12 December 2010

Notes from a book called "Quantum Psychology: Steps Toward A Postmodern Ecology of Being"

I did a heavy room clean today and found notes from this book I was slowly digesting during my fifth year of undergrad. After reading these notes from a book written by the psychologist Stephen DeBerry, I realized that this really started a breaking point of my earlier undergrad work to the substances I worked with after these notes and continue to work from now.

Here are some favorites from these rediscovered notes:

Our Universe-> from isolated arena of fragmented and seperate objects to an ecological network of interconnected possibilities. From people as a collection of separate symptoms to a holistic concept of what it means to be alive.

"The first step is to measure whatever can be easily measured. This is okay as far as it goes. The second step is to disregard that which can't be measured or give it an arbitrary quantitative value. This is artificial and misleading. The third step is to presume that what can't be measured easily isn't very important. This is blindness. The fourth step is to say that what can't be easily measured really doesn't exist. This is suicide" - Daniel Yankelovich


"A quantum approach entails a system of probability in which all possible outcomes are considered. This does not mean that clusters or patterns do not develop from the experience of one's upbringing... patterns reflect general possibilities of tendencies of behavior, where as symptoms reflect specific events. Patterns are dynamic and interactive, whereas symptoms are static and discreet.
Psychological patterns, like waves and particles in the physical universe are interactive; they do not manifest themselves unless certain conditions exist. Interestingly enough, these conditions depend on what we are looking for as well as the methods we employ."


The everyday world in which we live clearly follows a Newtonian, classical cause and effect paradigm that is implicated in one of the central paradoxes that quantum psychology inspires. THE PARADOX IS THAT THE COMMONSENSE, ORGANIZED CASUAL WORLD WE INHABIT IS BUILT ON A STARTINGLY MYSTERIOUS, SUBATOMIC, QUANTUM WORLD. In some clandestine manner, it is the interaction of these levels of reality that results in our world being.

Epistemic dualism: a method of reasoning that distinguishes between what in principle must be true and what in reality can be accomplished.

Some concepts:
1. Complementarity "The universe can never be described in a singular, unitary matter, but rather, must be understood through multiple, overlapping reality and perspectives. Such layers of reality sometimes complement one another, but often, they are paradoxical." Niels Bohr

2. Consciousness: "If consciousness cannot affect matter, then it is the only scientific example where one system (matter) can effect another system (mind) without being affected itself." E.P. Wigner

3. The interaction of systems.

4. Non-linearity and non-locality.
  • Non-linearity: Chaos: "The irregular, unpredictable behavior of deterministic, non-linear dynamical systems and dynamics freed at last from the shackles of order and predictability... systems liberated to randomly explore their every dynamical possibility... exciting variety, richness of choice, a cornucopia of opportunity." Gleick
  • Non-locality: the ability to comprehend something like the actuality of 1 billion people or god
    "Questioning makes one open, makes one sensitive, makes one humble. We don't suffer from our questions, we suffer from our answers. Most of the mischief in the world comes from people with answers, not from people with questions." -John Needleman
Quantum Buttons (based on non-local theories of quantum mechanics)
  • Can be thought of as emotional triggers
  • Represent sensitive configurations of consciousness that are often below our level of awareness (prelinguistic)
  • Resonate in and activate unconscious or split-off parts of early perverbal emotional memories
Quantum Effects: ripples; wavelike after effects of the triggered event (artistic creations, especially music)

Schizoid Phenomena: Indicates a division or split within the mind, and therefore are, in every general way, related to the problem of consciousness.

Psychological dimensions that are affected by schizoid conditions are:
  1. Behavior– becomes inconsistent and situational
  2. Emotions- represented primarily as a psychological process affected by schizoid phenomena (split off from awareness)
  3. Thoughts- thoughts and emotions are two complimentary modes of processing information
  4. Sensations
  5. Imagery

11 December 2010

Less Seriously

Allowing myself to not take myself seriously has made the world of a difference, and I owe a lot of it to the wise words of George Carlin found on YouTube, on The View no less.

To see the entire video click here. Below is a translation of him speaking from 3:55 to 4:33. I highly recommend watching all of it, though. Its chock full of excellence on his part.

"When I first changed the kind of stuff I was doing in the late sixties–– I had been a suit and tie comic out of the fifties and I had short hair and all that–– and I realized I was doing the wrong thing for the wrong people and I let myself change into more of a freer (if you would use the word hippie) look and attitude and I realized that, um, I said to my wife at that time when I changed I said, "You know even if I only filled coffeehouses three days a week for the rest of my life I'd be happy doing that." And when you let go of goals and stuff, I mean the attachment to goals–– that's when things come to you. You should have an end point, but not a thing like that."

24 July 2010

Loss of Magic

I've been thinking about how things deeply affect you at a certain point in your life, and then as age and knowledge progress the effects in relation to the same thing is diminished.  Not just in respect to art but in respect to practically everything and the loss of magic when


knowledge is gained

romance is lost

ability conquers desire.


The distinct thing that attracts the current you and can override age and wisdom is when a certain aura of a thing resonates with you, undeniably a visceral reaction that cannot be overruled by any logic. Art and landscape can have the most profound power in these terms, however it seems to change over time what those specific things are–– because you and your world are constantly changing, which in turn changes relationships between yourself and something that is commonly perceived as static.


What remains a constant is that certain alchemical reaction that creates magic. However the elements-- you and a certain thing (place/object/situation), are the variables in the setting of time. The same object, therefore, ten years from before might not create the same reaction anymore because you are chemically a different being. Your relationship to this certain thing now has a history. You cannot perceive it without a deep remembrance of a previous exchange and therefore the reality of the current relationship is now defined through remembrance instead of presence, unless the “same” thing can generate something new to your new self with the right chemistry to create magic. 

29 March 2010

Mono studies

Color studies

Coping as Indulgence or Vice Versa

In my studio the past few weeks I've been thinking about the concept of coping. I've had a tumble of a first year in grad school because I've been trying to take apart and analyze my painting which turns to analyzing my life in the same manner.

In this I realize that painting can function to me as a method of coping with the things I find so frustrating with being in a consumer culture–– because the fact is I indulge in it as much as I am critical of it, and that gives me no ground to criticize it. (I believe there's a huge difference between being critical and criticizing–– one implies judgment and the other does not.) And when deconstructing my work I become stuck–– nothing productive comes out of it which means not enough painting!

A studio visit last week from Nigel Rolfe brought out his observation that all the problem solving is happening in my head, not the canvas. I agreed, and we both agreed that this needed to change. Problems must be solved in the painting! So what does that mean? Indulging in paint, coping with the culture and indulging and playing instead of just being critical. I shouldn't take myself so seriously all the time, I suppose. I don't know if I'll ever know how to criticize my culture properly without becoming a big giant hypocrite, and I think that is a good thing.

Once I made the decision to indulge in painting again, I exploded all over this eight by ten foot canvas that has been making fun of me all semester and finally slammed it done. My current hypothesis is that this frustration is a huge part of the fuel for my emotive content, and maybe that instead of trying to find a way to criticize, I can be more honest and sincere if I articulate my frustration of being unable to criticize, because boy oh boy do I love indulging in the things that I know I shouldn't indulge in.