[Paleopsych] amygdala and repression

Michael Christopher anonymous_animus at yahoo.com
Thu Jul 1 19:04:56 UTC 2004

>>What could the evolutionary value be of keeping key
experiences locked in a vault that the conscious mind
can’t crack into?<<

--Maybe to avoid overloading the filters that make
fine discrimination between incoming sensory events?
An overwhelming, emotion-laden image superimposed on
reality can scramble meanings, as in schizophrenia
where innocent statements can sound like hostile
innuendo or threat. Overflow from the amygdala would
result in a whole flood of associations and hidden
meanings that could result in mistake after mistake,
leading in the worst case to violent pre-emptive
attack (what percentage of violent offenders have
serious trauma in their background and impaired
ability to discern threat from non-threat?). In order
to perceive "ordinary reality" your emotions have to
be muted somewhat so that the complexities of language
and context can operate. Otherwise ambiguity becomes
anxiety and the shifting power differentials inherent
in communication become an intolerable form of combat.

It's also possible that the conscious mind has a
subordinate relationship to something else, like a
2-dimensional map to the terrain it represents. For
the ego to render the world, including other humans,
in a 2-dimensional way (more manageable, easier to
feel in control) would be to risk confusing the
map-territory relationship, causing all sorts of
problems. It's useful for the brain to have an echo
chamber, but if the echoes get stuck and there's no
"out of the box" function, everything grinds down and
autism results.


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