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Energizer
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Nice.
"We judge a book by its cover and read what we want between selected lines" - W. Axl Rose, circa 1992.
Energizer
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Alright - I want to keep this thread afloat, so here's something that is potentially controversial, but isn't intended to be. Please don't over-react. It's supposed to be food for thought.

Psychodynamic theory can be applied to the UK public's response to David Blaine's ‘Above The Below’ stunt. A recent (well, OK, not so recent anymore) TV poll concluded that about three quarters or so thought that Blaine's efforts were a waste of time, stupid, he had his head up his own behind etc. He was awarded the 2004 Luvvie award by ITV for having the world's biggest ego. Anecdotally, many would say things like "Oh he's a great sleight-of-hand artist, but these glass-box-goings-on are stupid".

In my analysis, based on sound psychodynamic concepts, the reason why Blaine became so unpopular was because he became a substitute Osama Bin Laden for the population at large. In other words he was seen by many people, in unconscious fantasy, as a possible threat. Through interaction and conversation, and encouraged also by the media, people colluded in a mutual unconscious collective defensive manouevre with each other. A group defense. And as a result of this mechanism, an emotional climate of cynicism and hostility towards Blaine emerged. In other words, he was scapegoated for the events of 9/11. Nobody consciously held David Blaine responsible for what happened, but unconsciously, irrationally and in phantasy he WAS held responsible by the majority of the British public.

This may sound stupid and illogical. But remember, we are talking about people's unconscious minds.

Both consciously and unconsciously, many would have seen Blaine as representing the unknown. It has been argued that people fear the unknown. But further than this, it is my firm belief many British people adopted the irrational viewpoint, although unconscious even to themselves, that Blaine represented the face of terror. He was unwelcome, mysterious, impossible to get rid of ...

As a friend put it, nothing unites a crowd like a common enemy. In other words, Blaine was being psychologically mobbed. He became a hate figure, an object of ridicule, rage, jealousy etc, onto which negative emotions could be projected (and we all need hate figures, right?). After the awful and tragic events of 9/11, a tremendous amount of fear and anxiety had been aroused in the Western world, and for Londoners, this psychic energy found an outlet, target or object in Blaine. He set himself up as a sitting duck to be the object of aggression and other unsavoury emotions.

Using people or groups as tools (i.e. receptacles) to help maintain and/or defend our psychological equilibrium is thought to be quite a common mechanism (for example when an infant hurts himself and looks to his mother for how to react. If the child is very upset he may throw a tantrum, and take out his anger on his mother. Hopefully his mother will be psychologically health enough to contain the infants strong emotions and feed them back to him in an ‘easier to digest form’). We project and transfer our emotions (whether positive or negative) onto others. This is what happened to Blaine.


Like the unlucky child who is bullied by other children in the school yard, Blaine provided an emotional conduit through which anger, aggression, fear could be displaced...

On top of this, Blaine actually resembles Bin Laden in certain respects. That swarthy look, thus dull, dark eyes, the same skin tone etc ... He was also, like an extremist, seen to be watching the wider population from a distance, while being invulnerable to our influences. He was among us, yet seperate from us. Like a terrorist, he was untouchable. All we could do was watch him with impotent rage.

And speaking of impotent rage, as an American Blaine was (unconsciously) associated with George Bush - also an object of impotent rage. Also, as an American, Blaine was an outsider to London to begin with thus heightening his chances of rejection by the wider group.

Anyone who thinks I am talking garbage is in denial!

Thanks for reading this. I apologize if this post is offensive to anybody.

Yes, I'm going off thread - any more suggestions for Freudian mentalism?
"We judge a book by its cover and read what we want between selected lines" - W. Axl Rose, circa 1992.
mindpunisher
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I suggest there is no such thing as fruedian mentalism just an unconscious reaction to Chris Angel who is conduit for those with supressed feelings of cross dressing..

Speaking as a Brit I can tell you we are far more rational than you. It had nothing to do with terrorists. (give me a break)

It was all about the stupidity and self indulgence of an idiot who got paid millions to starve himself. When there are millions of people starving all over the world.

We found the whole stunt offensive and pointless. And boring and pretentious..

Brits are like that. Much more down to earth and less gullible than many other parts of the world.

This thread is silly....there is only one kind of pure mentalism one that entertains and mystifies.

That should be your end goal. Not looking for ways to install an outdated outmoded and obsolete set of theraputic and psychological theories.

