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A Psychonaut's Monolog

Office Kitaoka Inc.
Vol 003: 2018.5.27

"A Psychonaut's Monolog" Online Newsletter

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Guhen Kitaoka, as a psychonaut versed both in Western psychology
and in Eastern philosophy, expounds "An Integral Epistemology
for Enlightenment," as a new methodology for perpetuating
the ultimate state of human consciousness.
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"A Study of the Human Subjective Experience in Quest of Innovation"

Latest Info: The current article is an edited and subsequently expanded version of translation of part of the original essay in Japanese published on 7th March 2017 at:

http://www.kitaokataiten.com/glossary/archives/essay_04.htm.

In the current essay, I would like to introduce two quite interesting models of the human subjective experience. One is the model proposed by John Grinder, a co-founder of NLP, by whom I was extensively trained during the late eighties, and with whom I have since been a student and/or friend. The other is the latest model suggested by Stanislas Dehaene, an American neuroscientist.

In "postscript" of the current essay, I further would like to introduce my own model of the human subjective experience, which I hope the readers of this essay will find interesting.

The first model, i.e., "the model of the human subjective experience a la Grinder," is shown below (you can also download the diagram from http://www.psychonautics.info/images/jg_model.gif):

Grinder is a staunch "agnostic" who remains completely silent and says nothing about whether there exists something in the "external world," or whether it does exist in the first place (according to Shankarachaya, the founder of Advaita (non-dualistic) Vedanta, whom I used to extensively study, this "external world" is something which is beyond the five senses, i.e., something which the eyes, the ears, the skins, the mouth and the nose cannot see, hear, touch, taste and smell, respectively).

On the other hand, Grinder takes the stance that all kinds of things can be said and expounded about "FA (First Access)," i.e., the subjective world one can gain one's first access with, which is created after the impulses coming from the so-called external world have gone through a series of successive transformations at the level of human neurological systems. Indeed, when I took part in Grinder's workshop held in London, the UK, in 1988, I was literally flabbergasted by his knife-edged, extensive and impeccable epistemological arguments, which could be described as nothing but a prodigy, whenever he, as a former Jesuit polemist, discussed what happens and can happen in FA.

(It may be of interest to mention here that, when I said to Grinder "You may be a 'mystical epistemologist,' while I may be an 'epistemological mystic'," he didn't specifically disagree with me (laughs).)

Incidentally, FA can be equated with "the subjective experience," "the map of the world," "virtual reality," "a computer monitor (as a metaphor)," etc. Grinder defines the entire section of the successive transformations of the inputs as "F1 (Filter 1)", and the subjective manipulations that occur after FA as "F2 (filter 2)." Examples of F2 occur when a stomach ache may be interpreted as a broken heart pain, when a construction designer visually removes a part of the bridge design, rotates it upside down, and moves it to another place, or when changes in submodalities are implemented in NLP.

With regard to Grinder's model of the human subjective experience, there are two interesting observations to make:

a) Grinder argued, while presenting his model to his students, that it is practically impossible to make the process of F1 transformations explicit, and that, if someone happens to succeed in doing so, he or she would be worth receiving a Nobel prize. Yet, through my recent study of the researches advanced by modern Western neuroscientists, I have come to be of the opinion that their scholarly investigations are the very endeavor to make the mechanism of F1 explicit.

b) When I introduced Grinder's model to the students of one of my past certification courses, one course participant then asked me "Can a certain conscious manipulation in F2 induce changes in F1 as the section consisting of the unconscious manipulations, just as is the case with the NLP 'Meta Model' technique, where a change in the client's 'Surface Structure' at the tangible and verbal level may induce changes in his or her 'Deep Structure' at the intangible and unconscious level?"

While my answer at that time was "It is surely more than possible," I am currently of the firm opinion that a change in the F2 conscious manipulations not only may induce changes of "how synapses in the relevant brain neurons are fired," but that the changes of synaptic firings thus induced also must necessarily influence the "synaptic firings of the other brain neurons" which must remain out of our awareness structure-wise and which cannot be made conscious in any means.

(With regard to this topic, I have been claiming that the "pre-NLP" methodologies which enable one to enjoy a temporary mental liberation but forces one return to the self one used to be once one goes back to the daily life on the one hand and NLP which enables one to "permanently" change one's very unseeable "subjective self" who is engaged in the act of changing the tangible part of the phenomenal world on the other hand, are totally different disciplines. The touchstone to ascertain this crucial difference is whether a change in F2 induces changes in F1 (if it doesn't, the methodology used is pre-NLP), or, in how synapses in the brain neurons are fired, for that matter.

The above being what I have been deeply experientially convinced of, from what I have experienced during my teaching of NLP for 15 years in Japan, it appears that the difference in question cannot be ascertained, unless one has gone beyond the phenomenal world even once, and/or has experimented with pre-NLP techniques including meditation and hypnosis at all.)

