Awareness Reduction Mechanisms


Awareness Reduction Mechanisms (ARMs), are a subclass of Defense Mechanisms, they are strategies that the Bodily Ego can use to reduce awareness of itself, its physical and mental condition, the "room" that it's in, and the condition of its life. ARMS are typically deployed in order to reduce pain, suffering, guilt, shame, and the disjuncture that arises from internal misalignment or external violence and abuse. Several ARMS exist, the most common being:

Other Awareness Reduction Mechanisms

Internalization, Sublimation

Related Terms

Awareness Reduction Mechanisms > Bodily Ego, Cognitive Wall, Defence Mechanisms, Disjuncture, Ego Threat, Externally Directed ARMs, Internally Directed Arms, Unwanted Self

Notes

ARMs are broken down into two categories, Externally Directed ARMs and Internally Directed Arms.

Notes

ARMs are broken down into two categories, Externally Directed ARMs and Internally Directed Arms.

There are four basic categories of ARMs.

Primary ARM -> Repression Secondary ARMs -> Denial, Rationalization, Diversion/Distraction, Intellectualization, Compartmentalization Tertiary ARMs -> Reaction Formation, Gaslightning, Pathological ARMs -> Dissociation, Regression, Conversion


Maslow has some interesting things to say about defense mechanisms, especially in light of the LP concept of Alignment, also about the nature of therapy (it is about uncovering rather than molding, and that even neurosis are somehow aimed at the g\ratification of human needs (see Seven Essential Needs. Thus for example OCD may be an attempt to satisfy one's need for safety by routinizing activity and blocking out toxic impositions.

"A fifth axiom of self-actualization theory is my contention-as yet unproven that neurosis must be considered a psychological defense and not basic to human nature. Furthermore, neurosis must be viewed as a defense against the intrinsic self, our deeper layers, full humanness, growth, and self-actualization. From this assumption, I have argued vigorously that effective counseling and psychotherapy are Taoistic or uncovering, rather than involving mainly shaping,molding, or indoctrinating....It may be relevant to point out here that ordinary neurosis and even the valve pathologies like delinquency may consequently be viewed as efforts toward the gratification of basic and meta-needs, but under the conditions of anxiety, fear, lack of courage." [1]

For LP purposes, we break ARMs down into two general categories, External ARMs and Internal ARMs. External ARMs are defense mechanisms aimed at reducing awareness of things external to the individual, like the behaviour of others, conditions at work, bullying by students/teachers, etc. Internal ARMs are defense mechanisms aimed at reducing awareness of things internal to the individual, like disjunctive shame and guilt, or awareness of complicity, etc.

An individual may deploy several ARMs at the same time.

Further Reading

Sosteric, Mike and Ratkovic, Gina (2019,BOOK2). Lightning Path Workbook Two: Healing. Lightning Path Press. [1]

Sosteric, Mike & Ratkovic, Gina. Lightning Path Workbook Three - Connection. Vol. 3. Lightning Path Workbook Series. St. Albert, Alberta: Lightning Path Press, 2017. https://press.lightningpath.org/product/the-lightning-path-book-three-connection/

Footnotes

  1. ———. “Critique of Self-Actualization. I. Some Dangers of Being-Cognition.” Journal of Individual Psychology 15, no. 1 (May 1, 1959): 24. p. 105