For the Christmas Season and New Year I have reduced prices for hypnosis mp3 sessions on the http://www.hypnosisaudiocds.com/ site by more than 1/3. For example, the Supercharged Confidence hypnosis mp3 session which would have sold at £9.35/$ 14.50 now sells at £5.95/$ 9.25.
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to all friends and clients new and old :-)
The illustrious “Oxford Companion to The Mind” has no more than this to say under synesthesia.
Confusion between the senses: for example, some musicians experience colours for particular notes. The effect can become dramatic in some drug states, presumably through loss of normal inhibitory mechanisms which isolate the central processing of the senses.
This doesn’t take into account that some current neuro-researchers such as Vilayanur S. Ramachandran now regard synesthesia as a basic human experience…that we are not only all synesthesic to some degree, but that the experience is a necessary part of the development of human cognition and communication.
The demonstration Ramachandran uses goes something like this
- Draw two shapes on seperate sheets, one sharp and spikey and the other smooth and amoeba like. On the first sheet write the word “kinik” and on the second, the word “boobul”.
- Draw the shapes again, on two new sheets of paper, but miss out the words. Hand them to your unwitting subject and explain to them that here are two shapes. One is called a “boobul” and the other a “kinik”.
- Tell them to decide which is which, quickly and without over thinking it, and write down the answer on the appropriate sheet of paper.
- Produce your preprepared sheets to gasps of awe and amazement… and then spoil it all by explaining what went on:-)
By all accounts, by far the majority of people will respond to the “softer” shape with the “softer” word and vice versa (do you start to see(?) how synesthesia shapes(?) our language and communication?)
The following quote from the MIT website shows the same trend as the “Oxford Companion to The Mind” to assume that synesthesia is somehow an aberration, although it does present the phenomenon somewhat more positively.
Synesthesia is an involuntary joining in which the real information of one sense is accompanied by a perception in another sense. In addition to being involuntary, this additional perception is regarded by the synesthete as real, often outside the body, instead of imagined in the mind’s eye. It also has some other interesting features that clearly separate it from artistic fancy or purple prose. Its reality and vividness are what make synesthesia so interesting in its violation of conventional perception. Synesthesia is also fascinating because logically it should not be a product of the human brain, where the evolutionary trend has been for increasing separation of function anatomically.
Rumi and other mystics and poets frequently use synesthesic descriptions of the ineffable, presumably because the experience transcends the limitations of sensory categorisation.
God, in spite of the skeptics,
Caused spiritual gardens with sweet flowers to grow
In the hearts of His friends.
Every rose that is sweet-scented within,
That rose is telling of the secrets of the Universal.
Their scent, to the confusion of the skeptics,
Spreads around the world, rending the veil.
Rumi’s identification of scent as an epistemic mode which entailed a synesthesia in which all the senses converged in a mystical knowing, was a device he employed several times in his writing.
As a lovesick nightingale, you flew among the owls.
Then came the scent of the rosegarden
and you flew off to meet the Rose.
Rumi (Gone to the Unseen)
Synesthesia is included in a list of self reported experiences in mystical experience and in schizophrenia. Interestingly, Richard E. Cytowic states that
synesthesia is “abnormal” only in being statistically rare. It is, in fact, a normal brain process that is prematurely displayed to consciousness in a minority of individuals
This would support my contention that synesthesia is part of the process that underpins many of the experiences we are interested in when we examine mystical experience and its possible neurological correlates. Mystical experience has a synesthesic aspect, at least in the way it is employed in Rumi’s metaphor. It may well be that the perception of the subtle body (or aura) is a constructive, synesthesic hallucination. By this I mean that the brain is unconsciously processing vast amounts of interelated information presented to it through the senses, and clairvoyance is the means by which this complex matrix of data can be presented readily to conscious awareness.
I wonder sometimes if there is something deeply rooted in the human psyche that believes in magic? When I first studied and trained in NLP there was a lot of talk about change being instant, that change took no time. And I got it (and still get it) on at least two levels.
First, the mental health industry (particularly counselling and psychotherapy) was based on the premise that change was slow, hard work and may not even happen despite all your effort and hard earned cash.
Second, we were trying to understand something about the nature of change from a systems point of view. How, if one changes one part of an inter-related system, one changes the whole system.
Unfortunately, this seems to have bred a school of change merchants who believed after 1 or 2 weeks training that they can effect the change you want in one 30 minute session. They had a magic wand. You know something? They just weren’t (aren’t) good enough. Fired up, they would walk in with scripts their teachers gave them for curing phobias as if reading a recipe would overnight turn them into a Michelin star chef. THAT takes time. It takes time, experience and self-awareness to develop the sensory acuity to notice what is working with a client and what isn’t.
It also takes a unique form of self delusion to tell a client that they will only need one session to “cure” them. I remember watching a famous TV personality hypnotist demonstrate the NLP “fast phobia cure” on another celebrity. On screen the effects were impressive, but I can tell you from experience it is very easy to assist someone to alter their state enough to do things they wouldn’t normally do while you are with them in a stage environment. This same TV celebrity was confronted with the phobic stimulus some weeks later and it was quite clear that the change had not had a lasting effect.
Single session therapy feeds the therapist’s delusion. They actively deny themselves any feedback as to the long term benefits or otherwise of their work. And that makes them no better than charlatans.