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2/10/16 - 2/15/16

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by: Elizabeth Notetaker

2/10/16 - 2/15/16 PSYC 3900H

Elizabeth Notetaker
GPA 3.5

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About this Document

Here are the first three days of notes after the first exam!!
Honors Seminar Psychology
Dr. Leonard L. Martin
Psychology; Existential
75 ?




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1 review
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"If you want to pass this class, use these notes. Period. I for sure will!"
Trinity Morissette

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This 5 page Bundle was uploaded by Elizabeth Notetaker on Wednesday February 17, 2016. The Bundle belongs to PSYC 3900H at University of Georgia taught by Dr. Leonard L. Martin in Winter 2016. Since its upload, it has received 56 views. For similar materials see Honors Seminar Psychology in Psychlogy at University of Georgia.


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If you want to pass this class, use these notes. Period. I for sure will!

-Trinity Morissette


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Date Created: 02/17/16
Second Part of the Story What is the wake up call? • Involves dying to old self, and waking up new self ○ A transformationin consciousness ○ Cultural stories,conscious intentions to uncertainty/authenticity • In existentialism,acknowledgementof our literal death can lead us to be authentic How do we wake up? • Contemplateyour own death ○ "I won't be here one day" --> this thought changes you What are the psychological aftereffects of a close brush with real death in the real world? • They closelyparallel the effects suggested in existentialism • Close brush ○ Not tunnel, afterlife ○ Not limited time to live ○ Almost die but do not, can live out the rest of your life A close brush with death can lead to changes: • Even if no increase in belief in afterlife • Even if survivor has no clear interpretation of the experience Don't necessarily know what happens after they die, but they know that they feel different and want to change something • "I can't tell what happened to me because I don’t know, but something happened as I've never been the same since" A close brush with death can led people to drop the cultural constraints and wake back up to their authentic self • "When you're dying, you're stripped of everything that's important to society -- money, image. All of a sudden, you're starting from scratch, like when you were born. I believe in myself now. I never had that before. And I'm not afraid of being who I am." ○ A quote from a man who was diagnosed with a terminal illness • "All the ego stuff, all the future fear, that's not important anymore" • "A close brush with death serves as a roar of awakening. It ends the routine and indifference. Because they know that they cannot escape death, they embracelife -- their own life. The prescription of how to live given by family, culture, profession, religion, or friends loses its grasp" ○ Starting over from scratch • "When I came back from that, I really understood. I had a real feeling of understanding that I was a good person and all I had to do was be me" ○ Why weren't you a good person? -- too overweight,etc. etc.  All the standards from everyoneelse go away The experience may border on culture shock • "To the extent that a widely shared value system is synonymouswith 'culture', it may be said that near death experiencers have philosophically and behaviorally adopted a new culture… their conceptionof self, of others, of nature, of the nature of life, and of time may be significantly altered during a generally extended period following the near death experience" • "I look at everything in our reality, including things like illness and aging, so differently. I challenge anything that is considered 'natural' or 'normal'. To me now, everything feels like human construct -- that is, just another product of personal and mass belief. … it feels like nothing is real, but every singly possibility exists. I now live product of personal and mass belief. … it feels like nothing is real, but every singly possibility exists. I now live knowing that I can create my own reality based on these new truths I have learned" ○ Exactly existentialism Survivors are not necessarily happier • But, they often report greater purpose in life; a greater sense of fulfillment or self-actualization; greater wisdom ○ Understand things now instead of getting caught up in worrying about things "I don't feel time like I felt time before.. My life is one of calmness, and love, and that's what I'm really all about… the true value of existence is the connectednessthat you have going with everyother living thing" "After my first cancer, even the smallest joys in life tookon a special meanings -- watching a beautiful sunset, a hug from my child, a laugh with Dorothy…aftermy second and third cancers, the simple joys of life are everywhereand are boundless, as I cherish my family and friends and contemplatethe rest of my life, a life I certainly do not take for granted" • Sometimeswhen people wake up in the hospital and see flowers they cry because they see colors like they've never seen them before --> experience being alive "Before I lived nice cotton -- clean, cool, healthy. But now I live velvet -- beautiful, purple, magic carpet velvet. I call this my "Year of Ecstasy".Sublime, incredible things have happened. That's why I would never go back" "I got very selectiveabout the people I spend time with… I now surround myself with many people that I can love." • Some people realize that they have been in a marriage or a religion for example for a long time without actually believing in it or loving their spouse, so they decide to get a divorce or change religions • Selectivityabout people or things that actually matterto you "I am now focused on being, and am now the creator of my life -- that is, the artist of my life. I no longer sit and think about the external competition.Each of us is unique, with unique traits and talents. I only have to express my own 'beingness' or 'uniqueness'." Two ingredients appear crucial to producing the postive aftereffects • Certainty that death is imminent --> imminent = about to happen ○ The more individuals believe they will die in the extremelynear future (or in fact have already died), the more positive aftereffectsthey experience  Drop culture and wake up to yourself • Attitude of acceptance ○ The more individuals struggled to stay alive during their close brush with death the fewer signs of growth they display  The man that kept struggling to keep him and his wife alive when they were drowning experienced less of a change from it than his wife did John Wren-Lewis • Skeptic, mathematician • No out of body experience, tunnel, etc. • No experience of an afterlife • The aftereffectshave lasted for years Aftereffectsfrom his experience: • Nothing has changed, and yet everything has changed. He retained his personality,needs, and desires. • Lost fear of death • Focus on every present momenthappiness ○ "I feel I know exactly why the Bible says that God looked upon the creation and saw that it was good."  