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Sense of Sensation

Introduction

As humans, the first point of contact we have with the world around us is our senses. But often we are not fully aware of how these senses play a vital role in everything we experience and observe. We all know that our five senses are touch, sight, hearing, smell and taste but their importance and capabilities have been limited to the biological aspect of these senses. We live through our senses but they are also responsible for a kinesthetic sense for various actions or experiences that we come across. Let's take an example: when we touch something gooey or slimy, the texture tends to initiate an expression of disgust. Then, you may take an action like washing your hands or distancing yourself from the substance. This expression is caused due to our kinesthetic senses, and so without senses we may not be able to perceive the world as we see it today. But we do not reach this point of expression at once, there is a series of reactions that take place in order for us to form an expression. Let us take a close look at this illustration:

By looking at the illustration, it can be seen that the sense (for example: a gooey substance), forms a sensation (the feeling of touching it) that then elicits an expression (that makes us feel disgusted). We will talk in depth about the “connect” aspect of the illustration a bit later. After looking at this chain of events, it is important to note that everything we experience and learn about our surroundings is through these sensations. In fact, even having no sensations is a sensation. Therefore, what we make and perceive of this world around us is mainly through these sensations. But what connects a sense with a sensation? Often we sense things that are not processed as information and cause no sensation, thus the sensation depends on the degree of participation. If a sense elicits a reaction from us, it is only then that the reaction is processed as a sensation. Thus, in our everyday lives, there are various aspects of our lives such as food, people or things that go unseen as there is no sensation formed by them.


Now let us talk about the relationship between sensation and expression. A sensation is a movement or reaction caused by the sense but we need to express this movement in the form of any micro muscle movement. It is also the expression of the impact made by the sensation. These movements can be expressed in two ways: somatic or linguistic movements. Somatic movements include physical reactions like shuffling of feet and linguistic movements are based on the study of language like stuttering and stammering. This chain of reactions is often repeated with small instances in our everyday life, but how does this affect our perception of the world around us? This sensory participation of our sense organs are stimulated by general factors such as smelling a perfume and identifying it as your friend’s or hearing a song and being reminded of your childhood. But these sensations and their perceptions play a significant role in Psychology and its understandings.


From the psychological perspective, we receive these sensations through our sensory receptors that are specialised neurons. They respond to specific types of stimuli and when sensory information is detected by a sensory receptor, sensation has occurred. Imagine that you're in elementary school, and all you have been taught is that we all have five senses: taste, sight, touch, smell and sound. These senses are oversimplified, as we have sensory organs that provide information about senses like balance, body movements and temperature. The sensation has to reach out to our senses at a certain threshold so that it can be interpreted but Psychology states that we have the tendency to receive subliminal messages as well. Subliminal messages are messages (could be visual or auditory) that are perceived my our brains unconsciously and are around us during our day-to-day activities. Marketing and advertising companies adopt such kind of messages that unconsciously register in our mind without realising the same. Small pop-up advertisements, flashing messages and even small commercial breaks consist of messages that are unconsciously picked by our brain. This ensures that our unconscious mind is capable of registering sensory information on its own and Psychology consists of various perspectives that dive into our unconscious mind and its tendencies.


Hypnotherapy is a form of guided hypnosis where an individual is subjected to psychotherapy. It uses relaxation, extreme concentration and intense attention to achieve a heightened state of mindfulness or consciousness. In simple words, the patient is in a “trance” or altered state of awareness. This form of therapy focuses on the mind and its ability to alleviate or reduce various psychological and physiological issues. We may have repressed memories and instances that were once received by our senses (refer to the illustration above) and hypnotherapy is used so that we can explore and heal past traumas that are sustained by our unconscious mind. Although Hypnotherapy can be used for a wide range of problems such as chronic diseases, phobias, addictions, disorders etc., but at the end of the day, this method is used to resolve unwanted and unhealthy behaviour. There may be unresolved or unassisted childhood conflicts that evolve into various conditions but the intention behind such conflicts is usually the need for us to be seen, heard and held. This subconscious behaviour that we resort to as children and even as adults in response to trauma stems from this human need. When these needs are unmet, our unconscious mind develops a response to this trauma which can shape into a disorder, phobia, diseases, etc. Resolving these traumas and assisting the individual result in an improved self-concept, confidence and self-esteem. This means that often our senses play a role beyond receiving information; they form sensations and experiences that shape our understanding of the world around us.


