Journal of Projective Psychology and Mental Health: Volume 21, Number 2, July 2014 Editorial
|1. Editorial: Religious Symbols and Astronomical Projections, Wilfred A. Cassell, pages 65-67.
Please be forewarned. This editorial may activate introspective, spiritual connected cognitions having neurophysiologic-linked emotionally charged memories. These may prove potentially psycho-spiritually disturbing! In completing the following mental exercise, it might be subjectively helpful to keep in mind the philosophical law: “No pain, no gain”.
Let us as researchers, clinicians and SIS Body-Mind-Spirit theoreticians be introspectively courageous, as we examine the currently unknowable infinite like boundaries of our human “Body-Planet-Cosmos enclosed ego/spirit”. Since what astronomers refer to as the “Big Bang” origin of the Cosmos, human life represents a mere flash in a geologic time scale.
I now invite you to pause, withdraw attention from the outer world of social reality. When subjectively ready, then enter your private psychic world by personally meditating. Next, if you benefit internally from a rich religious foundation, activate this personal positive affect linked spiritual imagery in conscious awareness, subjectively utilizing its faith based religious symbols.
Hopefully these Body-Mind-Spirit preliminary exercises have now created an optimal subjective state for personally preparing for directly perceiving the “Face of Ultimate Death without Blinking”! Remember to ignore any negative thoughts/emotions if they attempt to encroach on your positive experience in your God given introspective inner world. Always be optimistic about the multiple benefits from such meditation. Afterwards recall the ever more fascinating state of the art SIS electronic diagnostic/treatment technology currently under clinical research development. However, this editorial invites each reader to primarily focus on “Death Dogma”.
Focusing on issues related to SIS stimulated spiritual imagery has a sound scientific historical basis. It may be recalled that in the manual for SIS-I entitled “BODY SYMBOLISM” first published in 1980 there was a chapter entitled “Death Anxiety”. It began with the observation that “Humans appear to be the only creatures with a fear of death”. In this connection, it provided clinical evidence regarding the diagnostic/treatment use of the SIS-I. However, “Death Dogma” in regard to the role of organized religion was only briefly discussed.
The chapter on sexuality also introduced the use of the SIS in exploring psychological defense mechanisms based on projected religious symbolism. The latter presented data indicating that certain subjects who were anxious while viewing inkblot structure suggestive of the female genitalia defended against recognizing the embedded somatic content by projecting the Christian symbol of “Jesus on a cross”. As a result of clinically based phenomenological oriented observations, it was then concluded that “Religious defenses can be healthy when they assist the individual in guarding against socially unacceptable behaviors, but they can be unhealthy when they inhibit or interfere with optimal sexual functioning”.
In addition, this journal has presented several studies concerning the intimate relationship between sexuality and spirituality through dream image linkage. Appropriate SIS stimulated spiritual dream therapy may provide an effective adjunct to traditional treatment procedures.
The above studies now set the conceptual stage for a theoretical formulation of “Death Dogma” religious symbolism based upon 21st century SIS projective theory. Recall the use of Content Analysis for the Rorschach test, when scoring for projected imagery depicting “Human” content. Then for the purposes of transferring this projective procedure’s theoretical foundation in an analogous fashion to the early Roman and Greek astronomers who named celestial bodies (e. g. “Jupiter”- the largest planet was named after the supreme god of the Roman pantheon “Venus - the god of love and beauty, “Mars” - the god of war etc.). In this perceptual model, for them the night sky was full of Rorschach inkblot-like ambiguous shapes. These provided ambiguously structured flickering visual stimuli onto which they projected their body-mind- spirit fantasies. As illustrated, many of their “Celestial Ink Blots” were said to resemble Gods in human-like form.
Next, imagine how even earlier cultures having intelligent, but still astronomically naïve illiterate viewers interpreted the solar system objects in their visual field. One example involves the Stonehenge people 4000 to 4500 years ago. The reader might consider how such folks might similarly use the mental mechanism of projection to cognitively support irrational, yet emotionally comforting positive fantasies regarding their crops and birth cycle. Moreover they enriched their primitive religious projections with the fantasy of a “Living Spirit” moving out of the deceased person’s body to be magically stored in architecture, which is illustrated in Figure one.