Nothing-needs-to-be-added-completeness  No evil in nature □ Everything happens just the way that it is supposed to ○ Like having a brain cataract removedand seeing for the first time  Seeing the world as it is for the first time -- seeing it clearly ○ Life now seen from the "eternity perspective" ○ Pain is a signal. Attend to it  Like existentialistssay you should pay attention to your anxiety ○ Aging and dying are just a part of life ○ Like the leaves changing colors in the fall  Leaves changing colors = leaves dying like we are as we age □ Yet we don't find humans aging beautiful like we find dying leaves beautiful • "The real marvel seems to be that the world isn't experienced like this by everyoneall the time because that's simply the way it is" • His deepened consciousness felt more natural, like it was always there -- relax into everlasting arms at the core of existence ○ Coming back to what you always were  Like coming home --> "The Wizard of Oz" □ Dorothyhad the ruby slippers all along ○ Shift in priorities that you knew all along  You know what you should be doing before but you just ignore that and don't do it -- going back to what you always were (authenticity) Survival System Hypothesis -- Wren-Lewis • Normal consciousness is blocked by hyperactivityof the psychologicalsurvival system (our goals, values, whatever keeps us going in the world) ○ Focus on securing own future ○ Only satisfaction = meeting needs of individual mind-body  Every-present-momenthappiness, peace, wonder get shut out • Close encounter with death makes the survival system give up See things "unfiltered" for the first time ○ See things "unfiltered" for the first time ○ Everydaylife has become a "secondarygame" Why is a close brush with death different than a traumatic experience? PosttraumaticStress Disorder • Trauma = shattering of positive assumptions ○ People in the military, after natural disasters, victims of a crime, etc.  You think the worlds safe, but it isn't safe anymore  The world seems hostile • Rebuilding, gradual learning process, undiscovered strength ○ Have to rebuild your world that has been shattered • Negative and positive co-exist • May wish event did not happen Close brush with death • Shatters negative assumptions that the world is hostile, competitive • Not "character building", not gradual • Conditioned patterns of thought, feeling, and perception lose their grip Wren-Lewis found a "oneness with an essentially benign inner reality underlying a world which had hitherto been superficially perceived as hostile, competitive,and 'red in tooth and claw'" Regressions • Slip-out: happens once or twice a week, when he has to concentrate ○ Temporaryslips where he gets caught up in life again instead of feeling the more authentic new self • Screening: severe pain or strong emotion ○ Gets caught in the world again when this happens but then he eventually comesout of it again ○ Can't eliminate severepain Kinnier et al. • What have you learned about your life or life in general? ○ Don't allow daily frustrations and trivialities to bog you down ○ Don't take life for granted ○ Appreciate families, best friends, and humanity in general  Even if there's a later, why wait? • What is the meaning of life? ○ Life is a gift and an opportunity ○ Life is not a problem ○ Love and help each other • Are you more spiritual? ○ More spiritual, not more religious  Spiritual = more broadly defined ○ More tolerant, more caring toward others • Do you wish you had done anything differently? ○ Not remorseful,this is a waste of time ○ Take better care of health, education, and close relationships Kinner et al. continued • What once seemedimportant that no longer seems important? ○ Superficialities (looks,material wealth, etc.) ○ Opportunity to help others • What are the best and worse things in life? ○ Best is loving someoneand being loved ○ Hatred, meanness (in me) is the worst  Human injustice □ Things work the way they work, there are cruelties in life that are beyond our control □ The worst is when people have a choice and choose to do what is unjust • What are the most important aspects of relationships? ○ Honest and open communication,acceptance, respect ○ Being in tune with others' feelings  "oh I need some help!" and someoneelse responds "I don't care, I'm busy, I'm going to get into grad school whether you do or not" □ Competition--> we're both trying to do the best we can/I'll respect you and you respect me • Do you care what other people think of you? ○ Caring what others thought is superficial ○ I do care but not to the point that I am untrue to myself  I don't care as much about what people think of me, but I do care about other people  Offering yourself up and living your own life, but in some sense you are being selfish and hurting other people when you stop caring about yourself □ So it is a struggle --> at what point are you not being yourself and stop being authentic because if you live your own life too much you could end up hurting other people  Don't care about the superficial stuff unless in not caring they end up hurting someoneelse  Sometimesin this contextthey change their relationships □ Scenario: been with your wife for 30 years and it isn't worth it, so you get a divorce • How would you like to be remembered? ○ As a decent, fair, and caring person ○ Make a contribution to society ○ Have nice thoughts about me after I am gone • If you could live for many more years, what would you most like to do with all of that time? ○ Help others ○ Enjoy self more  Try to becomemore authentic -- caring for other people, and not being selfish anymore ○ Spend more time with family • What is your view of humankind? ○ We are in trouble, but I am hopeful • What has been the most gratifying or fulfilling experiencesof your life? ○ Having and raising children ○ Other relationships ○ Small pleasures ○ Surviving cancer with grace • Anything else? ○ Life is generally good and meaningful ○ Life threatening experiences can open your eyes


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