After our senses receive certain information from our environment, we perceive that information and integrate it in our actions. But how does perception differ from sensation? We can say that sensation is a physical process and perception is a psychological one. Let’s take an example: upon entering your kitchen and smell the scent of baking brownies. Here, the sensation is the scent receptors identifying the chocolate and the vanilla essence but the perception maybe “This smells so good, exactly like the one that mom used to make when we were children!”


It may be easy to believe that all our senses are perceived by our sensory receptors but there are various stimuli that go unnoticed or we adapt to it to the point of oblivion. For example, students going to the university may not remember or perceive all their fellow classmates. Instead, they may remember a reputable professor or an attractive individual that they came across on campus. There are various aspects of our lives where sensory participation occurs but we must also consider sensory adaptation where we tend to adapt to certain stimuli. These stimuli are often left unseen or are adapted to, so there must be some form of intention behind perceiving those certain stimuli that catch our attention. The article would now progress onto this intention and how it plays a significant role in the perception of ourselves and the world around us.


We exist through our sensations and their perception of them, making our senses the biggest form of interaction between us and our environment. We would dive deep into this world of our senses which is beyond the five ones that we know of and most importantly, understanding how our own existence is reflected through them.


Body

The world around us constantly tries to appeal to our senses, and in response, we express them by having somatic or linguistic reactions. But during this reaction, it is essential for us to integrate this expression in our consciousness, making it an experience. This experience can be one-time or occur in multiple instances but what remains constant is our integration or connect with the experience. This ability to connect with an experience is what forms a relationship between our expression and experience, and this “connect” is what we humans look for in order to be seen, heard and held. The impact of this connect can be negative or positive but the regular exchange of the connect with experience is derived from the constant need of us humans to be understood.


Nature of self

Identity, or self-identity to be specific, is theoretically multifaceted and complex. It is not fixed, and is subject to change with the environment around us. According to Psychologists, the character of an experienced self consists of it being persistent; it’s individuality or uniqueness, the fact that it is fundamental to it’s experiences and lastly; it is related to its environment, social and physical. Due to the self being persistent and unique, it is also heavily based on the experiences that we come across; all psychic processes are influenced by how we experience our environment. As James Ward said “The standpoint of Psychology is that of the living subject in intercourse with its special environment”. The aspect of self or self-identity is a concept that is still being widened and enriched by various Psychologists but what remains constant is that our self-identity is based on our experiences and its relation with the aspects of our environment.


But there are constant challenges to be a part or an integral element of this environment. Also known as society at large, us humans constantly try to find ways to form an identity through these experiences. Also known as “identity work”, people resort to various instances such as buying a new house or becoming a parent that changes the perspective of who they are for others. Humans being social animals, we constantly want to make an impact around us. This tendency does not begin during adulthood, but stems from childhood needs and probable negligence. Interpersonal conflicts begin from childhood and can be dealt in constructive ways or destructive methods. Either way, the prevalence of our childhood can be reflected in our personality and processing of emotions as an adult.


The inner subconscious/The child within (yet to choose between them)

The concept of the Child Within or “Inner child” has been a part of our world’s culture for centuries. Carl Jung called it the “Divine Child '' and Emmet Fox referred to it as “Wonder Child”. All these concepts have a common theme and they all represent our true self, i.e., who we really are. This may sound ambiguous but these concepts refer to a part of us that is a person’s true internal nature and soul. Various psychological concepts characterise this child within as spontaneous, fulfilled, creative and free but mostly it is often conceived as a semi-independent subpersonality subordinate to the waking conscious mind. During childhood, our subconscious is not fully developed and is not ready to be exposed to complex simulations and being in a constant state of stress, negligence or abuse can result in over-simulation of our senses. This over-simulation results in unresolved conflict and trauma which is stored in our subconscious mind. This unresolved trauma stems from the need of being seen, heard and held.


