Saturday 6 September 2008

An experiment

I have this idea for an experiment and I'd like your help. I'm not sure what will come of it but it's an interesting idea for me. Here are the constraints:

1) Please provide your answers as a comment
2) Please do NOT read others' answers before answering
3) Please do not read ahead but do things in the order requested

I do not want to give any details about what I hope to accomplish as that would, perhaps, bias your answers. I will compile the results and try to draw some conclusions and report back as another blog post. So, the more participants, the better will be the statistical analysis. Hopefully, the results will be meaningful in the context of Anthony's theories but you never know!

So ...

the experiment begins ...


First, close your eyes and imagine descending a ladder. There are ten rungs on the ladder. Count down from 10 to 1 and then to 0 as your feet touch the ground. When you've done that, continue reading ...

Now, think about what you "saw" as you descended the ladder and answer question #1. Did you see:

a) your hands on the ladder rungs as "you" descended the ladder?
b) yourself descending the ladder as if "you" were an observer watching yourself descend the ladder?
c) yourself watching yourself descending the ladder as if "you" were an observer watching an observer watch yourself descend the ladder?
d) some further recursion on that theme?

Answer that question and then continue reading ...

Question #2: If you think about the same scenario, can you easily alternate between 2 or more options in question #1? Is there one particular option that is "most comfortable" and easiest for you to picture?

Question #3: Answer the following question with a single noun:

"I AM A(N) ________"

Thank you for your participation and I will report back when I've compiled, analyzed, graphed, computed, regressed, curve fitted, contemplated, and coerced the data into something worth reporting :-)


Patrick Booker said...

#1 - Option (a) is probably closest. I 'felt' the act of descending, and had a vague inner picture of a ladder.

#2 - None of the other options really apply. I did not expereience any sense of dissociation into observer and observed. I have in the past used guided meditations involving ascent/descent, and because I am nt a strong visualiser, I tend to make an effort to 'be there', so the sense of regression did not really arise.

#3 - I answered this question in terms of how the experience made me feel. I felt 'I am a continuous being'. This is the sense the experience gave me. I am not sure that this statement would be my final philosophical statement - it only applies to a part of my experience.

Anonymous said...

#1 a) I ivisualised my feet on the ladder. I have a fear of heights and ladders cause me great anxiety. Descending (or ascending for that matter) progresses very tentatively focusing on my feet

#2 b) I can flip to watching myself but it isn't as natural

#3 c) woman

Baphomet. said...

Q1,I could see my hands on the rungs but referring to Q2 i could switch to being an observer.

Q3,A person.

SM Kovalinsky said...

Ken: Glad to hear from you again.

1. I saw the rungs and and myself, both, as if observing and participating.

2. I think the dual vision is what seems somehow "natural" in this case.

3. I am a female.

Anonymous said...

I could see and feel my hands on the ladder, and did not experience watching myself. When I touched the bottom, my feet could feel the ground underneath. I turned first to one side and then the other, then turned around to look behind.

I did try a second time, and for some reason watched myself climb down the ladder.

I am an observer.

Patrick Booker said...

Sorry - just noticed should have put one noun for #3.

SM Kovalinsky said...

PATRICK: I really liked your "continuous being": I thought it was lovely.

ken said...

PATRICK: No worries about the adjective. I debated allowing an adjective for #3 but it greatly complicated the Fourier Transform that I need to compute while estimating the gradient of the Hamiltonian of the Green's function for the input parameters. But that's neither now nor then (however long that is).

But I, too, am interested in your response. Would you be so kind as to elaborate? Continuous in a sense of space or time or both?

SM Kovalinsky said...

KEN: I am sorry to interject a comment here, and will not do further, but are you the same Ken who used to blog here, who was a Jungian, and had an avatar of himself as a little boy, and had a wife and little daughter? Or a new Ken?

ken said...

SUSAN MARIE: Guilty as charged on being the "same Ken"! I have been monitoring this blog but have been forced to expend my energy on other things these last few months. More on that later, though. I apologize for not acknowledging your greeting when you participated in the experiment. Consider this a belated "Hello!" :-)

SM Kovalinsky said...

Hello, Ken. I have actually missed you, as I loved all you had to say on Jung. Nice to hear from you again!

Patrick Booker said...

KEN: I meant continuous in terms of time. The visualisation gave me a sense of movement. Because I have problems visualising at will, I tend to sort of imagine bodily movements in visualisations. This gave me a sense of creating continuation in time.

Anthony Peake said...

Ken, Good to see you back ... ever so cryptic as well. My answers:

1. I see my hands, but more importantly I "feel" my feet as they touch each rung. This assisted in my counting.

2. I cannot swop between an external and internal view. I only sense it from my point of view.

3. A conscious awareness.



Anonymous said...

1. (b) I was instantly below watching myself come down the ladder; a position I would tend to take in real life, spotting the person coming down if you like.

2. I can alternate between the position below or above, and any position on the ladder, but not easily off into a third position, i.e., of watching me watch myself, either climbing down the ladder and checking on myself down below, or above, or watching from below ( or above ). That said I can imagine those recursions, if you like, but it doesn't feel natural.

3. daemon ( or wondering that LOL )

Robin said...

#1 a) No, I didn't see my hands, I was watching my feet reach each rung of the ladder. But I was watching from my own perspective.

#2 Now that I rethink the scenario, it is easy to see both ways. The first person view would be my first inclination.

#3 I am a person who is not fond of heights so the ladder scenario would be uncomfortable in real life.

Anonymous said...

1. I see and feel my hands and feet on the ladder in a dark, cave-like atmosphere - most like option a.

2. I can alternate between the two options, but the one that is most comfortable is actually 'being' on the ladder, rather than observing. When observing, it is quite vague, with little detail.

3. Human.

johar said...

Hi Ken,


B) I was an observer observing myself descending the ladder

I can swap to the first person perspective but it is difficult.

I am a puzzle

Interestingly I have explored this kind of experiment before whilst doing a course in hypnotherapy. It is used in Time Line Therapy and required to establish if the client is a 'through' time person or an 'in' time person. This way one utilizes the best use of therapy for them, be it visualization, hypnosis or the like.

Karl Le Marcs said...

Ken: Hi Ken, terrific to see you here again my friend.

Now, apologies for the delay but I have been away for a few days, over-indulging in the things that I really should over-indulge in far more often.

I teach a VERY similar thought experiment in one of my courses so I will keep my answers to one side for fear of influencing your study.

Johar: Yes, I agree re the "Time Line Therapy", and I fully expect Ken to be taking this down the Jungian aspect that I do in my tutoring (or I hope he is)
*smiles at Ken*

Looking forward to seeing your results Ken.

Ed Gilchrist said...

1.hands on rungs

Ed said...

my answers are
1. I see my own hands on the ladder
2. No
3. a human

Shiva said...

1) b
2) I could easily switch to watching my hands
it seems more comfortable to watch my hands
3) illusion

tabi said...

I saw my hands, the wall and thet exture of the rungs and wall

I could move from seeing myself from afar and seeing my hands (objective/subjective)

It is easier for me to be IN the experience, (subjective)

I am a person

tabi said...

I can see my hands, and the wall behind them, the texture of the wall and sort of "feel" the rungs beneath my feet

I can change from doing (subjective)to observing (objective) even though it is easier to just DO

I am an person...