They had created what at the time was a comparatively advanced cooperative social system on our planet earth. Archeological research suggests that they planned for this form of storage until release to their sun god exactly when the rays of sunshine accurately moved down a precise solar aligned constructed architectural passage at the equinox. With regard to the deceased souls, this simultaneously defended them from their sense of loss and as well their own “Death Anxiety”.
It might be noted that their positive religious based culture ultimately fell victim to invading warriors who possessed superior weapons of metal. (One fears that this historical principle “Military Might over Right” as a truism will be again repeated in the 21st century.)
Many centuries later, more advanced religious doctrine incorporated the following notion: that beyond having an omnipotent Divine human-like power figure in the fantasized beautiful “Heaven”, there was envisioned a God representing humans living on earth. Since I am more familiar with Christianity, this will be the major religion to be examined through the conceptual lens of SIS theory.
In this particular illustration, the historical leader selected was Jesus Christ. He is said to have been born of a virgin mother and suffered for mankind’s sins. He was crucified on the cross 2014 years ago and shortly afterwards on Easter was resurrected. His resurrection is claimed to offer the hope to all Christians of having their sins on earth forgiven and like him an opportunity to survive spiritually after their body‘s demise. In this religious symbolic model, ultimately their souls are imagined to be transferred after death to a beautiful fantasized space. This was envisioned somewhere hidden in the sky, spatially located in the yet structurally undefined location in “Heaven”. Their adherent’s religious art depicted bestial loving “Angels” (i.e. humanoid forms with wings) to fly them after death to their sky extraterrestrial spatial spiritual setting promising loving intimacy with God.
Eventually this hopeful but irrational view was refined by various Christian groups. In the modern world the largest being the Roman Catholic Church. Their clergy eventually established a power hierarchy having publicly celibate male clergy, with the most spiritually powerful person the omnipotent Pope, who was in the early church claimed to be “infallible”.
In regard to their religious projections, it may be recalled how rigidly the Catholic clergy asserted their astronomical ignorance and held authoritarian murderous views. They insisted that our planet earth was both flat, as well as the center of the universe. Recall that certain original astronomers, such as Copernicus paid with their lives as victims of sadistic murder for asserting more reality based astronomical thinking.
For the sake of historical authenticity, it must be recognized that years later the modern Catholics in Rome issued a public apology for committing the above outlined historical crime. Being previously publicly humiliated by their scientific ignorance, certain more scientifically oriented members (e.g. Jesuits) currently scan the Cosmos with their own modern telescopes.
In the 21st century the “Death Dogma” spiritual foundation of this now internationally powerful religious/political/economic organization is being challenged. As an economic example, in Alaska this organization pays limited taxes (e.g. to support mental health services) yet is the second biggest employer). Moreover currently in the modern world young people are avoiding seeking celibate roles of religious service in clergy operated schools. Consequently today’s Catholics are approaching voters to obtain state legislation to pay their religious schools that support their particular interpretation of Christian Dogma and symbolism.
Apart from the above, these male religious scholars in their tiny Italian Rome based country have more fundamental challenges. Some of these relate to the rising power of women worldwide. Many women would prefer that they would be on the top of the social power scale like tribe of Lemurs are in Madagascar. Concurrent with this, certain female clergy are pressing for more meaningful religious roles traditionally fulfilled by men. Now even more challenging to fundamental Catholic dogma is an argument proposed by intellectually empowered Catholic nuns. They psychologically project the image of a feminine persona on the divine image of God, as a “Maternal” rather than “Paternal” humanoid projection
There are a multitude of related complex, potentially inflammatory, religious issues too complex for review in this brief editorial. Yet it remains a challenge for so motivated SIS scientists to professionally move beyond traditional clinical issues. Our technology and in-depth knowledge foundation enables us to assist those open minded religious scholars to scientifically sort out the positive spiritual content from the negative. Those contemplating this challenge are advised to prepare for “Facing the Rage” of clergy, who preach “The love of Jesus” but, who when aspects of their dissolving dogma are found false, generate “Hate” in their hearts. .
Lastly, the following simple and brief “Poem” is presented to resonate with the pessimistic thinking of those readers who are confirmed atheists: “THEY SAY THERE IS PIE IN THE SKY WHEN YOU DIE BUT IT IS A LIE!” (Note: While the author does not believe that there is “Pie in the sky”, one is hopeful about the possibility of some basic validity to the religious dogma of the world’s great organized religions.) .
