Thursday, July 26, 2012

The Slip - Freudian Slip

A Freudian slip is a verbal or memory mistake that is believed to be linked to the unconscious mind.

Example 1: A man calls his wife by the name of his mistress. 
Example 2: A person calls his wife "mom" because he subconsciously thinks of her like his mom. 
Example 3: A person expecting a dinner guest with a large nose reminds himself to avoid making any reference to noses at dinner. Then dinner comes and he says "Pass the nose" instead of "Pass the salt".

(Warning: All slips are not Freudian, and to interpret all slips as Freudian is not recommended.)

According to the theory of Sigmund Freud, people have many subconscious wishes, feelings and desires, which they have suppressed so that they are not consciously aware of them or are not willing to think of them at the present time. However, people sometimes make mistakes, called "Freudian slips" which reveal their subconscious thoughts. In a wider sense, "Freudian slip" is used to refer to any mistake in speech which reveals feelings or thoughts a person does not want to reveal.

The term is popularly used today in a humorous way when a person makes a mistake in speech. In these situations, observers often suggest (in a comic way) that the mistake reveals some type of hidden emotion on the part of the speaker.

Sigmund Freud Theory

Known as the father of psychoanalysis, Sigmund Freud developed a theory of the mind which contains three levels of awareness: the conscious, the preconscious, and the super conscious. According to his theory, the human mind is like an iceberg. The conscious part of the brain is just the small tip which is easily visible (accessible). The other two parts remain hidden below the surface.

In addition to the three levels of awareness, there are 3 components of personality: the id, the ego, and the superego. The id is the primitive part of the mind; it is irrational, emotional, child-like, and seeks self-gratification. The superego is the moral compass. The conscious, a subsystem of the superego, is constantly aware of right and wrong. For a child, this consists of everything he thinks mom and dad will disapprove of or punish. The ego, the rational part of the brain, compromises between these two opposing forces. "The conflict between the Id and Superego, negotiated by the Ego, is one of the fundamental psychological battles all people face."

In order to deal with this constant internal conflict, Freud believed that defense mechanisms were created to protect one's self. One of these methods is repression, where intense emotions, too difficult to deal with in the conscious awareness, are repressed into the subconscious. It's like our unconscious mind is a door to our conscious brain and the two meet during our dreams.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Egyptian Hypnosis: Imhotep and Ancient Hypnotism

There's actually proof linking back straight to Imhotep, so basically Hypnosis has roots older than 5000 years in the past. But who is this Imhotep guy? Well, Imhotep is the builder of the pyramids. He was actually a priest and had the reputation of a magician. Perceived to be the go to guy in regards to science and magic (they were intertwined back then) the pharaoh gave Imhotep the task of building the greatest pyramids in the world, and so he did. Imhotep knew his stuff. Can't argue with that, the guy had some leadership and knowledge in that elongated skull of his!

Hypnosis and the Pyramids

Egyptians used healing sanctuaries to heal people, mental illnesses, what we would class today as psychological problems. Those healing places were called "Sleep Temples." Imhotep owned multiple such sleep temples, in which he performed hypnosis. They didn't call it that back then, but nevertheless, that's what is was. You see, the subconscious mind has always existed, even though we only discovered it recently and some will have you believe that it doesn't exist. In these temples, the sick person was induces into a sleep like trance; priests then tried to make sense of the person's dreams in order to find out more about the illnesses and to find a potential cure for it.

Must of be a heck of a sight to see "patients" coming into these temples, these catacombs, and being introduced to, what was perceived back then, magic. That's what the normal folks thought of hypnosis, that's why only priests and priestesses knew the secrets.

These hypnosis secrets were handed down and taught only to the selected disciples, which had to go through years of apprenticeship to become practitioners, or priests as it were. Then these selected few could attend and help the main priest with the induction.

Egyptians relied heavily on scents and perfumes for their induction techniques. They would do these hypnotic inductions in isolated rooms, with no windows, so the scents didn't escape the room and the "patient" had to sniff up everything.

Once the person was ready, usually 3-5 minutes, the chanting and humming would begin, creating a religious feeling inside the chamber, which mixed with the scent and the figure of authority (the priest) would cause the subject to fall into a deep trance. With their eyes closed, people would then listen to the voice of the priest and follow his instructions, which usually were commands to narrate the dreams that particular person had.