Ming the Mechanic:
Pretending

The NewsLog of Flemming Funch
 Pretending2003-10-28 17:05
17 comments
picture by Flemming Funch

Andy Borrows quotes Milton Erickson, the famous therapist and inventor of clever hypnotic patterns that often helped people change in rather miraculous ways:
"Well, let's pretend... that you're a therapist who works with people. The most important thing... when you're pretending this... is to understand... that you are really not... You are just pretending... And if you pretend really well, the people that you work with will pretend to make changes. And they will forget that they are pretending... for the rest of their lives. But don't you be fooled by it."
Indeed. Any therapist should be very clear on that. But it is a secret. Most people are not so good at pretending if they know they're pretending. We usually need to fool ourselves in thinking we're doing something more. That there are really good reasons for being the way we are. So, if we need to change, we'll often need a whole support scaffolding around our new way of being, which makes it look perfectly reasonable and unavoidable that this is now the way it is. A good therapist will help people feel that it is perfectly reasonable and normal to be a different person from now on. It is all just pretend. But so is everything else.


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17 comments

28 Oct 2003 @ 22:24 by Paul Hughes @24.205.195.242 : why pretend, when it can be real?
Why pretend when it can be real? Yes, yes, I know. But siriusly, years of talk therapy will do little except affect changes at the mental level, but the real changes, the ones that last forever, and feel absolutely great, escatic, healing to the core, full of love, life, energy and fun happen at the feeling-healing-kinesthetic level. Real therapy happens at the body level.  


28 Oct 2003 @ 23:30 by waalstraat : You see Ming
You see Ming there is so much Info in just one sec. that it is hard to filter out what is important and what is not, etc etc etc...we have to abstract...that abstracting process is called Gestalting...So our lives in short are our novels or stories,which in turn affect us as we are writing them and affect others as they are writing their Story or Novel which affects our novels.
So the question we have to asks ourselves is what kind of stories, or novels yields healthy, rich, and meaningful outcomes for ourselves and those we interact with...
From this standpoint we are all insane "out of contact with Reality" because it is impossible to enfold reality...but their are healthy insanities, and horrid insanities and all the shades of gray in between...it is weird all these novel living there live together either revising or getting mold and sometimes both...
I think a healthy story is not a matter of content but a matter of it process, being in cooperative harmony with realtiy--eg, we do not conquer MT.Everest and get to the top; instead, we cooperate correctly with Mt.Everest and get to the Top... Thanks for the link Ming...that would sound better if your name was MINK..well with a Russian or Jewish accent it is...  



29 Oct 2003 @ 02:11 by shawa : Agreeing with Paul...
...above. Why pretend, when reality is the best therapy, ever!  


29 Oct 2003 @ 02:20 by waalstraat : Yes
I share that same story with you and Paul Shawa, and we can have a great deal of agreement on that especially about talk therapies but when I talk to your unconscious as I am doing now Shawa as well as your conscious mind and your unconscious mind to Paul as well as your conscious mind if you feel me trustworthy now, and you understand I want Shawa and Paul to florish, and live the full life that Paul describes, than my words which may penetrate to the deeper layers of your minds can have that feeling kinetic effects that you and Paul are talking about and which I fully agree with.
However, it is not the talk in talk therapy which doesn't work, its the lack of the I/thou relationship that is sadly often lacking. It's the brother and sister feeling needing help , and a loving projection screen feeling and perception that is lacking (on the part of the so-called therapist). What doesn't working is seeing someone as a client or patient...okay for a catagory but not how you relate to someone...and I'm not sure its even okay as a catagory...Still I have to agree, what often happens in talk therapy is either the person seeking the therapy takes on the therapist agenda and starts to talk like Woody Allen, or fails to, and the therapy is a bust in the usual way rather than the former one.
Milton Erikson did not use that type of talk therapy. He penetrated the person's deeper mind, avoiding his own agenda, using ambiguous suggestions like "the gardener in you knows how to plant your garden, refurbish it, make it healthy again, so that it flourishes, and can provide seeds for many others" is something he might have said to someone who was crazy about gardening. So anyway as they say in Hoboken,,,don't throw away the dishes with the dishwater" or something like that  



29 Oct 2003 @ 06:07 by ming : Reality
The point is exactly that what you pretend well enough IS reality. So, yes, of course it is about what you can feel and live and breathe. Talking is such a small part of living. All the senses need to be there. But the wonderful news is that despite any dismal state of reality, it is possible to change our minds and make it different. And if we change our mind, and our feelings, and we start perceiving something different, soon enough it will be very real. The key is to realize the tremendous power inherent in our ability to choose.  