Our personality often stems from this aspect of our childhood, where our genetic endowment and social interaction play equal roles. Hence, it is a combination of “nature and nurture” that unfolds our personality during the developmental stages. This article focuses on the “nurture” aspect of our development and it is crucial in these stages for us to be recognised, acknowledged and understood. It is a human tendency to be seen as someone unique and valued for who they are; rather than being someone who fulfils the needs of others. Hence, even as children, we try to catch the constant attention of our caregivers in order to be seen, heard and held. The American analyst and the founder of Self Psychology, Heinz Kohut recognised this process of making your child feel seen as empathic responsiveness to the child. Empathy allows the understanding of another from the other’s point of view and seeing into the other’s world of experiences. If growing up, a caregiver validates and nurtures the emotions and experiences of their child, then he or she will develop a sense of self or a subconscious sense of being.


Seeing this concept from the cognitive perspective, some therapists have advocated the notion of an inner child to be a primary, subconscious force. This notion stems from this question that most Psychologists aim to answer: “How can someone be unaware of something in his field of consciousness?”This question is relevant because many of us have had the experience of having been exposed to a particular stimulus or incident but have no conscious awareness of it until it was pointed out to us. For example, an individual who was emotionally abandoned and neglected as a child grows up to have an avoidant-insecure attachment style. This attachment develops with most of their relationships and there is no conscious awareness of the same. This form of attachment style can be developed by a single instance or multiple experiences spanning through a period of time. Cognitive therapists intend to help their patient reconnect with their “inner child” or “their true self” to work through any maladaptive emotional and behavioural patterns.


Cognitive Behavioural Therapy

Cognitive therapy is based on making patients focus on a particular type of conversation known as automatic thoughts. According to cognitive and behavioural therapists, any dysfunctional schemas, beliefs or attitudes have a generally heightened sensitivity to negative stimuli. These negative beliefs, schemas or class of rules can play an essential role in negative evaluation of themselves, other individuals and their experiences. As we know that our connect with the experience (either positive or negative) leads to wanting to be seen, heard and felt. American Psychiatrist and the founder of Cognitive Therapy, Aaron Beck noticed that during the concurrent stream of thought of a patient engaging in free association, there was a negative self-image. Their aspect of the situation would be reflected in the terms and phrases such as “I’m not making any sense” or “The therapist must think I’m stupid”. As mentioned above, the patient is often unaware of such thought processes and would not spontaneously report such types of thoughts. Through such initiatives, Beck and various other Psychologists concluded that it is often these mental frameworks and thought processes that affect the day-to-day lives of individuals and not the negative experience itself. Focusing on automatic thought processes and the underlying rules and beliefs is what leads to the understanding of an individual not feeling acknowledged and understood.


Cognitive therapy is based on the notion that various personality factors can predispose an individual to becoming depressed; either on their own or through negative life experiences. Although relevant, what determines an individual’s perception of themselves and these negative life events is their automatic thoughts. Cognitive therapists believe that it is these automatic thoughts and negative beliefs and frameworks that require restructuring in order to alleviate depressive symptoms. Various preliminary evidence has shown that any changes in the structural beliefs and thoughts lead to change in depressive symptoms in treatment of depression. The most significant factor when it comes to assessing mental health disorders are the impact of automatic thoughts and their effects on experiences.


Focusing on automatic thought processes as the main source of information guiding the therapeutic process is a fundamental principle of cognitive therapy. When introducing the concept of inner child in cognitive therapy, it holds true as a metaphor for automatic thought processes. The inner child is identified via observation and reporting these automatic thought processes as cognitive therapy. So now, instead of calling the inner conversations automatic thoughts, it is simply known as the “inner child” and these automatic thoughts are just the part of the personality identified as the “child” revealing itself. Normally, individuals are not aware of this inner voice and the undiscovered part of themselves that comes with it but through training they can learn to pay attention to it. The primary source of information does not emanate from the disclosure and analysis of painful life events and a patient’s past but transpires from the present-moment automatic thought process. According to the founding father of cognitive psychology, A.T. Beck, the child part is identified according to the type of automatic thought process discovered, along with the schematas and beliefs that are underlying.


