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Unformulated Experience by Donnel B. Stern

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5 Imagination and Creative Speech

Thoughts on Dissociation and Formulation

Usually we think of consciousness as the natural state of experience. We imagine that if we are unaware of something, we must have taken some action to be unaware. It is as if experience were a beach ball. It just naturally floats along the surface. If we want to keep it underwater, we have to push it down there and sit on it; and that takes work. We assume that active exclusion of content from awareness requires effort, as if it were any other kind of action—running, thinking, and so on.

Freud's theory certainly encourages us to continue thinking this way: repression and the other defenses force into unconsciousness experiences that would otherwise appear in consciousness ...

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