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  • Your attention, for example, is mediated by unconscious forcesand you know that, you know that perfectly well.


  • And this is another Freudian observation.


  • You know, If you're sitting down to study, for example, your conscious intent is to study.


  • But you know perfectly well that all sorts of distraction fantasies are going to enter the theater of your imagination, non-stop, and annoyingly, and there isn't really a lot you can do about that except, maybe, wait it out.


  • So you'll be sitting there reading, and your attention will flicker away.


  • You'll think about, I don't know, maybe you want to watch "Jane the Virgin" on Netflix or something like that, or maybe it's time to have a peanut butter sandwich.


  • Or you should get the dust bunnies out from underneath the bed.


  • Or it's time to go outside and have a cigarette, or maybe it's time for a cup of coffee.


  • Or it's like all these subsystems in you that would like something, aren't very happy just to sit there while you read this thing that you're actually bored by, and so they pop up and try to take control of your perceptions and your actions non-stop.


  • Maybe you think well this is a stupid course anyways, why do I have to read this damn paper, and what am I doing in university, and what's the point of life?


  • It's like you can really, well, you can really get going if you're trying to avoid doing your homework.


  • And then you might think, well, what is it in you that's trying to avoid because after all you took the damn course, and you told yourself to sit down.


  • Why don't you listen?


  • Well, because you're you're a mess, that's basically why.


  • You haven't got control over yourself at all, and no more than I have control over this laptop.


  • Okay, so there's the memory function of the unconscious, and there's the dissolutive function - that's an interesting one.


  • The unconscious contains habits once voluntary now automatized and dissociated elements of the personality, which may lead a parasitic existence.


  • That's an interesting one.


  • I would relate that more to procedural memory.


  • So what you've done is practice certain habits whatever they might be.


  • Let's call them bad habits, and you like those things to get under control but you can't, so maybe when you're speaking, for example, you use "like" and "you know" and you say "um" a lot, and you practice that so you're really good at it.


  • And you'd like to stop it, but you don't get to because you've built that little machine right into your being.


  • It's neurologically wired, and it's not under conscious control.


  • And anything you practice becomes that; it becomes part of you, and that's another element of the unconscious, a different part.


  • And then there's a creative part, which is that, well, you know you're sitting around and maybe you're trying to write something, or maybe you want to produce a piece of art, or a piece of music, or maybe you're just laying in bed dreaming.


  • And you have all these weird ideas and especially in dreams.


  • It's like...what? Where do those things come from?


  • And even more strange, one of the things that's really weird about dreams and almost impossibly weird is that you're an observer in the dream - it's like a dream is something that happens to you.


  • Well, you're dreaming it, theoretically, so how is it that you can be an observer?


  • It's almost like you're watching a video game or a movie, but you're producing it, at least in principle.


  • Although the psychoanalysts would say "Well, no, not exactly."


  • "Your ego isn't producing it; your unconscious is producing it."


  • "It's a different thing. It's a different thing."


  • And of course, Jung would say, "Well It's deeper than that; the collective unconscious might be producing it."


  • It's in some sense, it isn't you exactly.


  • Or it isn't the you that you think of when you think of you.


  • And that's the ego from the Freudian perspective, the you that you identify with, that's the ego.


  • And outside of that is the unconscious, the id.


  • That's more the place of impulses, and you could think about those as the biological subsystems that can derail your thinking and govern things like hunger, and sex, and aggression, and your basic instincts, it's another way of putting it.


  • And it's a reasonable way of thinking about it because these are subsystems that you share with animals.


  • You share them certainly with mammals, you share most of them with reptiles, you share a lot of them with amphibians, and even going all the way down to crustaceans.


  • There is commonality, for example, in the dominance hierarchy circuits.


  • And so these are very very old things, and the idea that you're in control of them is, well, you're not exactly in control of them.


  • And I would say the less integrated you are, the less you're in control of them, and the more they're in control of you, and that can get really out of hand.


  • You can be... like with people who have obsessive compulsive disorder, for example, which seems to be, I would say, that dissolutive elements in some sense of the unconscious.


  • The way that it's portrayed here, poor people with obsessive-compulsive disorder, they can spend half their time doing things that they can't really control.


  • And they have very strong impulses to do them, and it's very hard on them to block them.


  • You know, they they'll almost panic if those things are blocked, and then you have people with Tourette's syndrome.


  • You know that they'll be doing all sorts of weird dances, and spouting off obscenities, and imitating people without being able to control it.


  • And sometimes a little bit of anti-psychotic medication can dampen that down, but it's as if there are these autonomous semi spirits inside of them that grip control over the behavior, and make them do things.


  • And you know you find that to some degree in your own life because maybe you've become very attracted to someone even maybe you don't want to be attracted to the person, and then you find yourself texting them when you know perfectly well that you should be going to bed.


  • You know you are in the grip of something.


  • And you can't control it, and that's all part of the unconscious and all part of what Freud was studying.


Your attention, for example, is mediated by unconscious forcesand you know that, you know that perfectly well.


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