I'll start with the Blah Blah first: Last night, I turned the kitchen light off to hear the mouse scurry near my feet. If you were there, you would have laughed seing me trying to run out of the kitchen without stepping on the mouse in the dark. The dogs thought it was funny enough that they started barking. :-)
*****My mother has some problems with her reality. If she ever gets caught 'misunderstanding' something she likes to accuse people of lying. She always ends up asking me if, 'Lying is a disease'. Somewhere along the line, my family like to pretend that I 'lie'. Actually, it started back in early childhood. First of all, my elder brother would 'do stuff' [as in drink all the milk after we were told NOT to], and would then run to mum and tell her that I drank it. As such, I'd get into trouble for, 1. drinking the milk and then, 2. lying and blaming Garry for it. It never ever crossed her mind that Garry could have done it. I guess we've all suffered from such things at times. It comes down to your word versus someone elses, and for some unknown reason everyone thinks you're the one who is lying. (Which is funny, as I've been known for my honesty through most of my life, but for some reason people always like to blame me at the first chance there is ambiguity. I guess they are just playing the probability that I must eventually do something wrong.) Anyway, my mother asked me tonight if I 'Changed my mind', on what I wanted to eat for dinner. I explained to her I was just re-arranging my cupboard. Then she insisted that she'd seen me holding a can, therefore, I must have changed my mind. No, I was holding a can, as I was re-arranging the cupboard, and as such, I had actually had a number of cans pass through my hand. She then claimed that I'd lied. Huh? Lied about what? She claimed that I denied changing my mind, and also that I'd denied holding a can in my hand! Huh? I just kept re-iterating that I was just re-arranging the cupboard and was NOT denying that I'd had a can in my hand, NOR that I had changed my mind as to what I was having for dinner. She then went into the, 'Lying is a disease isn't it' routine. Basically, what it amounts to is my family like to pretend I have some sort of 'compulsive lying' disorder whenever they don't want to accept a logical explaination for something. Actually, what this amounted to (if you follow my logic), is my mother claiming she could read my mind [ie she knew I wanted whatever was in the can in my hand for dinner], then refused to accept the fact that I was re-arranging the tins of food in my cupboard [which is obvious, as I went from having six stacks two cans high, to having four stacks three cans high]. Anyway, rather than admit she DIDN'T read my mind, she's had to come up with this convoluted 'You're Lying David' routine in order to justify her honest mistake.
*****Which I guess leads into our Perceptions of Reality talk. Now, my avid readers will know I occassionally like to talk about the Social Constructions in life. Whether it's money (one of my favourites) or other ones. I've stuck a link to Wikipedia (above) for those who want to read about it. (Reading the first paragraph gives you a good idea). Lets face it, when someone wants you to part with your money now adays, they will often go into the fact that 'money isn't real', but just an idea. Of course, most of the people who will convince you of it, will run off with your money, and leave you with very little (if they can). Money may only be an idea, but it does represent something. That's the joy of social constructions. Language is another social construction (and another one of my favourites). Through our use of language, we can manipulate others, or be manipulated, as well as help others, and a myriad of other things. I think language's greatest achievement, is it's ability to teach others, so that we (as humans) can avoid some things and build on others. Of course, humans (being humans), have invented ways to use it to lie, manipulate etc etc. In the end though, our perceptions will not always equal reality. Some of this will be lack of sensory perception of what is really occuring due to the fact that some things cannot be seen or felt. (For instance, germs can infiltrate our body without our knowledge and effect us). We can't read the minds of other people, nor animals. [So we can't really tell what they are thinking], so when we are confronted by them, we have to take an educated guess. Anyway, I'm leading into what I really wanted to speak about, which is Erickson Hypnosis. Some of our perceptions are basically programmed into us by our surroundings, our parents and basically anything which influences us. Teh way it occurs is this. Normal hypnosis occurs when we are placed into a state of trance, where our minds are susceptible to suggestions. Erickson had a theory that people didn't have to be put into this trance state. The fact is, the subconscious is always there,alwasy listening and always making decisions. Where as we have a good control over our conscious mind, our unconscious is operating without us having much control, and we really don't have