Incidentally, when I recently mentioned the above to a physiotherapist, he told me that the latest discoveries in neuroscience had been so important that there were now possibilities of overcoming the seemingly irreversible functional disorders on the synaptic level, such as cerebral apoplexy. I then said to him "I now very much would like to pursue my own study in neuroscience, and, in that pursue, I might happen to discover the way to functionally recover my paralyzed left hand. If such a thing turns out to be successful, then I will be able to greatly contribute to the researchers in the whole world engaged in curing cerebral disorders due to accidents, illness or aging, all the more because of my own substantial and experiential knowledge and knowhow of NLP as an advanced psychology."

The second model of the human subjective experience, which I found extremely interesting, is the "Global Neuronal Workspace (GNW)" proposed by Stanislas Dehaene, a neuroscientist, in his book "Consciousness and the Brain" (2014).

GNW is a virtual (not a material) space in which consciousness is produced by groups of neurons which are ignited in the whole brain (i.e., the "brain web") in a synchronized way like a chain reaction.

There are five types of groups of neurons related to GNW (please note that the following descriptions are based on the section "A Catalog of the Unconscious" (p190 - p197) of the book in question, and include my own interpretation):

a) The group of neurons producing "conscious thought:" These neurons are globally fired in a synchronized way, and their activation propagates in the brain web and is made conscious.

b) The group of neurons as "preconscious stimuli:" These neurons are globally fired in a synchronized way, but their neuronal system cannot be made conscious yet, because GNW (or the working memory for that matter) is currently occupied with the conscious thought and the system is still "in the waiting queue."

c) The group of neurons as "subliminal stimuli:" Despite the fact that fMRI shows that these neurons have been active somewhere in the brain, they have not been globally fired in a synchronized way to reach the brain web, and their limited activation thus has not been made conscious at all.

d) The group of neurons as "disconnected processors:" These neurons compose independent neurological systems which function outside GNW. For instance, the lung system controlled by the brainstem functions independently of GNW, and can be made conscious only in an indirect way, e.g., by means of becoming conscious of the chest movements, etc.

e) The group of neurons as "encrypted stimuli:" These neurons provide "neuronal cell information," which is hidden in complex firing patterns outside GNW, and cannot be made conscious, unless the encrypted codes are deciphered within GNW.

With regard to the above five types of groups of neurons, further exposition may be needed for the fifth type as "encrypted stimuli:"

According to a recent discovery in neuroscience, for example, there exist specific neurons which respond selectively to the face of President Clinton (this being the name of the US President at the time when the discovery was made, it should be currently renamed as President Trump). Further, these "Clinton neurons" apparently not only respond selectively to the photo of the president, but also to the sound "Clinton."

I personally wonder whether there may exist specific neurons exclusively dedicated to certain distinct functions, such as responding selectively to facial contours, facial expressions, tonal intonations, etc., and whether we may consciously recognize the identity of someone standing in front of us, only as the result of the series of unconscious collective operations of the sum total of these neuronal functions.

I further wonder whether the "Submodalities" technique of NLP may be concerned with the intrinsic information contained in each of the specific neurons exclusively dedicated to distinct functions. In this sense, the intuitive insight which Richard Bandler, a co-founder of NLP, had when he discovered submodalities by regarding a human brain as a holography, well decades before the advent of modern neuroscience, is simply awe-inspiring.

From this point of view, as far as I am concerned, there is no inherent contradiction between the discoveries which have been made by NLP as a "software psychology" since its birth of over 40 years ago and the epoch-making discoveries made by the modern neuroscience as a "hardware science," but rather these disciplines could be mutually influenced by each other in the coming years, or decades for that matter.

In conclusion, I consider that "the group of neurons as 'encrypted stimuli'" implies the fact that we can be made consciously aware of the result of the complicated collective operations of the brain web neurons exclusively dedicated to certain distinct functions, but that we can never be made conscious of the information contained in each of such distinctive neurons or groups of neurons while these operations are implemented.

If this understanding of mine proves to be correct, it appears to me that, if a certain consistent message can be encrypted in distinctive neurons before the result of the operations of the sum total of their functions is made conscious at the level of the brain web, then the effect of such an encrypted manipulation should prove to probably overwhelm that of the subliminal manipulation described in the case of the third type of group of neurons as "subliminal stimuli."

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The above is an edited version of translation of part of the original essay in Japanese. I would like to make further additional observations as a postscript:

1) There is the mention above that the Global Neuronal Workspace (GNW) "is a virtual (not a material) space in which consciousness is produced by groups of neurons which are ignited in the whole brain (i.e., the 'brain web')."

Well, this is a rather materialistic view, and it may be, from the spiritual point of view, rather better to say that GNW is a space which is made aware by the consciousness as the "pure witness," instead of considering GNW to be a space where consciousness is produced.

2) I recently have come to my own definition of "Magick" ("Magick" with "k" is a magic a la Aleister Crowley, according to whom "Magick is the science and art of causing change to occur in conformity with will").

Namely, "Magick" a la Guhen is the process of the conscious mind asking each demon (or part) responsible for taking care of a "distinct module" of the unconscious mind - which by the way corresponds with a "group of neurons" mentioned above - to deal with the whole operation of that module, so that, whatever the input of the sum total of the modules is, may produce the output at the exit level of these collective modules, which is the same - or, almost the same, for that matter - as the output the conscious mind thought would be the best and/or the most appropriate before the collective operations of these modules began.

