I have noticed over the years that I pick up from other people what, I think, the other person is feeling my feelings are. Some examples. In our Recovery group, when I first took the group over, in 1993, I noticed with one person, I kept snapping at him, as I remember, while with another, I was warm. In both cases, the way I was acting and feeling were not my normal responses or feelings. There were several people coming to the group at the time. I, finally, decided I was picking up the expectations of the two people. The one has difficult relations with women and, I suspect, expected being treated harshly and the other had lots of sisters with whom I suspect he got on well, so had an expectation of warmth.
Another example. For the last several years, I have been getting better. My depression has been lifting. Since I have been unable to find work, which would have provided me with a structure, I have had to structure my days myself. By three or four years ago, I was able to get up in the morning and keep myself occupied. I enjoyed sitting in my chair and reading. It was an accomplishment to be up and occupied and I felt good about it. Then, I began to get the feeling that I was lazy and wasting time as I was sitting in my chair. I attribute the feeling to my husband and an attitude that that I think my husband was developing from my husband’s interactions with a friend and my husband’s family.
A few years ago a new woman began coming to our Recovery meeting. I would give her a ride to and from the meeting, and I remember talking to her about how I felt other people’s expectations of us influence how we feel and act. By then, I had reached the conclusion firmly because, when there were just two persons coming to the meeting, before the woman started coming, I had noticed that the other person would do things to make me angry and I would feel the visceral feelings of anger, but I knew the feelings were not my feelings, even though I felt them. I, later, talked to both the person trying to make me angry and the new woman about what I though was happening. Consistently telling the person trying to make me angry what the person was doing helped stop the person from projecting their expectations onto me.
Last April (2010), I had a major breakdown when I tried to go completely off my medication. I believe there were a number of people deliberately targeting me on the psychic level. I had a number of strange ideas and internal experiences. I had, what we call in Recovery, oodles of angry temper, vanity of knowing better, sense of exceptionality, seeking of power, imagination on fire. I felt I could get my ideas across through my psychic processes and influence the world. I now feel my illness was exploited by persons whose interests are the opposite of mine. However, I will give some of my sense of what is real coming out of the breakdown and over 33 years of dealing with psychosis.
On some level, I feel we are an amalgam of other people’s expectations of who we are. Also, I think that visualization of a person, for example looking at a photo or painting, or the bringing to memory of a person, can affect that person’s consciousness. Our religious systems deal with this, what I consider, fact. For example, I seem to remember that Islam does not allow images of people to be made. From my early religious training, I believe that Christianity and Judaism have proscriptions on thoughts about others. I think that witchcraft, from what I have read, which is little, uses visualization to affect people. I, also, suspect that there are persons in all of these spiritual systems who are aware of the ability to affect other persons’ consciousnesses and use the knowledge, some for good, some for bad.
It has been my experience that there are many people who exploit the ability to affect other’s consciousnesses. I suspect that some spiritual disciplines have developed techniques for the conscious control of others psyches. I suspect that persons who are taught such disciplines feel like the system out of which the techniques come must be true, since the techniques work. Silly.
Personally, I feel like I have been under a concerted attack for the last few years. The attack started with an attempt to isolate me completely socially. At the same time, I am quite certain, rumors were started that were intended to swamp my consciousness with sexual energy from others, the goal being to wipe out my personality and sense of self. I think there was a drive to cut off my financial support. My marriage has been under attack and there has been an attempt to get me to close the Recovery group that I lead, my main social support. To me, the persons doing the attack have been consciously and deliberately manipulating the energy of my and other’s consciousnesses in a violent way. I use Recovery spots to deal with what they are doing, quite successfully.
There has been a long tradition that nature is made up of four realms, the mental, the physical, the emotional, and the realm of impulse. The model comes out of astrology (the elements of air, earth, water, and fire), was described by Aristotle (the four humors), and is found in Recovery, in that Dr. Low described our internal worlds as being made up of thoughts, sensations, feelings, and impulses, with thoughts and impulses (air and fire – the elements of the active signs) being under the control of a person and sensations and feelings (earth and water – the elements of the passive signs) being not under the control of the person. While models of consciousness abound, the astrological model is based, at some level, on astronomical observations, the physical. Thus, the astrological organization of ideas may just be a manifestation of physical, astronomical processes.
On to a view of knowledge
We humans are good observers. We have put together a society and societal assumptions based on our observations of the world. Our modern, western assumptions are based on a tight focus on nature coming out of our understanding of physics. The laws of physics are few, and out of the laws of physics come chemistry, then biology, then psychology, then sociology. But the focus starts with the few basic laws of physics and what we have achieved in the physical technologically, based on the few simple laws, is phenomenal
The societal assumptions of western society, on which our sense of the world is based, are in the physical realm. I suspect other societies have also focused tightly on nature, but the focus was/is on a different part of nature. For example, I find astrology to be true. I suspect astrology and other arcane knowledge came out of millennia of tight focus by the early societies of the Middle East. Because we do not understand how the bizarre knowledge of such things as planets influencing personality or a life being mapped out in the palm of a hand could be true does not mean that such things are not true. I suspect nature is wider than our particular focus.
I suspect other cultures in our present society also have had tight focuses, different from ours. From what little I know of other cultures, I suspect some other modern cultures may have focused on realms other than the physical. And, I suspect, the knowledges other cultures have found are just as real, even if different, as our own knowledge, just focused on other facets of nature. And the knowledges are, I suspect, just as powerful. I repeat, I suspect all of these sets of knowledge are equally real, focused on different tight focuses on different facets of nature.