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A Review
Boris Sidis' Book
Nervous Ills
Chapter XII: Is the Subconscious a Personality?
by Doug Renselle
Doug's Pre-review Commentary
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Chapters I-XXI





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Chapter XII......Is the Subconscious a Personality?



(Most quotes verbatim Boris Sidis, some paraphrased.)

(Relevant to Pirsig, William James, William James Sidis, and
Quantonics Thinking Modes.)



The problem that interested me most was to come into close contact with the subwaking self. What is its fundamental nature? What are the main traits of its character? Since in hypnosis the subwaking self is freed from its chains, is untrammeled by the shackles of the upper, controlling self, since in hypnosis the underground self is more or less exposed to our view, it is plain that experimentation on the hypnotic self will introduce us into the secret life of the subwaking self. For, as we pointed out, the two are identical.

(Our bold violet of classical problematic. Boris' statements here appear normative, putative without saying they are opinion and belief.)

Boris' thelogos for this chapter is 6.6%! That is lower than his other chapter thelogos numbers, so far: 58 occurrences of the out of 882 total words!

2 I have made all kinds of experiments, bringing subjects into catalepsy, somnambulism, giving illusions, hallucinations, post-hypnotic suggestions, etc. As a result of my work one central truth stands out clear, and that is the extraordinary plasticity of the subwaking self.

(Our bold violet of classical problematic.)

This is not classical truth, rather it appears to us as quantum reality. Do we not need, actually require, mental plasticity to survive? Seems to us those who deny that guarantee their own extinction.

3 If you can only in some way or other succeed in separating the primary controlling consciousness from the lower one, the waking from the subwaking self, so that they should no longer keep company, you can do anything you please with the subwaking self. You can make its legs, its hands, any limb you like perfectly rigid; you can make it eat pepper for sugar; you can make it drink water for wine; feel cold or warm; hear delightful stories in the absence of all sounds; feel pain or pleasure, see oranges where there is nothing; you can make it eat them and enjoy their taste. In short, you can do with the subwaking self anything you like. The subwaking consciousness is in your power, like clay in the hands of the potter. The plasticity of the subconscious is revealed by its extreme suggestibility.

(Our bold violet of classical problematic.)

There's that classical knife again...

87 4 I wanted to get an insight into the very nature of the subwaking self; I wished to make a personal acquaintance with it. "What is its personal character?" I asked. How surprised I was when, after a close interrogation, the answer came to me that there cannot possibly be any personal acquaintance with it,—for the subwaking self lacks personality.


Yes! It's like absolute zero, absence of gravity, absence of temporality, absence of space! That's why Irving Stein calls it nonspace. Personality is an aspect (an SQ pattern of Value) of actuality. In quantum n¤nactuality, it is like abs¤lute zer¤, it has n¤ 'temperate' semantic.

5 Under certain conditions a cleavage may occur between the two selves, and then the subwaking self may rapidly grow, develop, and attain, apparently, the plane of self-consciousness, get crystallized into a person, and give itself a name, imaginary, or borrowed from history. This accounts for the spiritualistic phenomena of personality, guides, controls, and communications by dead personalities, or spirits coming from another world, such as have been observed in the case of Mrs. Piper and other mediums of like types; it accounts for all the phenomena of multiple personality, simulating the dead or the living, or formed anew out of the matrix of the subconscious. (Our bold violet of classical problematic.)
88 6 All such personality metamorphoses can be easily developed, under favorable conditions in any psychopathological laboratory. They can be easily formed, by suggestion in trance, hypnotic, and waking states. The newly crystallized personality is, as a rule, extremely unstable, ephemeral, shadowy in its outlines, spirit-like, ghost-like, tends to become amorphous, being formed again and again under the influence of favorable conditions and suggestions, rising to the surface of consciousness, then sinking into the subconsciousness, and disappearing, only to give rise to new personality-metamorphoses, bursting like so many bubbles on the surface of the upper stream of consciousness.



Would that it be viscous amd stable? Wh¤ decides h¤w viscous amd h¤w stable? Wh¤ decides extent of viscosity amd plasticity? Recall Bergson's two delusions of classicists:

  1. that reality is stable, and
  2. that objects in reality are (knife-ably) independent of one another.
7 There are cases when the personality of the individual is changed, or more personalities are formed. This metamorphosis may be brought about artificially, by suggestion, either direct or indirect. This is often brought about in a state of hypnosis when any number of personalities may be formed at the will of the hypnotizer who may create them deliberately; or they may become formed by subtle indirect suggestion, coming from the hypnotizer, of which he himself is not fully conscious; or the personalities may be formed by auto-suggestions. Such phenomena may be regarded as the artefacts of Psychopathology.




Students must realize that "artefacts of Psychopathology" are most certainly culture-comtextually relevant. Boris' comtext is Earth anthropocentric-chauvinism.