The inner child/subconsciousness in therapy

When we think about the inner child, it usually takes the form of a separate entity but the inner child is our true consciousness that is very much a part of who we are. There is a constant need of our inner consciousness to be seen, heard and felt and the process of therapy begins with acceptance. In order to work on those parts of ourselves that tend to belittle, criticise and discount ourselves; it is essential to accept the fact that we may have not received the validation and attention our younger self needed. It is easy for us to use phrases like “you’re an idiot” or “you can't get anything right” but we fail to understand the power they hold as we inculcate this treatment in our subconscious mind. We tend to exist through our senses and it’s reflection on the people around us but if we deny those feelings of acceptance, understanding and acknowledgements for ourselves then we would not be able to accept them from others. There are various ways in which we unconsciously berate ourselves for our vulnerability and demand ourselves to “get over it” without truly understanding the root cause of such behaviour. Therapy is a gradual process of healing this root cause and allowing an individual to connect with their true selves rather than fighting against their unresolved trauma.


A certain level of sensitivity and assurance is required for a patient to accept and recognise these painful and overwhelming feelings. Further, accepting these past feelings and emotions can lead to one questioning their own identity as an individual and making them second-guess who they really are. It is human tendency to be accepted in society and live through our actions, successes and experiences. But experiencing various therapeutic techniques and digging deep to understand one’s true self can threaten one’s identity and their relationship with themselves. If an individual always sees themselves as being a “mature and grown” adult, it may seem “overly sensitive” or even “childish” for them to assess these feelings. It does not conform with the image that they have of themselves as mature adults and since we all want to be seen, heard and felt mostly in a positive light, it may hinder their self image. It is essential for the therapist to make them feel seen, heard and felt so that they could accept the fact that they deserve the same.


Upon the identification of these feelings, there can be suppressed anger, disappointment and pain that could take the form of negative thoughts and actions. For example, an individual, after identifying the root cause behind their behaviour, may blame the caregiver for everything that went wrong in their lives. It is important to focus on the wounds and understand them as this would lead them to achieve authentic personal lives. Every person struggles through their wounds and obstacles but the process of identifying and understanding them leads to a path that helps us know who we are as individuals. It is important for the therapist to have an unbiased point of view for the caregivers of the individual and focus on their healing journey rather than trying to victimise them. It is a natural and flexible process of gentleness, love, respect and safety that can initiate the path of recovery for the client and a safe space is even more important for them so that they can grow in an unbiased environment. Throughout this work, one is simply attempting to be more empathetically attuned to the world of the inner self and one cannot simply establish a relationship through pressure, clever techniques or force. This leads to “inclusion” which can also be called as “living with” where the individual makes space for their true thoughts, feelings, shortcomings and past traumas. It is a process in which the individual takes all the necessary steps in order to incorporate their feelings and make lifestyle changes to process them in a healthy manner.


Psychosynthesis

Psychosynthesis is a concept founded by Roberto Assagioli who wrote a doctoral dissertation, “La Psicosintesi” in which he spoke about Freud’s concept of Psychoanalysis and its limitations. Further, he spoke about Psychosynthesis where he took to the concept of Psychotherapy where he agreed with Freud about the importance of healing childhood trauma and developing a healthy ego but argued that human growth could not be limited to this alone. A student of philosophical and spiritual traditions of both East and West, Assagioli sought to address human growth as it preceded beyond the norm of the well-functioning ego. He then related this to Maslow’s last stage of “self-actualisation” and stated the importance of spiritual or transpersonal dimensions of human existence. Hence, Assagioli envisioned an approach to the human being which could address both- the process of personal growth (both personality integration and self-actualisation) and transpersonal development: that dimension glimpsed for example in “peak experiences” (Maslow) of inspired creativity, spiritual insights and unitive states of consciousness.

The diagram above represents the concept of psychosynthesis as the entire oval is surrounded by the collective unconscious and that realm of archetypes and collective influences explored by C.G. Jung and others. Unlike Jung, Assagoili realised that the collective conscious, like the personal conscious, is stratified into levels and thus he criticised Jung for not differentiating between the “lower” archaic levels and the higher “spiritual” levels of the collective. Accordingly, the three levels which is the higher, middle and lower unconsciousness are shown transecting the oval that represents the boundary of an individual.