an idea what is influencing it. With this in mind, Erickson developed methods of influencing the subconscious mind with suggestions without the need to place people into a trance state. A lot of his work has been used in psychiatry to good effect. Some of it, however, has been used by those in authority, or advertising in order to influence us. A lot of the hard and soft sales techniques use this to their advantage. So do Cult groups, and even main stream religions. Of course, you might think that being agnostic or athiest may mean that you are therefore a free thinker who isn't being influenced, but even this isn't true. Some of the hardliners also use Ericksons techniques in order to convince others. The fact is, you would be hard pressed to find any group, whether politically, religious or 'otherwise' who don't use some of Ericksons techniques, whether intentionally, or subconsciously. After all, a lot of Ericksons work consisted of also classifying things which are part of the social norm, yet fit into the sort of subconscious conditioning now known as Neuro-Linguistic Programming. We even use some of these sorts of things on ourselves. When we hear of people blocking out pain, or any sort of selective perception which we make ourselves do, it is a form of auto-hypnosis. When you hear about groups that do, 'fire walking' and similar things, [often as part of 'team building' or 'confidence generating' programs], they are normally taught how to use auto-hypnotic suggestions on themselves. So, with this in mind, we must wonder, how possible is it to be sure we believe in a world which is true. After all, we cannot trust our own senses, but we also can't trust any body elses. Everything we read, see, hear, will always have a bias, or else our subconscious will place a bias on it. In a way, it is part of the human condition. I know, this has probably been a very rambling and messy post, but I was hoping to raise a lot of questions in peoples conscious (and subconscious) minds about where they are at, where the world is at. I know I wonder about it. I'm not going to sit here and pretend I am some genius with the answers to these sorts of questions [and there are a lot of questions which can easily be asked, which lead onto more questions]. In the end, it leads back to a lot of metaphysical questions I guess. After all, last nights post was deliberately called 'Dabitrix Reloaded', as I was making the connection to the Matrix movies. The very stimulation our minds find around us coudl all be very false. Our mind has developed (either through Evolution or thanks to a benevolent Creator, which ever you prefer to believe), in order to protect us. In this day and age, people in power have arisen who can manipulate that self preservation streak in order to steal from us, confuse us and even cause us to sacrifice ourselves. I would avoid anything which asks us to "SIGN TODAY!', or asks us to laydown our lives. Most of our conscious and now subconscious decisions are being sorely influenced to tap into the survival instinct (whether playing on our vanity, greed or other emotional responses), in order to cause us to do the exact opposite of what is beneficial for us, or our society. Just to bring tonights post full circle, my mothers refusal to admit she can't read my mind, or that she'd made a mistake is the very sort of auto-hypnosis thing that we can see happening. We may even do it to ourselves. She saw me standing with a can in my hand this evening when I started to re-arrange my cupboard. For some reason she assumed I wanted it. In fact, she CONVINCED herself I was having it for dinner. Why did she think that? I never said I was eating it for dinner, and the fact that at least six different cans past through my hands must have been a clue to the contrary. Still, something in her midn decided that what she assumed was the reality of it. After I explained what I was actually doing (re-arranging my cupboard), rather than accept it, she had to try to prove I was lying about it ... but she couldn't prove it directly, after all, my explaination made perfect sense. So, rather than clim I was lying about that, she then convinced herself I had denied holding the can in my hand. It's weird, as my explaination actually CONFIRMS that I must have been handling cans. But, she then convinced herself somehow that my explaination meant I was denying standing there with a can in my hand. Therefore, in her mind, she knew I was lying as she'd seen me with a can ... which she then decided proved I was lying about changing my mind about dinner. This was all a form of auto-hypnosis on her part. It also lead into the 'Lying is a disease, and David must have that disease', which is something my family have spent years convincing themselves of anyway. It all started just because I was standing there with a can of ravioli in my hand ... but lets face it, my mother will probably convince herself it was beans or something else. It's days like this I feel I am in the movie, 'Invasion of the Body Snatchers'. I'm just waiting for everyone to point their fingers at me and start making that weird noise! :-)