I reckon those that do unconsciously want to wear their mothers clothes as a way to regress back to the days when their world was more simple and secure....long before terrorists were part of their consciousness.
Energizer
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Thanks for the resonse Mindpunisher.

Just for clarity's sake, I am a Brit, living in Britain.

I agree with most of what you say Mindpunisher - apart from your point that psychodynamics is 'outdated outmoded and obsolete set of theraputic and psychological theories'. They may not be in fashion at the moment, but I think they have a lot to offer. So does my University. I was recently at a hospital treating people with personality disorders using mainly (or even exclusively?)psychodynamic therapies at great expense, but with much success - so I think NHS practitioners might disagree with you also. Although your view is quite a popular one.

But what you write about why us Brit's didn't like Blaine's stunt - that is your conscious mind speaking. And no one can dispute those rational reasons because they are sound.

But I was talking about British people's unconscious drives, which will have biased them towards hostility.

Unfortunately you don't have access to your unconscious mind, but I'm sure it would agree with me, if it could speak for itself...

Perhaps what you have posted is a rationalization ... a confabulation ... of something that your unconscious mind motivated you to say for mysterious reasons.

Also, yes - our goal should be entertaining mentalism. But psychodynamics is what interests me, it is what I know could interest many others, and I want to be original ... so ... this thread will hopefully me do something new and entertaining.
"We judge a book by its cover and read what we want between selected lines" - W. Axl Rose, circa 1992.
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I think there's stark truth in both your observations....how negative psychosocial triangulation manifests toward collective conscious trickster figures like Blaine and Angel.

Ollie, I like the presentation you sent me you're working on. Is so.
foreign correspondent, z and lt



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Hoff Man
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Quote:
On 2007-07-22 08:03, Olly Crofton wrote:
I was recently at a hospital treating people with personality disorders using mainly (or even exclusively?)psychodynamic therapies at great expense, but with much success - so I think NHS practitioners might disagree with you also.


Hey, that’s good to know.
I’m working with some Borderlines that would’ve made Sigmund weep.
I could send them to you Air Express, if you like.

Here in the states I think Blain’s ill-conceived publicity stunt was simply perceived as another example of a celebrity plummeting over the edge. Something the public comes to expect, and in some cases, even relish. I don’t think his fall from grace is a racial thing. I tend to believe that the majority of Americans are much more tolerant of others than their government intends or portrays them to be.

I suspect Blain’s final chapter is far from being written.
I’m hoping to see a comeback.

It has always interested me how quickly Freud’s theories and verbiage became a part of everyday Western thought. As if the validity of his ideas were a given, if not, self-evident.

“Unconscious Mind” … I don’t know.
(Unfortunately, the updated Reticular Activating System idea doesn’t make for sexy mentalism).

Steve
Energizer
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“Unconscious Mind” … I don’t know.
(Unfortunately, the updated Reticular Activating System idea doesn’t make for sexy mentalism).

Would you care to elaborate on that Steve, for those of us who are not familiar with what you are talking about - like me?

As for Blaine - now just to be clear - I'm not saying that the British public's reaction to 'Above the Below' was a flat out racial thing, although yes, I am saying that it may have been a small contributing factor (even though British is a (largely) harmonious multi-cultural society and proud of it).

What I AM saying is that the determining factor that caused the general public's rejection (of what I felt was a rather nifty and beautiful piece of performance art) was that the public needed a 'psychic punch-bag' for the anxiety that followed 9/11, and this scapegoating would have happened regardless of his colour.

Apparently it is a common defence mechanisms for groups to adopt, as I'm sure you know.

Perhaps I was wrong to mention Blaine's physical appearance ... I am in no way saying that the British public is racist ... but then again, as we know, in psychodynamics, multiple determination is the rule ... and perhaps the British public's implicit attitudes (unconscious prejudices as described Mahzarin Banaji) were at work.

Although we are going off thread a bit here ...
"We judge a book by its cover and read what we want between selected lines" - W. Axl Rose, circa 1992.
Energizer
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Oh yeah - another clarification - it wasn't me delivering the therapy at the hospital I mentioned. It was the hospital personnel. I was there for an interview, not to give treatment. Apologies for ambiguous language.
"We judge a book by its cover and read what we want between selected lines" - W. Axl Rose, circa 1992.
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Hi:
Then there is Chandu's 'Psychoanalysis'.
james1a
Arnon
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Olly:

I think Mindpunisher's abrupt reaction may be resistance and an indication that you are getting close to the root of things. Smile

Anyway, I find this thread fascinating, and a potential springboard to new and entertaining mentalism plots and routines.