29 Oct 2003 @ 06:31 by waalstraat : Yes Ming
I have been playing around with that aspect of mind a long long time, and in your terms "really believing" can be translated in my terms to reaching the unconscious level of mind. So your belief is a form of suggestion system or a form of programming the mind. There are two interesting facts about the unconscious mind 1. It loves to follow suggestions if they reach it...thus hypnosis is like having a direct line to your unconscious, as is self hypnosis. So really believing in a new scenario, is a form of self hypnosis in the form of a non-material applet for the mind. That's the first thing. 2.The second thing is a cause to be really careful. For although the unconscious mind is very pliable and wants to follow suggestions (suggestive)it is also very pliable. You have to believe in very concrete outcomes. Here is an example. I once had a terrible job, but it paid me enough to give me painting supplies and contribute my share to supporting my child and her mom. I couldn't see anyway to get out of that job at the time. So I created a reality that I was out of the job, that I was home full time, and that I was painting. I visualized, and I believed, with all my heart and might, it would come true. A few days later I had put in a whole days work, and it was a difficult day because NYC had 70 to 100 (112 to 160kmph) mile per hour winds that day. Anyway I was just leaving work, and from about 150 yards away (137 meters) by a construction site, a plywood board about 5X4 feet, 3/4 of an inch thick flew up in the air and was wobble flying in my direction...using my onboard computer I figured that if I stood still the probability of its hitting me was very small...10 minutes later I woke up with a crowd of guys all around me, and my arm broken clean through. I got disability, and was able to paint 9 months, albeit with a cast on my left arm and I paint left handed, so I had to paint right handed, but I got disability because it happened on the grounds where I worked, the only thing is my orthopedist informed me that if my arm hadn't raised up to protect my head by reflex I probably would have been decapitated....just a little hint...about paradigms that are valid, but....  


29 Oct 2003 @ 08:19 by ming : Getting what you ask for
Yeah, you couldn't have painted so well without your head, of course. Yes, I do believe we can get pretty much whatever we want if we get through to our sub-conscious or super-conscious. But the problem is when we're not specific enough. And it is very hard to crate a complete reality that doesn't leave big chunks of it up to chance. We get what we clearly ask for, but it might be surprising how we get it.  


29 Oct 2003 @ 10:27 by Paul Hughes @24.205.195.242 : re: Reality
Yes, I know what we pretend, "to believe becomes true or is true within certain limits to be determined by experience and experiment, and those beliefs are to be transcended. In the province of the mind there are no limits" - John Lilly. But when it comes to things like NLP, and positive thinking, talk therapy and other "mental" exercises, although they can certainly change our perceptions to a certain extent, they are ultimately cosmetic changes on top of an unchanged emotional substrate. To magnify this example, I have yet to meet anyone who has taken any amount of psychedelics over any extended periods of time, even those who taken it 1000 + times over 30+ years have ever changed their basic low-level imprinting by these psychedelics alone. They always come back to baseline, and eventually the "neurotic" patterns re-exert themselves. Any real changes come from embracing REALITY directly, honestly, and remaing open to ecstatic present moment that is there, if we relax our mind and body to allow that to come thru. When that is done, the real, permanent healing happens. No going back to baseline, but permanent healing and integration. Just my two cents. :-)  


29 Oct 2003 @ 10:39 by Andy @81.103.145.170 : How do you know?
How do you know what is reality and what is pretence?  


29 Oct 2003 @ 10:54 by Paul @24.205.195.242 : re: How do you know?
Yes, how do we know anything - this is the root of epistimological inquiry. I'm talking about healing. When you embrace, and by embrace I mean FEEL Reality (whatever it happens to be), when you feel the present moment physically thru your body - kinesthetically - you open yourself up to real healing and positice life-affirming change. Don't take my word for it, try it yourself! :-)  


