Psychology Assignment

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PART 1
1. Consciousness is a combinatorial system of psychological aspects such as subjectivity, self-awareness, sentience, and the ability to perceive the relationship between oneself and one's environment. It is a subject of much research in philosophy of mind, psychology, neuroscience, and cognitive science. Some philosophers divide consciousness into phenomenal consciousness, which is subjective experience itself, and access consciousness, which refers to the universal availability of information to processing systems in the brain.[1] Phenomenal consciousness is being something and access consciousness is being conscious of something. Consciousness is not scientifically defined in terms of absolute laws, and will not be until the laws of quantum physics are established. Because of this, every society in the world functions utilizing a mind-body dichotomy, with a vast range of differences among methods or beliefs of law and order. 2. ALTERED STATES OF CONSCIOUSNESS

1. Waking and Sleeping
These two states which are so different are regularly experienced by everybody every day. Some people experience a pronounced hypnogogic state in between waking and sleeping and some people get vivid hallucinations during this state. 2. Dreaming

Dreaming involves a state which is physiologically and psychologically different from deep sleep. Lucid dream is a still different mode of functioning where the dreamer has the awareness that he is dreaming. This state is said to be conducive for gaining insight into and awareness of the unconscious and is a technique in mystic training. 3. Hypnosis

This state is characterized by increased suggestibility and surrender of one's will. 4. Pathological States
The hysteric trance and schizoid states have been studied as altered states of consciousness using the phenomenological approach. 5. Orgiastic Trances
This type of trance results from group singing and dancing, often associated with religious ceremonies. These may be psi conducive states. 6. Drug Induced States
The notion of altered states of consciousness evolved originally as a result of the study of subjects who were habituated to drugs like LSD. Aldous Huxley's `Doors of Perception' which he wrote on the basis of his experiences with Mescaline is one of the pioneering classics in this area. Many of the effects are due to physiological changes like hypoglycemia. Some of the positive experiences include remembering forgotten painful experiences, ego dissolution, seeing beauty and significance in trivial things, and increase in awareness while those who do not trust get bad trips characterized by terror, panic and suicidal tendencies. Though there seem to be some similarities between drug induced states and aesthetic and mystic states, the similarities may only be superficial and the drug may be producing these effects by damaging the brain of a person who may not be ready or mature enough for a transformation of personality required for genuine mystic experiences. Therefore most authorities do not recommend the use of drugs for altering consciousness though some think that under expert supervision the drugs may play a useful role in efforts to alter states of consciousness. Drugs like ganja, traditionally used for mystic training produce memory disorders, decrement in complex psychomotor tasks, lethargy, lack of motivation and lowering of testosterone levels. Some develop psychosis. 7. Aesthetic State

Many great artists have described sudden changes in consciousness revealing great beauty which inspire them for creation of works of art. It is almost like a veil falling off from the eyes. Some people regard the aesthetic state as `extraverted' mystic experience i.e. the projection of the experience of integration within onto the external world. 8. Mystic State

This is the most important among all the altered states of consciousness. The term mystic is used in the sense of beyond description. This is supposed to be the absolute state...
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