Apart from exploring the validity and efficacious aspects of religious symbols and rituals, there are many other ultimate issues warranting open minded scientific study faced by members of our SIS society. For example, an existential problem faced by all involves contemplating the time-limited nature of human life, one’s own body’s aging and inevitable death. Another highly stressful life situation pertains to that of inevitably having to endure experiencing the demise of your loved ones (fellow humans and sometimes for those with psychological sophistication, grief secondary to the loss of the loving spirits residing in certain other close animal friends).
On a much more grandiose Cosmic time scale, the serious philosophical SIS scientist needs to contemplate the potential impact on a human’s sense of identity, as the astronomers now predict sooner or later the discovery of other forms of intelligent life in the Cosmos. In a related fashion to this discovery, since the release of extensive data concerning Americans was released into space by Voyager I and II, theoretically aliens with super weapons might decode the message and visit our planet acting in a warlike fashion. Finally for futuristic thinkers, the astronomer predicted the demise of our solar dependent planet also provides substance for “Nightmares”.
In a more realistic fashion, I propose that a pressing goal for our SIS Society involves the future development of valid “Diagnostic” population screening scales to aid government authorities in identifying deranged “Borderline” psychotic religious terrorists. This form of “Preventative Medicine” needs serious immediate consideration. It appears that our planet has become flooded with loosely controlled weapons of mass destruction.
Let us act now!
2. SIS Incites Long Term PTSD Combat Memories and Survivor Guilt, Wilfred A. Cassell, Tyrone Charles, Bankey L. Dubey and Halia Janssen, pages 68-80.
The case study involves a near fatal Alaskan Brown bear attack experienced in 2013 by a Vietnam veteran, who had been severely stressed on two separate combat occasions during the Vietnam War. These occurred when the helicopter in which he was riding shot down. While he survived two of his colleagues crashed near death. He also experienced the combat death of comrades which ultimately led to developed deep seated PTSD suffering. Gradually (without therapy) over the years, his subjective awareness of such discomfort faded in intensity. Eventually after the war, he was able to work as a mechanic, got married and relocated to Anchorage, Alaska. In December 2013, he shared a near fatal Alaskan Brown bear attack experienced the previous September when hunting alone in a remote region. The Somatic Inkblot Series (SIS) helped him in reliving combat trauma in PTSD dreams. The interview through Somatic imagery is discussed in the case study.
3. Gender-Specific Personality Differentials of Suicide Ideation among Adolescents, Umed Singh and Kamlesh Rani, pages 81-89.
The present study aimed at the exploration of gender-specific projective and psychometric personality indicants of suicide ideation. For this, 300 Senior Secondary School students (150 females & 150 males) randomly drawn from various schools of Gurgaon and Delhi, were administered with Beck Scale for Suicide Ideation, SIS-II and Neo-FFI. The obtained data were analyzed by Descriptive Statistics, t-ratios, Pearson’s Correlations, and Principal Component Factor Analysis. The t-ratios revealed female students to score significantly high on Suicide Ideation, Human, Animal, Movement, Most Typical, Neuroticism, and low on Anatomy, Extraversion, and Conscientiousness. Correlations and Factor Analysis depicted structured overlap between suicide ideation and personality variables. Neuroticism, Extraversion, Movement, Depression, and Hostility & Aggression have emerged as most common correlates of suicide ideation in male and female students. It suggests Personality-Suicide-Constellation Index consisting of N+, E-, M+, D+ and HAS+. The findings further suggest the need of large scale investigation of personality correlates of suicide on both suicide ideation and attempt.
4. Transference and Equal Status Transference: A Relational Probe into Sibling Jealousy, Nilanjana Sanyal, pages 90-97.
The formats of a society and the flow of life therein are its interpersonal bonds. In the relational matrix in life, the possibilities of health and ill health are equally prominent. Healthy relationships are avenues of happiness and well-being; unhealthy relationships invite pathologies in the system. In the current scenario, sibling jealousy, a very common relational bond, is found to affect interpersonal context in a major negative direction. Hence, the need to unfurl the dynamics behind it in the line of transferential bonds in life has been felt. In the context, the concept and contribution of “scripts' ' as an early experiential product and the “script imago” have been discussed. The implications of these in transference, countertransference, equal status transference and narcissistic transference have been drawn to have a relational probe into sibling jealousy. Conclusion hints at the point that health or ill-health fringes in relationship-context are the by-product of quality of early experiences in life that has to be taken care of by parental figures regarding dependent ones.
