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Bosnak, R. (2008). Hierarchical and Nonhierarchical Models of Consciousness: Commentary on Paper by Hilary Hoge. Psychoanal. Dial., 18(1):27-41.

(2008). Psychoanalytic Dialogues, 18(1):27-41

Hierarchical and Nonhierarchical Models of Consciousness: Commentary on Paper by Hilary Hoge Related Papers

Robert Bosnak, NCPsyA, J.D.

Understanding consciousness as either hierarchical—as a single reality with various levels of depth—or nonhierarchical, as a self-organizing multiplicity of embodied states with an emergent intelligence greater than the sum of its information, makes a decisive difference in clinical practice. It leads to a fundamental difference between imagination and illusion. Imagination is understood as an efficacious aspect of reality, not as its opposite. To this perspective the dreamer did not create the dream but belongs to the dream. Images possess us more than we have them. The efficacy originates in the images. Using an example of a dream worked by Freud, which locates its meaning in a historical event, the author demonstrates the difference between historical interpretation and correspondence between dream image and historical fact, creating a meaningful reverberation. He shows how the body can be used as a receptacle of multiple sense memories corresponding to multiple embodied states, which when experienced simultaneously give rise to fresh consciousness. He concludes by showing the difference between a co-construction of meaning, which ascribes meaning, and the emergence of meaning from the multiplicity of embodied states enveloping analyst and patient.

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