29 Oct 2003 @ 11:22 by waalstraat : Paul
I think you are being kind of dualistic. Psychedelics taught me to let go of trying to control or I would have and will have bad trips...a couple breakups and sudden poverty on top of that taught me never to take a look at the big picture when trying to solve a life problem; for all looks black under stress, instead go step by step and eventually it always worked out (so far).Painting taught me to constantly work on breaking my habits not divest myself of certain techniques but hold off on them to allow creative breakthroughs to occure or I'll end up doing bernards of bernard that are just rip of myself...now I am no shnook...all those learnings that I learned in certain areas and in certain situations, I apply in many other types of situations, but I have slowly become reductive, to where I find the best form of self therapy, is centering, responding to the moment, and being mindful...however there is alway a certain verbal inner cognitive dialogue processing all experiences and mediating them too...much of my inner broadcasting has been reduced, but sometimes it serves a function and has value....it's best to be a scientist (experimental) and artist (intuitive and a shaman) and to take the paths that will yield the greatest degrees of freedom, (testable and empirically verifyable)for yourself and others. Perhaps these words for instance may be the key that opens certain aha experience up for Andy or others, it may a non-kinetic key...that doesn't mean any can gain from spending twelve years in therapy...however cognitive/shmognative, kinetic/drekretic, conative/woneative, ideologies will get one no where in life...centering, experimenting, and experiencing and slowing it all down, will reap benefits for anyone...there is no sincle magical approach except to stay open....and paul give me any response you have to this, kinetically rather than verbally....  


29 Oct 2003 @ 11:46 by ming : Kinesthetic
I also tend to prefer a kinesthetic way of embracing and evolving reality. We can more easily fool ourselves without getting anywhere if we use just words, or just pictures in our mind for that matter. But, really, I think the trick is to do all of it. You probably won't change a deeply ingrained reality by just a few positive affirmations that you don't entirely believe. But you might do it if you both say it, and see it, and feel it, and smell it, and you go out and act accordingly.  


29 Oct 2003 @ 12:25 by waalstraat : Right on My Man
Wholistic, there we go....  


29 Oct 2003 @ 13:07 by jewel : There is no Reality
OK, all points taken. But I'd go back to Ming's main point- a Big Secret to 'therapists' (those who witness and perhaps provide frameworks/ tools for 'change') is that we pretend the persona/mask is Self... and well, magically ther eis much to argue ultimately there is no Self, no ultimate Reality. No fixed Point where Time/Space/Centre 'begins and ends'. (Classifications always break down-- String Theories, sub-atomic, etc.) So, magically speaking. We embody patterns. See that news recently about the universe perhaps being a dodectrhedron, yes? So, the only reality is the evolving morphing ideas of change, matrices and patterns that form Creation. So, there are many whirlds as I always say... but Ultimately no One World. What do we share? Space, patterns, ideas... that when sequenced correctly, can manifest Life. Puppet masters and the puppets. Finding something to 'do' with eternity/ infinity. I would however agree that there are outer 'fragments' of 'reality' that are =less= real, than some Revealing Reality that is more 'organic'... in it's own ebb and flow of 'energies', atmospheres... the alchemical soup that we are all spinning around in....  


29 Oct 2003 @ 13:32 by waalstraat : Wow, well said,
J. and I agree with your perspective completely,,,,however it is also a great story in support of a pragmatic, eclectic approach to working with ones own stories, and supports the idea that life is the creation of a novel, that when it is working mirrors reality. Which does not contradict Ming, in fact supports his hypothesis, and which I believe is not ideological....by the way you look so young to be pondering issues like this...I saw your pic in your profile, by the way what is your mommy's name, it is your mommy holding you...isn't it?  


29 Oct 2003 @ 14:32 by gooo gooo @81.86.69.168 : I forgot I don't know such big words
Existentialism,anyone? I'll stick with Wonder via my Babe's eyes... Yes,, I like the idea of eclectical yet sequential approaches... I've always seen my life as a Waking Mythos... as in the Deeper Reality, before one goes so Deep, as to fall out, inside out, and discover... there is NO Thing... There...  


29 Oct 2003 @ 22:36 by waalstraat : Gosh Oh Source
A Sister!---I have found the same thing...says this walking, talking eating, sexing, loving, toughing,babyessing life novel without an author--titled no-one there's amazing wonderful effort to wipe out suffering or (sub-titled) Bernard Dov Wisser...That is why I call my novel (in the works, almost finished)(I mean the paper novel is almost finished--well the life novel is not so far from an end too) "I do Art, I do life, Life does Me...Glad to meet you Sister-no one-There,and baby...  


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