Re: DSM: dancing

Anne and Theo Julienne (
Tue, 23 Jan 2001 15:30:02 +1100

Good on you for sticking to your position and coming up with a delightful
It's true that human beings can manipulate their own feelings to an
extraordinary degree. People who are good hypnotic subjects (about 15% of
the population) can undergo major surgery without feeling anything.
Several American Indian tribes cultivated the ability to scoff and pour
scorn at someone torturing them, goading them to do more horrible things.
The children were even taught special songs for the purpose, just in case
they were captured by the enemy.
Communication is not just verbal. It comes through also in actions.
Look at the feelings in Scott's "Essay on Injustice" and tell him how to
apply calliope music to those so as to turn them around.

> Anne,
> I'm going to stick to my position on this one and I'll try to explain it a
> bit further.
> I agree that impact is multi-dimensional. It is also stimulated by the
> I receive from a speaker. Once the input reaches me, however, what I do
> it is entirely my responsibility. I can take it seriously. I can laugh at
> it. I can get angry. I can become bitter. I can get curious. Etc., etc.,
> etc. All of this takes place inside of my brain, using my set of filters,
> values, beliefs, cultural norms, and the like. To me, one of the most
> nonsensical, though utterly common, comments we make is, "You made me feel
> (fill in the blank)." You didn't "make" me feel anything...I created the
> feeling myself. As Eleanor Roosevelt once said (paraphrased), "No one can
> make you feel inferior without your full consent." The same goes for
> proud, mad, etc.
> My father uses an exercise to illustrate this point: I once watched him
> with a group of staff members from a school I worked at. He had us
> the worst interaction we had had with a parent. We then divided it up into
> acts, like a Shakespearean play. We ran it through act by act in our
> He encouraged us to get back into the feelings (usually awful) that this
> incident engendered in us. Then he had us play with it. First we ran it
> backwards, act by act. Then mixed up entirely. Then he had us color the
> entire scene a "happy color" (whatever that was for us) and play it again
> our minds. Then, to top it off, he had us play calliope music (like you'd
> hear at a circus) while we played the scene back. We were all smiling by
> this time. He concluded by reminding us that the happy emotions we were
> experiencing were not created by the situation...they were created by us.
> fact, the unhappy emotions we had originally experienced were created by
> as well. The happy emotions were there for us whenever we wanted to access
> them, since they existed inside of us and required only our minds to
> them.
> ~Alan

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