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Metapsychology Online Reviews
ISSN 1931-5716

Landscapes in My Mind by Vincenzo R. Sanguineti

Landscapes in My Mind

The Origins and Structure of the Subjective Experience
by Vincenzo R. Sanguineti
International Universities Press, 2000
Review by Prem Dana Takada on Oct 11th 2000
Volume: 4, Number: 41

Though I admire Sanguineti's courage at undertaking a book which attempts to expose and articulate the wondrous mysteries of the human mind, I personally found Landscapes in my Mind somewhat laborious read. The poetic title heralds in the heart of Sanguineti thesis on the fundamental nature of human subjectivity.

Sanguineti utilizes himself as a subject in a phenomenological undertaking to explicate the levels of human knowledge. He argues the case for inherited as an alternative to learned knowledge. Line specific archetypal configurations, which interplay with individualized learning. He claims that the major distinguishing differences lie in the quality of perception between the two. All experiential learning comes by way of information shared through some sort of external influences i.e. acquisition, incorporation and adaptation to pre-existing templates accompanied by sort of some an emotional undertone. Inherited knowledge, however, is quite different with the affective link being one of familiarity-recognition-connectedness (FRC) even when the conscious experience is new and is also accompanied by a numinous state. (I must admit I was a little confused by some of the attempts at definition as then he went on to define numinous experiences as those that contain a sense of connectedness).

I agree with his contention that we are much more ready to accept the inherited line of the" animal body" in terms of, for example, hand and limb function (see my review of The Hand by Frank R. Wilson) than an "animal mind" and the complex experiential mentalistic schemata that this would represent.

The highlight of this book for me was the descriptions of various mental landscapes of consciousness of patients of Sanguineit's. Clearly one can see the archaic mind in these examples.

I am with him on his attempts to describe the ineffable but I felt that the Newtonian versus Quantum Physics distinction to describe objective versus subjective experiences seems an overused one at this date. Man has been studying and reflecting upon the workings of his own mind and coming up with complex systems to approach it with for thousands of years. Does it really end with Qualia (units of feeling), VRT(the simultaneous quality of gestalts) and FRC's? I would at least have hoped those working in the field would have stopped having to justify an objective reality that has never existed.

As for stylistic form the conclusion section at the end of each chapter could be better termed a summary since it merely seemed to summarize each relatively short chapter.

That there is knowledge that isn't "learned" but is "inherited" can be testified by any one of my, say , Italian clients who still values, and in a way "remembers" the lifestyle and passion of the "old country" in which they have never lived. I didn't find that I was any closer to discover how this knowledge is carried in any true scientific sense yet was left with a yet another system of thought, hypothesis, a reflection of one man's experience that will be added to the rest. I certainly admire his precision and self discipline in this regard and I sincerely hope he writes another book outlining the methods that he used and the changes that came about in him from the use of this since therein lies the seeds of his treatise and would be in keeping with his clearly sincere wish to impart knowledge.

Prem Dana Takada originally trained as a Clinical Psychologist in Melbourne, Australia where she also acquired registration as a Family Therapist. After leaving Australia, Prem Dana worked as a Principal Clinical Psychologist in West London where she continued to work with individuals, couples, families, and as a group therapist and received further training as a Hypnotherapist in Oxford. She has traveled widely having also lived and worked in India, and has been in Japan for the last five years where she currently runs the Psychotherapy and Healing Practice and is President of Mental Health Providers Japan--a professional organization established for Western Therapists.

To buy this book at a discount from Barnes & Noble.com, click here: Landscapes in My Mind: The Origins and Structure of the Subjective Experience

Though I admire Sanguineti's courage at undertaking a book which attempts to expose and articulate the wondrous mysteries of the human mind, I personally found Landscapes in my Mind somewhat laborious read. The poetic title heralds in the heart of Sanguineti thesis on the fundamental nature of human subjectivity.

Sanguineti utilizes himself as a subject in a phenomenological undertaking to explicate the levels of human knowledge. He argues the case for inherited as an alternative to learned knowledge. Line specific archetypal configurations, which interplay with individualized learning. He claims that the major distinguishing differences lie in the quality of perception between the two. All experiential learning comes by way of information shared through some sort of external influences i.e. acquisition, incorporation and adaptation to pre-existing templates accompanied by sort of some an emotional undertone. Inherited knowledge, however, is quite different with the affective link being one of familiarity-recognition-connectedness (FRC) even when the conscious experience is new and is also accompanied by a numinous state. (I must admit I was a little confused by some of the attempts at definition as then he went on to define numinous experiences as those that contain a sense of connectedness).

I agree with his contention that we are much more ready to accept the inherited line of the" animal body" in terms of, for example, hand and limb function (see my review of The Hand by Frank R. Wilson) than an "animal mind" and the complex experiential mentalistic schemata that this would represent.

The highlight of this book for me was the descriptions of various mental landscapes of consciousness of patients of Sanguineit's. Clearly one can see the archaic mind in these examples.

I am with him on his attempts to describe the ineffable but I felt that the Newtonian versus Quantum Physics distinction to describe objective versus subjective experiences seems an overused one at this date. Man has been studying and reflecting upon the workings of his own mind and coming up with complex systems to approach it with for thousands of years. Does it really end with Qualia (units of feeling), VRT(the simultaneous quality of gestalts) and FRC's? I would at least have hoped those working in the field would have stopped having to justify an objective reality that has never existed.

As for stylistic form the conclusion section at the end of each chapter could be better termed a summary since it merely seemed to summarize each relatively short chapter.

That there is knowledge that isn't "learned" but is "inherited" can be testified by any one of my, say , Italian clients who still values, and in a way "remembers" the lifestyle and passion of the "old country" in which they have never lived. I didn't find that I was any closer to discover how this knowledge is carried in any true scientific sense yet was left with a yet another system of thought, hypothesis, a reflection of one man's experience that will be added to the rest. I certainly admire his precision and self discipline in this regard and I sincerely hope he writes another book outlining the methods that he used and the changes that came about in him from the use of this since therein lies the seeds of his treatise and would be in keeping with his clearly sincere wish to impart knowledge.

Prem Dana Takada originally trained as a Clinical Psychologist in Melbourne, Australia where she also acquired registration as a Family Therapist. After leaving Australia, Prem Dana worked as a Principal Clinical Psychologist in West London where she continued to work with individuals, couples, families, and as a group therapist and received further training as a Hypnotherapist in Oxford. She has traveled widely having also lived and worked in India, and has been in Japan for the last five years where she currently runs the Psychotherapy and Healing Practice and is President of Mental Health Providers Japan--a professional organization established for Western Therapists.

To buy this book at a discount from Barnes & Noble.com, click here: Landscapes in My Mind: The Origins and Structure of the Subjective Experience

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