Here's one idea that occurs to me:
1) Have the participant recount several hurtful events from his/her past, synopsizing them into ONE REPRESENTATIVE WORD for each event;
2) Memorize those as you are being told the words (use a peg system, etc.);
3) Ask the participant which one was most hurful;
4) Write all of those words down on the back of your business card (a somewhat impressive display of memory skills)
5) Fold the card in half, and have them burn it out of their memory as you heat up the folded card with your lighter; and finally
6) Reveal that the word for their most hurful event has vanished from the list!

Comments are invited Smile

Arnon
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Hoff Man
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Quote:
On 2007-07-22 12:49, Olly Crofton wrote:
“Unconscious Mind” … I don’t know.
(Unfortunately, the updated Reticular Activating System idea doesn’t make for sexy mentalism).

Would you care to elaborate on that Steve, for those of us who are not familiar with what you are talking about - like me?



Olly,

I think of the RAS as a part of the brain, or network of cells, that act as a regulatory or filtering system for sensory input so that one’s nervous system isn't overwhelmed by the stimuli bombarding it constantly. I know that a lot of research has been done related to the RAS role in ADHD, Alzheimer’s disease and self-motivation.

It’s also that part of the brain that wakes you from your daydream during the morning commute the moment before you might drive through a red light.

I guess in a New Age sense of things, it can be described as, “the witness”.
Come to think of it, that might be sexy afterall.

Steve
Energizer
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James1a - Thanks for the reference

Arnon - I'm glad you find it fascinating. Psychoanalysis is a cool subject. But, with respect, your routine sounded a bit ... painful for the spectator. And we discussed the dangers of conducting pseudo-therapy sessions while doing magic and without proper qualifications at the beginning of this thread. I could never do that (if the BPS found out I'd be subject to disciplinary procedures, I expect), although I do find the idea of using magic as a kind of healing tool fascinating. I think Jeff McBride was doing workshops on this subject.

Also, the other problem with your routine is that the spec loses only one painful memory, but gets to keep the others ... alas! Still, nice try.

I apologize for raining on your parade.

Steve - Hoff man - thanks for your extra details. But I think the discourses of psychoanalysis and of neuroscience are still pretty darn incompatible. I do like the idea of trying to explain(!?!?) consciousness as a function of the ARAS. I also like the possibility of describing empathy, identification, intersubjectivty (aka theory of mind - or mind reading (as performed by lay people when you know that they know that you know that they know what you are thinking, for example)) and imitation in terms of the newly discovered mirror neurons in the temporal lobes.

But ultimately, I want to use the concepts and language of psychoanalysis, rather than neuroscience, in my routines. Or at least I think psychoanalytic routines and NOT neurscientific ones are what this thread should focus on, right? For simplicity's sake!

Oh yeah, and I'm just spelling out the meanings of these concepts as I understand them not to look clever or explain them to the Hoff man (who surely understands them already), but so everyone else reading the thread can understand them.

Alright, maybe it is to look clever.

OK, I admit, I'm just trying to look clever. Ha ha.
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Arnon
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Quote:
On 2007-07-22 14:55, Olly Crofton wrote:
James1a - Thanks for the reference

Arnon - I'm glad you find it fascinating.
***
Also, the other problem with your routine is that the spec loses only one painful memory, but gets to keep the others ... alas! Still, nice try.

I apologize for raining on your parade.
***


I guess the performer will have to return for encore performances! More gigs!
And get paid for 50-minute hours! Smile
Arnon
Energizer
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Ha ha. Yes. Very clever. Good work Arnon!

Alright what about this one ...

Following a 'subliminal influence' force such as Banachek's/Hilford's 'For One to End' in PS2, or perhaps preceding a more sure-fire subliminal influence routine (like Killer Elite).

We could talk about how ...

In everyday life, by various unconscious, subtle, verbal and non-verbal means, an individual, or even a group, can unconsciously cause their feelings – their state of mind - to be felt and experienced by somebody else, who may thus subsequently identify with that state of mind and make it their own. This is the process of projection by the sender, and identification by the recipient. People often see projection as a process where we conveniently attribute our own negative qualities on to somebody else. But it is much more than this. It is a kind of communication. Projection, along with identification, are the unconscious mechanisms through which cross-over of emotions and mix-ups occur between individuals and through which boundaries between identities begin to break down. It is what causes contagion of emotion. For example, I'm sure you've been around somebody who's been sad or blue or even depressed, and come away feeling miserable. But conversely, I'm sure you've had another person's good cheer and enthusiasm lift your mood also, perhaps when that person didn't intend to inspire or enthuse you.