Lastly, it is essential to note that every level has a conscious experience attached to it, which means that different levels of unconscious comprise a spectrum of potentially unconscious experience. Thus the various strata that are termed as “unconscious” are so simply because the content within them are beyond our conscious awareness. However, the content in these various levels can become conscious due to various circumstances, and even if they do not, they can nevertheless cause profound effects in one’s conscious life (e.g., an uncon- scious chronic feeling of rage may wreak havoc in a person’s relationships).


The Case of Laura

Laura entered counselling because she found herself acting like a child while relating to her parents and other perceived authority figures. She would become childlike and passive with these figures, and finally burst out in anger when she found herself ignored. This has been causing trouble in all her relationships, especially with her current boyfriend with whom she constantly had misunderstandings and fights.


Over the course of her counselling, she realised that the younger part of herself was her sub-personality with particular feelings of anxiety, shame and anger. She began relating to the sub-personality rather than attempting to get rid of it, and became increasingly familiar with how it responded to other people and how it influenced her daily behaviour. In listening to this sub-personality, Laura gradually became aware of her deeper need of acceptance, affection, safety and intentionally began making room in her life for these valid human needs. This work involved Laura in some brief lower unconscious exploration as well. She uncovered the childhood roots of the negative feelings, and had the painful realisation that her par- ents, although nurturing in many ways, had in truth been emotionally unavailable at a very basic level. She also came to see that her rejection of the subpersonality replicated her parents’ rejection of her.

As Laura formed an ongoing empathic relationship with the subpersonality, there was a marked decrease in the feelings of anxiety, shame, and anger, and she found herself less and less overcome by these problematic feelings in her relationships. Furthermore, the positive qualities of the subpersonality—cre- ativity, playfulness, and spontaneity—became more available to her as well, enriching her relationships as never before.

Laura was involved primarily with the middle unconscious in that she sought to develop an ongoing conscious relationship with a subpersonality which moved easily into and out of aware- ness. Although she also did some lower unconscious investiga- tion (uncovering the childhood conditioning of the subpersonal- ity) and had some contact with the higher unconscious (unlock- ing the positive potential of the subpersonality), she remained focused upon work with the middle unconscious.


Assagoili’s concept of Upper Consciousness and Lower consciousness

Freud along with other eminent psychologists realised that the psychological past is not something “over and done” with but on the contrary, the past is an integral part of the present. This view was backed specifically by the fact that one’s childhood experience is inextricably a part of adult life. This has profound and sometimes disturbing effects on one’s personality. They began to recognise modes of experiences belonging to an earlier era of a person’s life, which although normally deeply unconscious, can be accessed in psychotherapy. Therefore, early life experience is not something that is left behind in a linear progression into the future, but rather forms an enduring psychological substratum to conscious life. This substratum shapes one's daily experience of oneself, others, and the world; it is the "lens" through which one perceives reality.


In many psychological approaches, this substratum may be known as simply “the unconscious” but Assagoili recognised something else along the lines. He realised that along with repressing trauma and disturburbing memories, we also repress the “higher” forms of human potential- the realm glimpsed in creative inspiration, spiritual insight and peak experiences. Thus Assagioli’s model includes both a lower unconscious and a higher unconscious or superconscious.


The Lower unconscious

This part of our unconsciousness retains material that is actively and energetically held out of awareness. A strong "repression barrier" (Freud) maintains a separation or split between daily awareness and certain painful, traumatic past and present experiences. This division protects one's consciousness and will from being overwhelmed by deeply painful events, allowing the person to function and survive in the face of the trauma. These deep and traumatic wounds can stem from an interference and violation of someone’s individuality. This has been vividly seen in cases such as physical mistreatment, sexual molestation and emotional battering. Trauma can also occur as a consequence of intentional or unintentional neglect by those in the environment, such as physical or emotional abandonment; an inability of significant others to respond empathically to the individual (or aspects of the person); and a general lack of responsiveness and emotional bleakness in the surrounding social sphere. This results in a certain conclusion that such instances happen in “the best of families” and although this statement may be subjective, it has been proven time and time again that child rearing is an integral part of our personality and who we grow up to be as a person. It seems as if no one among us has escaped some form of debilitating psychological wounding in our lives.

