The Unconscious

luka

Moderator
What's it up to? What encounters have you had with it? What tricks has it played on you? What relationship do you have with it? How do you conceptualise it? Does it exist?
 

poetix

we murder to dissect
"It is at work everywhere, functioning smoothly at times, at other times in fits and starts. It breathes, it heats, it eats. It shits and fucks. What a mistake to have ever said the id"
 

poetix

we murder to dissect
I read Sarah Constantin's Player vs Character: A Two-Level Model of Ethics recently, and largely agreed with it.

The unconscious that matters to me is less a kind of subterranean labyrinth of meaning, and more a kind of lumbering animal self that is who you are when your "you" is switched off or in abeyance - the creature Douglas Oliver wrote about in An Island that is all the world:

My companion set off with a strong sidestroke and I liked watching her progress before plunging in and striking up a crawl designed to catch her up. But she was 12 years younger and the cigars had affected my blood. In the lake’s centre I watched her climbing out on the far side; and discovered I was completely out of stamina. For 20 seconds I flailed about wildly or tried to float, which only made me lose precious breath, and I thought myself sure to drown. She was too far away to help. (We found police notices afterwards warning against swimming there.)

It came to me that the mind must have some hidden rescue of its own. There stabilized within me a steady, confident self, which I imagine to be the self I had often speculated about, the unconscious unity of everything we have experienced and incorporated throughout our length of days, an entity that persists, minutely changing, very minutely, as our conscious self goes through its wilder swings of mood. Much modern linguistic philosophy argues this large entity out of all real existence, but I simply don’t believe it. A larger self instructed me to let my limbs do the work while it lay back, almost entirely uninvolved. After great calm – the panic holding off on the periphery – I realised I had ground under my feet, staggered up the shore, and collapsed, as everyday conscious awareness flooded back.
Particularly having seen my other half go very deeply into that animal self while giving birth, to a tiny self that is still pretty much all animal at the moment (although extremely rapidly building up cognitive superstructures)...
 

poetix

we murder to dissect
What about the Freudian or Lacanian unconscious, which is all sparking junctions between signifiers, like a CGI animation of the neurons in the brain, one node blindly signalling to another in a cascade of electric associations? That's the fun unconscious, the sibylline literary unconscious, where we think before we think we've thunk. But does it know how to swim?
 

sadmanbarty

New member
i had a pregnancy scare with a girl a few months back, during which i had a dream that i was going to get pregnant and have a baby with her. i had to take this blue pill which contained an egg (it wasn't her egg which i thought would make her upset, so i was going to lie and say it was) and my sperm would fertilise it inside my belly.

i took it and then suddenly got all worried, realising this was not the correct decision as i'm nowhere near ready to have a kid. i then started panicking wondering how a baby would come out of my cock until i realised i'd probably have a c-section. i decided to get an abortion and woke up.
 
I'm always a loser in my dreams, absolutely woeful at any activity I perform in, football, riding a bike, being charming, having sex, fleeing from somebody. Then every once in a while a dream comes along in which I'm fucking great and I always wonder what cognitive trail has lead to this anamoly of confidence. Clearly it holds the key to my perennial bliss.
 

version

Who loves ya, baby?
i had a pregnancy scare with a girl a few months back, during which i had a dream that i was going to get pregnant and have a baby with her. i had to take this blue pill which contained an egg (it wasn't her egg which i thought would make her upset, so i was going to lie and say it was) and my sperm would fertilise it inside my belly.

i took it and then suddenly got all worried, realising this was not the correct decision as i'm nowhere near ready to have a kid. i then started panicking wondering how a baby would come out of my cock until i realised i'd probably have a c-section. i decided to get an abortion and woke up.
An ex of my mate's had a dream about giving birth to an octopus when they were together. I dunno what was going on at the time for them but it must have come from somewhere.
 

mvuent

Void Dweller
my unconscious seems to be a lot more interesting than my conscious mind. more emotionally rich and way, way more creative. I don’t usually remember dreams and when I do they’re often just prosaic and dumb. but there have been a few times, particularly in the last few years, where I woke up thinking “wow didn’t know my brain was capable of imagining all that.” if you make art of any kind I think it’s very inspiring when that happens.
 

DannyL

Wild Horses
I often dream of the sea. Huge waves crashing against the shore, torrents and gales. I once dreamt of a wave as high as the sky, all my family were there and this wave towered up over us. I think of that as the unconscious. It's scale in relation to my little island self.
 

poetix

we murder to dissect
Almost a running joke in my dreams is that I'm never allowed to have any kind of sex in them ever.