Nearly always the projector's conscious mind doesn't intend to influence the recipient's mood, but the unconscious mind needs to communicate a message (for example a need for comfort or to be understood), and so it makes the projection happen - without the person doing the projecting even being aware that they're doing so, or behaving in bizarre ways.

It is this process of projection I've just demonstrated to you/will demonstrate to you, although I've been doing it/will do it deliberately, when most of the time it happens unconsciously. (So try to be receptive to my signals)

Ta da!

Shame I keep having to resort to my Banachek books. Shows how little I know about mentalism doesn't it?

Any feedback or comments welcome. Any more psychoanalytic routines also welcome.
"We judge a book by its cover and read what we want between selected lines" - W. Axl Rose, circa 1992.
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Actually there is growing doubt that we have a conscious mind. It takes more than 100 muscles to type this drivel. You couldn't consciously co-ordinate them. Like most things in life you do it unconsciously. Likewise the ability to organise these letters into such a waste of bandwidth...is totally unconscious as is the habit of hanging around here when we should be doing something better. Like ......er?

And the desire to look clever or utilise psychoanalytic routines and believe they will be entertaining...That urge is also unconscious.

Im not sure about the ability to treat personality disorders. I treat them all the time. Most of my ex's had them.
Energizer
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Anyway, focusing on what this thread is supposed to focus on - does anyone know Chandu's psychoanalysis? If so, can they please describe the effect for me? Thanks.

Any more psychoanalytically flavoured routines welcome.
"We judge a book by its cover and read what we want between selected lines" - W. Axl Rose, circa 1992.
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By the way - all of cold reading falls into psychodynamics

All audience management skills

All selling of an effect

Also, the Reticular Activation System would be beautiful for effects... as would doing some presentions using the limbic system... not to mention the wonders this term conjures up.. "the reptilian brain".... gee, the mind is housed in the brain - and so much fun to do effects featuring both
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One little thing I would suggest Olly, based on my own experience of incorporating psychodynamic patter, is to make it a little more direct or clearer - just so that you don't lose the spec before you've even given instructions of what to do etc etc.

Just something I came across when trying things out. Osterlind also mentions something similar on one of his DVDs when talking about presentation.

From what I've seen you have a very keen interest in this field (especially made evident through your essay on Blaine) and you may end up over-doing some of your theory-driven patter in the process... as I once did.

For example, I devised a simple billet switching routine based on amnesia ie. it would appear that the spec forget something (see 'Subtle Dreams' in PS2 for further ideas). Nice routine.. however I would ruin it by going on far too much about the unconsicous mind, parapraxes or freudian slips and how sudden memory loss is a type of slip. Finally, I explained how we would attribute a socially unacceptable idea to something (a word, ESP shape etc), thus hopefully inducing an unconsciously-driven amnesic experience. I soon realised, via feedback and reflection, how I'd overdone the patter- tried to fit it all in like it was some thesis. Simple mistake! I have since edited it and now the effect goes down a treat - with the same reaction any good piece of mentalism does, with the spec and audience simultaneously thinking over the patter you provided and the usual 'how did he do that' thought process.

Just a thought to take on board. You may find, however, that you deliver it better than I did.

Still, hope it helps.

Ross
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Energizer
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Mentalisten - Yeah, I see what you mean. Maybe I am jabbering on a bit. But there is so much I want to get across. I feel psychoanalysis is such a rich and intellectually satisfying perspective. Thanks for the tip.

Dr Spektor- Thanks also for your contribution. But … with respect … it is not obvious to me how …cold reading, audience management and the selling of effect all fall into psychodynamics - as these seem to be conducted on a more strategic and conscious level, right? Could you please explain?

As for your comments on the Reticular Activation System … I agree, but I think we should set up a separate thread elsewhere to discuss neuroscientifically flavoured mentalism. As mentioned previously, I was taught that the vocabularies of psychoanalysis and of neuroscience don't really overlap.
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Mentalisten
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Olly, any ideas on Adlerian psychodynamics? Birth order, first memories etc??

Ross
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