Being aware of and keeping these traumatic experiences can be incredibly threatening for the conscious personality and hence are split off and repressed; forming the lower consciousness. Although, this splitting can be maintained at the cost of various coping strategies adopted by our consciousness. In order to prevent these experiences from entering our consciousness, we resort to defence mechanisms and other strategies that can transform into problematic instances later. For example, we may develop a "false self" (Winnicott), a socially acceptable persona that serves to conceal our inner vulnerability, but we may later feel false or "phoney" in our lives. Alternatively, we may develop subtle and not-so-subtle addictions to alcohol and drugs, sexuality and food, dominance and authority, relationships and work, or spirituality and religion. Most psychological disturbance, whether unusual or more "normal," appears to revolve around isolated wounding experiences.

By this splitting of our traumatic experiences, we often don’t realise the lasting and instrumental impact it has on our daily lives. It can make us blind or indifferent towards current violation and neglect towards ourselves and by society in general. For example, we may be relatively unaware or even indifferent about how we are affected by the tremendous level of violence pervading normal life and we may even be unaware of this after being direct perpetrators or victims of violence. This repression of the traumatic thus can support naive optimism, other-worldly spiri- tuality, and chronic patterns of abuse. Repressed trauma can affect our basic understanding of human decency or even the difference between emotions such as love and obsession.


The Upper or Superconscious

The upper superconscious denotes that realm of the human experiencing encountered most dramatically during life's apex moments Such moments indicate that superconscious contents—normally unconscious—have broken through into the field of awareness, have become conscious. Here is an example of a superconscious experience taken from the many accounts of Margherita Laski’s (1968) important study, Ecstasy:


“I don’t know how to put it into words—forgetting oneself, no, oneself ceasing to matter and no longer being connected with everyday things, with the commercial sort of life one lives—a feeling that for the first time you’re seeing things in proper proportion... (p. 387)”


Feeling and understanding the superconscious is something that is difficult to put in words, it is when we cease to exist individually and live as one with the universe. Various psychologists and philosophers have coined various terms that have tried to inculcate this form of realisation such as Maslow and his theory of “self-actualisation” but it is usually a deeper sense of meaning in life and a universality within the particulars of existence, and perhaps a unity between oneself and the cosmos. Here is Assagioli talking about the superconsciousness:


“From this region we receive our higher intuitions and inspirations—artistic, philosophical or scientific, ethical “imperatives” and urges to humanitarian and heroic action. It is the source of the higher feelings, such as altruistic love; of genius and of the states of contemplation, illumination, and ecstasy. In this realm are latent the higher psychic functions and spiritual energies.” (Assagioli, 1965, pp. 17-18)


It is important to note that when talking about the superconscious, it is not a realm of pure qualities or essences that are completely different from everyday life. The characteristics of love, beauty or unity found in superconscious experiences are not independent, higher qualities that are drifting down from some heavenly realm or a form of blessing that has a spiritual origin. Instead, they are observable modes of sensation, feelings and cognition in which one engages particular aspects of the world in specific ways Indeed, such peak experiences appear to be clear glimpses into aspects of reality that are always present in our lives however to which we are usually blind. That is why the term "higher unconscious" is so accurate—it implies a dimension of potential experience that is present now but is not visible to us. So superconscious experience is a deeper, expanded, or more unique relationship with this world, rather than an encounter with another, higher world.

Western psychology has long explored subconscious experience, and we shall identify some of the scholars Assagioli himself considered to be addressing this topic. Richard Bucke (1967), a Canadian psychiatrist, presented his investigation of superconscious experiences in his book, Cosmic Consciousness, in 1901, making him possibly the first transpersonal psychologist. Around the same time as Bucke's work, psychologist William James (1961) published The Varieties of Religious Experience, his seminal work on spiritual experience. C.G. Jung (1969), using a word coined by Rudolf Otto, recognised superconscious contents as "numinosum," which he stated may induce a "alteration of consciousness," and emphasised the universality of such experiences.