3) The mention of 2) above is related to the following quotation from the first issue of the current newsletter:

"I coincidentally very recently read a book written by one of the New Thought thinkers, who inspired the bestseller book 'The Secret' by Ronda Burns, and discovered that this author was, over 100 years ago - which is a truly unbelievable fact - able to make crystal-clearly explicit the process of 1) conscious proposition of a problem, 2) unconscious operation of problem solving, and 3) conscious presentation of the solution, which he says is the very process of how successful people like Edison and Carnegie - equivalent to Steve Jobs in the modern time - can, either with or without the conscious knowledge that they are actually using it, come to epoch-making innovative ideas (!). Also, this problem-solving method is said to be based on the teachings of the Yogis of the ancient India."

In other words, "Magick" a la Guhen is a methodology for one to control the whole processes of the unconscious mind, not directly, but indirectly, so that one may continue to live the life one really wants to live, and in doing so, to control the whole outer world, because I believe that the total control of oneself means the control of everything.

This incidentally reminds me of the film "Lucy" featuring Scarlett Johansson.

In this film, Lucy begins to activate and control her own brain cells after taking a certain drug. The more she comes to control her own brain, the more she is enabled to control the outer world, and she ceases to be a human when she has activated 100% of her brain.

4) Incidentally, according to "one of the New Thought thinkers" whom I mentioned in 3) above, "You have never attempted to think attentively upon the particular question before you, and the facts are not co-related in the mind. It is just as if you had so many hundred pounds of anything scattered throughout the space of a large warehouse, a tiny bit here, and a tiny bit there, mixed up with thousands of other things."

I now think that, if one succeeds in surrendering to one's unconscious mind, or unconscious demons for that matter, so that these demons may attentively deal with any problems to finally deliver the best solutions to one's conscious mind, thousands of things so far scattered in the hidden corners of one's unconscious mind in a chaotic way could be rearranged in so neat a way that new unheard-of ideas can be generated.

In other words, usually the conscious and the unconscious zones of human mind are distinctly separated so that the input data coming into the conscious zone is processed only by that zone, while, in innovative minds, the boundaries between the conscious and the unconscious zones are blurred so that the input data coming into the conscious zone is processed by the whole spectrum of mind. This difference derives from the fact that, in the former case, the conscious mind can never touch the inside of the large warehouse (that is, the unconscious mind) where "a tiny bit here, and a tiny bit there, [are] mixed up with thousands of other things" in a permanent way, while, in the latter case, the conscious mind can liaise with the warehouse rather freely, so that thousands of pieces of information so far scattered within it may start to be reconnected and re-arranged. This mechanism is shown below (you can also download the diagram from http://www.psychonautics.info/images/asc.jpg):

This is the mechanism of how the human psyche can produce creativity and innovation, and I have a certain number of powerful tools (including NLP, hypnosis, meditation, hypnagogic trance, etc.) enabling their users to transform ordinary mind into innovative mind by exploiting this very psychic mechanism, which is the vey basis for why I claim that, if there happens to be only one person who could create genuine innovators including "a Japanese Steve Jobs" in Japan, then he or she must be myself.

5) Further, the remark suggested by the above New Thought thinker that "so many hundred pounds of anything scattered throughout the space of a large warehouse" can be rearranged and co-related, can be paraphrased, from the point of view of modern neuroscience, as "Once neurons, or groups of neurons or neuronal systems (e.g., internal organs) for that matter, which have not been so far connected, are made interlinked, then new neuronal circuits are bound to be created."

The way how unconnected neurons can become interlinked is very pertinently described by Joseph LeDoux, a neuroscientist, in his book "Synaptic Self" (2002) as below:

"In order for two stimuli to be bound together in mind, to become associated, the neural representations of the two events have to meet up in the brain. This means that there has to be some neuron (or a set of neurons) that receives information about both stimuli. Then, only then, can the stimuli be linked together and an association be formed between them." (p135)

(I think that LeDoux's description may turn out to be the best synaptic and/or neuronal explanation for the mechanism of how "Anchoring" (conditioned reflex) in NLP terminology works.)

Well, the above shows my own model of the human subjective experience, and is precisely how innovative ideas can be generated in the mind of someone who surrenders to his or her unconscious mind, so that the unconscious demons may deal with any problems to finally deliver the best solutions to his or her conscious mind.

Also, from the spiritual point of view, I am of the opinion that the thing which enables "the neural representations of the two events [to] meet up in the brain" and/or "some neuron (or a set of neurons) [to receive] information about both stimuli" is what is customarily called "awareness," or "the witness" ("the meta" in NLP terminology) for that matter, which I believe is something beyond the phenomenal world, by definition.

6) Of course, the mechanisms of such techniques newly developed by myself as "Mandala Fractal Reengineering (MFR)" are based on what is being discussed in the current postscript. In this sense, MFR is one of the magickal techniques a la Guhen.


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