 4 that they believed in astrology, and about one half said they believed in extrasensory perception. It is evident from such data that even extreme forms of nonrational thinking are common.

Explanations of the traumatic neurosis and the repetition compulsion follow simply and directly from basic
assumptions in CEST [Cognitive-experiential self-theory]. The nature of a trauma is that a person experiences something of such great significance to his or her perceived well-being that it cannot be ignored, and is so discrepant with fundamental schemata in his or her conceptual system that it cannot be assimilated.

The compulsive repetitions in memory are abortive attempts at assimilation (for elaboration of this view, see
S. Epstein, 1991a; for similar views influenced by CEST, see Janoff-Bulman, 1992, and McCann & Pearlman, 1990. Also see Horowitz, 1976).

The experiential system is assumed to be intimately associated with the experience of affect, including vibes,
which refer to subtle feelings of which people are often unaware. When a person responds to an emotionally significant event, the sequence of reactions is assumed to be as follows: The experiential system automatically searches its memory banks for related events, including their emotional accompaniments. The recalled feelings influence the course of further processing and reactions, which in subhuman animals are actions and in humans are conscious and unconscious thoughts as well as actions. If the activated feelings are pleasant, they motivate actions and thoughts anticipated to reproduce the feelings. If the feelings are unpleasant, they motivate actions and thoughts anticipated to avoid the feelings. 

According to CEST, material is dissociated when it cannot be assimilated. There are two kinds of dissociation: that between the experiential and rational systems, which corresponds to repression, and dissociation within the experiential system itself. If dissociated material is activated to the extent that a dissociation cannot be maintained, the unassimilable material can threaten the stability of the entire experiential system. The striving for expression of the dissociated material is not because it has an energy of its own that seeks expression, as proposed by Freud, but because there is a fundamental motive to
assimilate representations of emotionally significant experiences into a unified, coherent conceptual system.
Material that can neither be ignored nor assimilated keeps reemerging in abortive attempts at assimilation. 

This process continues until (if ever) assimilation is accomplished. The process is essentially adaptive, as it promotes assimilation and therefore the construction of a coherent model of the world that is consistent with experience.
N.B. The above, from the paper cited, gives an overview of how Jose Antonio Caravaca's Distortion Theory should be addressed, in part.

The "external agent" of Senor Caravaca's hypothesis may be considered, in my view, as a mental construct with a psychical or psychological reality, and I'll provide more material, upcoming, to example that view.



  • Rich, good excerpt. Is this Caravaca's theoretical starting point? Or, is this your thought concerning the construct of Caravaca's external mechanism via Epstein's viewpoint?

    By Blogger Tim Hebert, at Wednesday, May 02, 2012  

  • Tim:

    I just heard from Jose Caravaca, and we're closing in on his "external agent"....but I have a wealth of material to present before we come to any hypothetical conclusion.

    I'm adrift in papers; the psychology papers I can cope with, the neurological stuff is a bit more daunting.


    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Wednesday, May 02, 2012  

  • I understand Rich, and will hold off any further comments until things are less hectic.

    BTW, as you probably figured out...I love the neurological stuff...

    By Blogger Tim Hebert, at Wednesday, May 02, 2012  

  • Tim:

    Feel free to jump in....especially if you have anything of a neurological nature to share.

    The physical stuff makes me loopier than I am usually.


    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Wednesday, May 02, 2012  

  • Tim:

    Your private missive about dopamine is relevant, as the physiological elements of the body/mind interaction can certainly produce hallucinatory images and events like those Jose Caravaca has provided.

    I also think that some foods, drugs, and medicines can trigger physical anomalies that cause the mind to create imageries from memory, books, movies, TV, et cetera.

    These are areas that have gotten short shrift from UFO researchers.


    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Wednesday, May 02, 2012  

  • Nothing neurological here, but I do recall reading an excellent book that had a theory, based on mapping the electromagnetic fields of earth, and discovering that a rather high percentage of anomalistic events were mappable to a specifc range of distortions in the electromagnetic field. Not vortex space warp theory, more along the lines of a direct effect on the brain. The theory doesn't cover events with radar returns, though.

    By Anonymous Brycemeister, at Thursday, May 03, 2012  

  • I once had a conversation with a blind guy and asked him if he'd been told the rest of us were supposed to be able to see?

    In fact he had and he admitted it crossed his mind from time to time the whole idea of 'seeing' might be a hoax.

    In the end what persuaded him the majority of people probably did 'see' - "whatever that is" - was because they moved round him as if semi-innebriated and unaware of their surroundings whereas blind people moved with the greatest of care.

    So when Seymour Epstein sweepingly says "It is evident from such data that even extreme forms of nonrational thinking are common" he misses the points i) what we take for 'rational' reality is itself a construct limited by the type of data our senses can take in ii) we can't see things we 'rationally' BELIEVE in (eg infrared ultraviolet) until we develop suitable detecting technology iii) one can rationally believe things like ghosts're impossible but still SEE them (to the point where you spend most of your adult life believing you're mad) but after seemingly upsetting what SEEMED to be the very convincing ghost of your own father by telling him (after umpteen 'visits') "You do know you're dead don't you?" (as well as having a friend reduced to a gibbering nervous wreck for ten minutes after getting out a taxi seeing a flash and having said 'ghost' wave at her in the street) one still no longer believe in ghosts but can't in all honesty disbelieve in them either iv) which's why one's forced to come out the closet over this type of stuff having been told one too many families' accounts of encounters with 'rationalist' professionals like Epstein leading to loved ones topping themselves.

    By Blogger alanborky, at Thursday, May 03, 2012  

  • @Brycemeister, the subject of electromagnetic fields effect on altering cognitive perception has been documented in a number of scientific papers with experimental data that supports this view point. How conclusive the findings are another matter.

    Taking Epstein thoughts of superstition (magical thinking?) and Jose Caravaca's distortion theory into consideration, EMF would only account (if at all) for the distortion of cognitive thoughts in an extreme and highly localized geographical area.

    With the above said, the cognitive state of the individual(s) have to be taken into consideration before, during and after the event.

    Simply if the individual had a previous psychological/psychiatric issue prior to the event, this should have a major impact on how we view the claimant's story.

    By Blogger Tim Hebert, at Friday, May 04, 2012  

  • I think psychology is a red herring at this point in terms of causation, which I suspect you do as well. Persinger's experiments with magnetic fields in relation to the temporal lobe appear to indicate this, not that psychology does not play a role.

    In terms of perception, there are parallel simultaneous pathways in psychology, neurobiology, semiotics etc that interact to create a liminal and temporal, narrative scenario,that is in essence, is a simulation. This is under stable circumstances.

    Biochemistry is biochemical energy that powers neurobiology fields, and psychology, in my opinion is more reactive to this than at the root of the situation.

    I think the issue here is the nature of trigger that creates a non corresponding simulation based on the imagination's associative identifications, as in hybrid images..cobbled together from the inside our while being triggered from without.

    Two agencies one environmental the other being neurobiology, creating a third agency as a projection of both, free association versus locked semiotics when the systems are compromised.

    I think this is at the presynaptic wiring of the neural net that can create a interim state that encompasses differing outcomes, such as yes and no at the same time.

    And so I suspect there is a neurobiological rather than psychological state of disassociation at play here, that is triggered by the energy environment.

    By Blogger Bruce Duensing, at Monday, May 07, 2012  

  • I agree Bruce...

    Psychology alone doesn't account, for me, the totality of UFO accounts.

    There is more at work here.


    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Monday, May 07, 2012  

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