Conclusion

We all live through our senses but there are times when they go above and beyond their basic function of taste, sense, touch, smell and sight when understanding the world around us. Our inner self-consciousness determines the way in which we perceive other people and vice versa. As one’s inner and outer relationships heal, authentic personality begins to unfold. As these blocks to these relationships are unearthed and addressed; an empathetic communion is formed. As there is a continuing commitment to keeping these relationships alive in one's life, one begins to transition away from survival personality and toward authentic personality—the expression of one's actual nature, one's intrinsic I-amness among other people and the world. Individually, empathy is thus the force that "integrates" or "synthesises" the personality; with self-empathy, we can embrace all the diverse elements of ourselves, allowing a sense of inner multiplicity and oneness at the same time. Empathic connection acts similarly on a social level; it is the root of a solidarity with others and the world that may honour both unity and heterogeneity.

Living these inner and exterior relationships may even be considered one's life path, pilgrimage, or dharma—Self-realisation. This journey begins when we confront the "ego-ism" of survival personality and see through the illusions we have been living by. The journey progresses toward acceptance of the vast depths of human vulnerability concealed behind the addictions and attachments ("aversions and cravings'') caused by the survival impulse. From there, we enter a new relationship with ourselves, others, and the world, one based on the interconnectedness of all things. In other words, the inner subconscious appears to be similar to the spiritual journey articulated by religious traditions of all eras and countries. In terms of psychosynthesis, this is a healing of the original schism between "I" and Self, an unification of personal existence with Universal Being.

And this journey from survival to authenticity is not one that we inevitably finish, arriving at a state of blissful perfection. Authenticity is not an enlightened condition to be attained, but rather a path to take. In our lives, we will always encounter some combination of survival and real individuality; we will always be human beings in a flawed environment. The point is that we can be people in recovery. We can be people who admit our brokenness, strive for genuineness, and walk alongside others on the same journey. It's even possible that the distance we walk is inconsequential, and that the true gifts are the people we encounter along the route.


References:

Assagioli, R. (1976). Psychosynthesis: A manual of principles and techniques. Harmondsworth: Penguin

Firman, John & Russell, Ann. (2022). OPENING TO THE INNER CHILD.

Hestbech A. M. (2018). Reclaiming the Inner Child in Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy: The Complementary Model of the Personality. American journal of psychotherapy, 71(1), 21–27. https://doi.org/10.1176/ appi.psychotherapy.20180008

Kopala-Sibley, Daniel & Santor, Darcy. (2009). The Mediating Role of Automatic Thoughts in the Personality–Event–Affect Relationship. Cognitive behaviour therapy. 38. 153-61. 10.1080/16506070802694644.

Bradshaw, John. Homecoming: Reclaiming and Championing Your Inner Child. New York: Bantam Books, 1990. Print.

Sjöblom, M., Öhrling, K., Prellwitz, M., & Kostenius, C. (2016). Health throughout the lifespan: The phenomenon of the inner child reflected in events during childhood experienced by older persons. International journal of qualitative studies on health and well-being, 11, 31486. https://doi.org/10.3402/qhw.v11.31486

Lazzara, J. (2020, April 22). Sensation and Perception – Psychology 2e. Pressbooks

https://open.maricopa.edu/intropsych/chapter/sensation-and-perception/

TherapyTribe. (2019, June 22). What is Hypnotherapy? Does Hypnotherapy Work? –. https://www.therapytribe.com/therapy/what-is-hypnotherapy/

 

This article on ' Sense to Sensation ' has been contributed by Malvika Sharma who is studying B.A. Psychology from FLAME University, Pune


Malvika is a part of the Global Internship Research Program (GIRP), which is mentored by Anil Thomas.


GIRP is an initiative by (International Journal of Neurolinguistics & Gestalt Psychology) IJNGP and Umang Foundation Trust to encourage young adults across our globe to showcase their research skills in psychology and to present it in creative content expression.


Anil is an internationally certified NLP Master Practitioner and Gestalt Therapist. He has conducted NLP Training in Mumbai, and across 6 other countries. The NLP practitioner course is conducted twice every year. To get your NLP certification



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