5. Early Abusive Experiences and Psychological Consequences: a Study with Institutionalized Children, Pritanka Mondal and Sanjukta Das, pages 98-103.
Children without parental care are at high risk for abuse and neglect. Hence a large number of these children end up in institutional care. Inadequate individual care may cause social and emotional impairment in children; maltreatment may also influence the child’s psyche. The lack of trust in primary bonding may be a possible precursor to the victim becoming an offender. The objective was to explore the psyche of the abused children and further find out whether there is any difference in the psyche of sexually abused and neglected children through projective technique. The sample consisted of 10 boys and girls. Amongst them 5 are with history of sexual abuse and 5 are with experience of neglect. All the participants were from low socioeconomic backgrounds. The Indian adaptation of Children Apperception Test Animal Form (Chaudhry, 1967) was used. Results indicated that children are inhibited and withdrawn in interpersonal relations. The common pattern of response reported was displaced aggression towards a significant person in life. Sexually abused children showed morbid fears for strangers and difficulty in social adjustment. The neglected group found the environmental resources. Overall findings suggest that psychological deprivation has a significant influence in the psyche of the child. Psychological insight to the psychosocial problem associated with abusive experiences may enrich the provision for psychological assistance to the children.
6. Stress, Coping and Emotional Processing in Chronic Pain: A Comparative Analysis, Ushri Banerjee, N.K. Bhattacharya and Nilanjana Sanyal, Pages 104-112.
The present study has attempted to assess daily hassles stress, coping and emotional processing in two groups of Chronic Pain patients- viz. Chronic Headache and Chronic Low Back Pain and further compared the groups with a Normal group. The sample comprised of 22 patients suffering from Chronic Headache (CH) (Group 1),18 patients suffering from Chronic Low Back Pain (CLBP) (Group 2) and 20 matched Normal Controls (NC) (Group 3).They were administered Daily Hassles Checklist (Basu,2005), Ways of Coping Questionnaire (Folkman & Lazarus, 1985) and Emotional Processing Scale (Baker et al. 2007). The results obtained were analysed by using Mean, S.D., Rank-Difference Coefficient of Correlation and Kruskal-Wallis One Way ANOVA as well. The obtained findings revealed that the CH and CLBP groups differed on the Escape Avoidance and Planful Problem Solving subscales of Coping as well as on the total Emotional Processing scores and its subscales- Signs of Unprocessed Emotion, Unregulated Emotion and Impoverished Emotional Experience. The CH and NC groups differed significantly on Escape Avoidance subscales of Coping and Avoidance and Impoverished Emotional Experience subscales of Emotional Processing. The CLBP and NC groups differed significantly on Signs of Unprocessed Emotion subscale of Emotional Processing. Significant relationship was found between certain subscales of coping and some of the factors of Emotional Processing for the CH and CLBP groups.
7. Effect of Age and Education on SIS-II Percepts, Nidhi Verma and Umed Singh, pages 113-118.
Psychological measurement that require subjects to interpret ambiguous stimuli have long been labeled projective tests, but because the degree to which projection shapes responses to these stimuli is unclear, recently these instruments have been described as free-response tests (Bornstein, 2007;Meyer et al, 2001).Free response tests assess “implicit” aspects of personality, i.e. traits, motives, and need states that shapes behavior automatically and reflexively, often without awareness on the past of the person that his or her responses are affected by these factors (Mc.Clelland,1989) whatever the specific nature of ambiguous stimuli may be (e.g., inkblots, drawings, pictures, incomplete sentences), the fundamental challenge encountering the subject engaged in free response (projective) test is to attribute meaning to stimuli that can be interpreted in multiple ways.
8. SIS-II Profile of Patients with Thalassemia, S.K. Bhogta, S. Roy, M. Jahan, K.S.Sengar and A.R.Singh, pages 119-121.
Thalassemia is one of the common genetic diseases. The present study intends to investigate the personality profile of patients suffering from thalassemia through the Somatic Inkblot Series Test (SIS-II). Thirty patients attending the Thalassemia Control Unit of Malda Medical College & Hospital, Malda, (WB) were administered the SIS-II test and were compared with 30 normal controls. The findings reveal significant differences between two groups on Total number of responses, Human (H), Animal (A), Sex, Movement, Most Typical, Typical, Pathological Anatomy Scale, Depression and Hostile & aggression responses.
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