8 There are again cases which are no play-personalities depending on hypnotic suggestion, or suggestion in waking life, but which are really due to pathological agencies. The former, due to suggestion, are suggestion-personalities, the latter, due to pathological agencies, are pathological personalities. The formation of multiple personality by means of suggestion does not belong to our present subject.
9 I have discussed these facts of suggestion personalities in my volume, "The Psychology of Suggestion," and other works. The pathological multiple personalities are of immense interest from many standpoints which we need not go into just at present, since our object is rather the causation, not the nature and character of the personalities themselves.1 (Our bold violet of classical problematic.)
10 The subwaking self is extremely credulous; it lacks all sense of the true and rational. "Two and two make five." "Yes." Anything is accepted, if sufficiently emphasized by the hypnotizer. The suggestibility and imitativeness of the subwaking self were discussed by me at great length. What I should like to point out here is the extreme servility and cowardliness of that self. Show hesitation, and it will show fight; command authoritatively, and it will obey slavishly.

Boris' subwaking self is, by his own observation, quantum. Two and two make five whenever our comtext is such that a hidden (from our easy view) comtext adds one. This situation is common in science, and is happening now with scientists' understandings of gravity. Comtexts exist which are unknown to science and affect their naïve classical measurement contexts. See Discover's October, 2003 issue and their cover page article.

Scientists' putatives of ilk "if you can't measure it, it doesn't exist" are notably failed notions. In general, 2+24! (If you don't grasp that, then what are you doing here in Quantonics? See our One is Loneliest Number...)

We believe quantum-n¤t-comsciousness, i.e., reality's quantum c¤mplement of l¤cal ('individual') comsciousness, issi all ¤ther reality ihncluding quantum n¤nactuality. Quantum n¤nactuality represents all quantum real p¤ssibilities. Further, n¤nactuality issi a kind of abs¤lute freed¤m (E.g., where Nicholas Cage was in City of Angels.). It issi absent: temperature, mass, length-space, gravity, ..., absent any actualized patterns of Value.

As such, said n¤nactuality, when viewed as subwaking subcomsciousness issi unbound by any actualized patterns of Value (e.g., 'morals,' 'ethics,' 'laws,' social patterns, etc.). This issi just what Boris descrihbes.


We have to be, must be, extremely careful here.

Boris tells us, like children, when we have few bounding patterns (essentially SQ) we can easily:

  • commit acts outside our local culture,
  • be extremely suggestible, especially to our first-learned bounding patterns,
  • etc.

But we also have to worry and be careful about possessing just one, monistic set of bounding patterns which can easily:

  • make us thingk our culture and our patterns are the only patterns,
  • enable us to judge others' cultures as different and thus evil, Satanic, because they are outside, not, our culture,
  • etc.

We have to worry and be careful about learning and being capable of adapting to heterogeneous comtexts, cultures, bounding patterns which help us to:

  • move from comtext to comtext easily,
  • without violating others' comtexts,
  • without judging others' comtexts,
  • while showing respect for others' beliefs and bounding patterns,
  • etc.

When in Rome...

So we may be able to grasp how quantum reality's comtexts aræ heter¤gene¤us and emerging vis-à-vis classically monistic and immutable.

You also may be able to grasp how no single sets of laws, ethics, morals and principles can do what we just described.

Earth's societies must learn quantum n¤vel Pirsigean legal, ethical, moral, etc., instead of di-versities, rather omniversities. Look around. That's how it really is. That's why many of Earth's cultures today look in extreme dismay at USA's current administration. Its monistic fundamentals do not understand what we just wrote! GWBush, like GHBush, is a one termer! Hopefully USA's fundamentalists are 'one termers' too. (Notice how an administration which does nothing, simply puts its head in sand, can appear to accomplish tentatively what we describe. And politicians will do that since it is easy. It isn't that simple, though. We are talking about actively learning and teaching quantum omniversity. And we are not talking about cultural relativism, either! Nor PC! Those are only plural fundamentalism. More fundamentalism. Many monist fundamentalisms.)


What Boris appears to n¤t describe aræ n¤nactualities' immense quantum ascendant intellect(ings). This issi what we in Quantonics call "reserve energy!" It is quantum real. It issi nature's own, genuine reserve energy! But perhaps Boris' own finite intellect, like most SOMites, is both intrinsically and innately incapable of recognizing it.

William's personal descriptions in his Unconscious Intelligence actually manifest this quantum "artefact" better than anything we have seen written by Boris. WJS's being, his quantum individual intellect, his ¤wn subcomscious, his ¤wn umconscious quantum l¤cal individual intellectual self, tapped quantum reserve energy with ascendant will. And he was laughing with the g¤ds while d¤ing s¤...

11 1‘The subject of pathological multiple personalities is discussed in my work, "Multiple Personality."
90 12 The subwaking self is devoid of all morality. It will steal without the least scruple; it will poison; it will stab; it will assassinate its best friends unhesitatingly. When completely cut off from the waking person, it is precluded from conscience.
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Doug Renselle
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©Quantonics, Inc., 2003-2009 Rev. 8Jan2007  PDR Created: 8Sep2003  PDR
(19Dec2003 rev - Add para. 6 comments link to H5W.)
(30Dec2003 rev - Add 'thingk' link.)
(30Jan2007 rev - Revise format. Adjust color.)
(8Jan2008 rev - Minor reformating.)

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