Vol. 43, Number 3, Summer 2022

Splitting the Atom: The Paradox of Proprioceptive Dialogue
Steven M. Rosen, College of Staten Island/City University of New York

The practice of Proprioceptive Dialogue (PD) was inspired by David Bohm’s proposals for a new form of discourse that could address the crisis in communication evident on all levels of society (see Bohm, 1985, 1996; Bohm, Factor, and Garrett, 1991). Proprioceptive Dialogue’s experiment in “radical honesty” is set forth in this paper. After defining proprioception and describing the group process associated with it, I bring to light the underlying nature of dialogical interaction by comparing it with conventional discourse. In the latter, self and other are divided and interact superficially in a mechanical space of continuous speech. By contrast, PD involves proprioceptive acts of concrete self-awareness wherein participants split the “atom” (from the Greek atomos, indivisible), opening themselves up to each other so as to establish a space of intimate interchange. In studying the dynamics of this process, I examine the roles played by silence and the preverbal body. Also important to PD are the polarities that develop within and between group members. The oppositional tensions that arise must consciously be held in order to release intrapsychic and interpsychic energies that advance the creative exploration of the group. The paper concludes with a focus on the paradoxical nature of Proprioceptive Dialogue, clarified tangibly through the perceptual geometry of the Necker cube.

Correspondence concerning the article should be addressed to Steven M. Rosen, Ph.D., 104-2890 Point Grey Road, Vancouver, B.C., V6K 1A9, Canada. Email: stevenrosen@shaw.ca 


The Theory of a Natural Eternal Consciousness: Addendum
Bryon K. Ehlmann, Southern Illinois University Edwardsville

The theory of a natural eternal consciousness (NEC) states that human consciousness is not extinguished with death but merely imperceptibly paused. That is, the last conscious moment of the last experience of a person becomes imperceptibly timeless and deceptively eternal from their perspective. Moreover, if that experience is a vision, dream, or near-death experience and is perceived as an afterlife, then the NEC is a natural afterlife. An earlier article by Ehlmann (2020) explains the NEC theory and claims its validity. This addendum provides a brief overview of that article but, more significantly, offers these enhancements: (1) an easier to grasp description of the notation used to formally define the NEC and natural afterlife; (2) an extension to this notation to formally define the eventually timeless natural afterlife (etna) — a time-perceiving, activity-filled afterlife that concludes with the timeless natural afterlife and can provide optimal eternal happiness; (3) greater focus on the validity of the NEC theory: the role of self-awareness, the theory of paused consciousness in timelessness (PCT) and its everyday verification, and the improbable falsification of the NEC theory as a hypothesis to the PCT theory; and (4) a new diagram that summarizes the meanings of NEC-related terms and the relationships among them.

Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to Bryon K. Ehlmann, Ph.D., Institute of Mind and Behavior, PO Box 522, Village Station, New York, New York 10014. Email: behlman@siue.edu


Zoned-In and Zoned-Out: An Analysis of the Roles of Automaticity and Mindedness in Flow Experiences
Alan S. Waterman, The College of New Jersey

There are controversies within both philosophy and psychology regarding the roles of automaticity and mindedness in flow experiences. Within both fields, it has been proposed that there is a continuum between the automatized activities of experts functioning in their area of expertise and similar automatized experiences in day-to-day functioning. Also at issue is whether there is conscious awareness present during highly automatized activities. Such issues were central to the McDowell–Dreyfus debate in philosophy and to Csikszentmihalyi’s flow theory within psychology. To evaluate the roles of automaticity and engaged mindedness in flow experiences, the psychological conditions of being zoned-in and zoned-out are compared with respect to the nine elements Csikszentmihalyi used to describe flow. It is concluded that despite the presence of automaticity both when zoned-in and zoned out, these represent categorically different types of subjective experiences and that, therefore, the proposed continuum between the functioning of experts and functioning in daily life should be rejected. The question as to whether automaticity and/or mindedness constitute necessary and/or sufficient conditions for flow is also considered. It appears that both automaticity and engaged mindedness are necessary for flow, but neither alone, nor in combination, are sufficient.

Correspondence concerning this manuscript should be addressed to Alan S. Waterman, Department of Psychology, The College of New Jersey, 2000 Pennington Road, Ewing, New Jersey 08618. Email: archerwater@tds.net


Kirchheimer and Schmitt on “Legality” and “Legitimacy”
Christopher Adair–Toteff, University of South Florida

Carl Schmitt remains a famous and an infamous constitutional scholar who is regarded as the crown jurist of the Nazi era. He is slightly less known as a critic of law and a foe of liberalism. During the late 1920s and early 1930s there were a few constitutional scholars who actively defended law and liberalism from Schmitt’s attacks. Most of these individuals were professors of law like Hans Kelsen and Richard Thoma. However, there was a young jurist by the name of Otto Kirchheimer who joined these thinkers. Kirchheimer was not just younger than the professors; he had attended Schmitt’s lectures at Bonn and did his dissertation under Schmitt’s direction. But late in the 1920s, he broke with his mentor over the notions of legality and legitimacy. Kirchheimer’s criticisms of his “Doktorvater” reveal not only the problems with Schmitt’s views about legitimacy, but also provide a major defense of law and legality.

Correspondence concerning this article should be sent to Christopher Adair–Toteff, 323 Monticello Road, Charlottesville, Virginia 22902. Email: csa-t@web.de


How Can Behavior Be Understood if Its Explanation is Not Comprehended? Does Cognitive Psychology Reach Its Explanatory Limit?
Sam S. Rakover, Haifa University

This essay discusses the attempts of progressive artificial intelligence (AI) models to understand behavior. Because of their sophistication and complexity, it is difficult to understand how these models work and therefore it is difficult to make use of them to understand behavioral phenomena. This is indeed the problem with the present state of cognitive psychology that is founded on the analogy between human behaviors and computer operations: if we do not understand progressive AI models, the most successful and sophisticated programs for predicting behavior, then perhaps this should be interpreted as a warning that cognitive psychology is approaching the limits of its explanatory power. This paper develops and backs up this proposal. 

Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to Sam S. Rakover, Department of Psychology, Haifa University, Haifa, Israel 31905. Email: rakover@psy.haifa.ac.il