Last night I dreamt I was in a tube station, and I realized that I was dreaming and therefore in control of the dream reality, so I could bend the rules of that reality if I wanted so that there would be attractive women on the platform I could do anything I wanted with. Consent? They were purely constructs of my imagination, no need to bother with such real-world inconveniences! I discovered/invented a nice young woman and started leading her towards the end of the platform, where I'd put a doorway leading to a secret sex room (this was not my first dream to feature secret sex rooms on the underground, as it happens).

But then two diaphanous beings of pure light appeared and informed me that my behaviour was unacceptable, an abuse of the godly powers I had in that place. I had no right to dream such toxic, predatory dreams, in which women were the compliant playthings of my imagination! In defiance, I tried to dream away the clothing of the woman I had with me, but I was sternly rebuked: lucid dreaming is a gift, you must use it wisely and respectfully, for it will shape your waking desires. The clothes stayed on. The woman, restored to her former status of autonomous dream-denizen, wandered away.
 

sadmanbarty

New member
Almost a running joke in my dreams is that I'm never allowed to have any kind of sex in them ever.
.
For such a sexual person, I don’t think I’ve ever had a sex dream.

A couple of nights ago I had a dream that I was play-wrestling with a girl in a sexual way and pushed her off the end of the bed, after which she started crying. I think that day in real life is remember a time I’d rolled off a bed with a girl and she banged her knee and the erotic proceedings had to finish while we tended to her injury.


Now that I think about it I had a really fuckec up dream when I was maybe 10 or 11 in which my dad (who looked like a cross between the dc superheroes firestorm and deadman) raped me.

Also had one a few years later in which Louis Theroux was getting wanked off.
 

DannyL

Wild Horses
No, not at all. I've have had dreams that represent fear though. That she'd wandered off into a road or similar.
 

luka

Moderator
The concept of the Secondary Personalities refers to the interlocutors inside.
We create them and they come to assume a degree of individuation and autonomy, with their own set of responses.
Sometimes, one may hear them muttering away at some lower level of consciousness.
They are distinguished by a certain crudity of conception, like the characters in a daytime soap opera.

They are created by the Self to explore different modes of being, different scales of values, different desires and aversions, while maintaining the facade of a unified and coherent self to the World-at-large. The experiment is not without its dangers. Secondary personalities can displace the Self, if only temporarily. One awakes with a start to find an idiot has been behind the wheel.

It sometimes happens that the Self is such a demanding taskmaster that a coup is staged, the responsibilities are too great, the workload too onerous, the punishments too severe.

The secondary personalities, as self-created, must be distinguished from the Squatters. Squatters are other selves who have taken up residence in the Tower. There are two main types. Spies, who wish to remain undetected, hoping to come across some secret, and those others, often family members, who make a point of being obtrusive. Noisy, hectoring and domineering they are deliberately trying to govern your behaviour, police your instincts and override your will.
 

Corpsey

call me big papa
I have all sorts of recurring elements in my dreams that I struggle to remember after I've woken up. Landscapes that don't exist, and couldn't exist. Last night there was a landscape fusing the English countryside with Alpine peaks.

Always themes of social exclusion coming up.

A recurring element which actually hasn't popped up much lately is being able to jump extremely high and float down slowly, rather like an astronaut on a planet with weak gravity - but in these dreams, I always lose control of how high I go and end up hurtling into a void.

My amateur interpretation (not that I think there are any PROFESSIONAL interpretations) is that it's to do with wanting to be daring but being terrified of the potential consequences.
 

craner

Beast of Burden
I had a dream this morning that I sold an ice cream to Michael Scott from the American Office.
 

HMGovt

Bamber Clatscoigne
The concept of the Secondary Personalities refers to the interlocutors inside.
We create them and they come to assume a degree of individuation and autonomy, with their own set of responses.
The autonomous consciounesses encountered in dreams are very interesting.
Are they fully-formed, self aware and capable of perceiving you, the dreamer as similarly conscious?
Or are they just non-playing characters, dream zombies, with no such awareness?
The fact that they respond in a way that would pass any Turing test, i.e. their behaviour and responses are convincingly real, is quite startling when you think about it.
Either your brain is able to generate autonomous consciousnesses within itself or consciousnesses are non-locally instantiated.
Or, the "Theory of Mind" autism researchers talk about is capable of generating illusory conscious agents.
It might be interesting to see what realtime brain scans revealed, but I'm not convinced that localized glucose metabolisation is sufficient to indicate conscious activity.
 

luka

Moderator
The same thing applies to the disincarnate intelligences we interact with on DMT. (The little sketch above is taken from my DMT years but isn't about the disincarnate intelligences obviously. We'll come to that later.)
 
Top