9 Awesome Facts About Automatic Writing: Psychology Or Surrealism

Automatic writing is a wonderful way to receive guidance from spirits, guides and angels. It is a channel of writing and one of the easiest ways of psychic communication. No doubt, it is the best way to download and upload one’s subconscious perspective. Along with the network of subconscious views, it is associated an extensive and concealed workstation; the brain, thought process, inner-self and the ability to perceive and pen.

Truly, it is one of the least discussed and least known activity that involves psyche. Well, it’s really hard to contain the urge of grabbing more about this writing. Without wasting more, let’s shift the pedal to this chance to know more about automatic writing, surrealism, and the least discussed facts about it.

Automatic Writing

1 What Automatic Writing Actually Is

Automatic writing is the human ability to produce texts and articles of varied genres without the interference of the conscious mind. It is inherent in every human being, but not everyone is able to use this aptitude in its fullness.

Surrealist writing is frequently underestimated by comparing it to Dadaism, that is, improvisation, disorder and rejection of rationalization and balance. However, it does not correspond to reality. Automatic writing is in fact just a literary method advocated by the surrealist movement.

Breton defined surrealism is a pure psychic automatism of the proposal to express, verbally, in writing, or by any other means, the working of thoughts; dictation of thought, suspended any control exercised by reason, unrelated to any aesthetic or moral concern.

2 The Writer’s State

A writer’s hand automatically produces the text, either on paper or on the computer. No matter what the medium for the production of a surreal text is, the truth is that words, phrases, and whole texts are written with incredible speed.

The author may be in a state of trance, deep relaxation, or altered consciousness. He knows what is happening around him and knows that he is writing. However, upon completion, if someone enquires about what they wrote, they won’t know how to respond.

3 History of Automatic Writing/Surrealism

André Breton was already interested in surrealism since 1916. It so happened that he visited a friend in a hospital in Paris. In picking up a manual of psychiatry, he discovered Sigmund Freud’s psychoanalysis. From then on he began to seek answers about the unconscious thought of the mentally ill, the notes of delusions, and the interpretations of dreams.

In the Surrealist Manifesto, André Breton speaks of a phrase that insisted on his mind, something like: “There is a man cut in two by the window.”

According to him, there was no doubt that it was the simple apprehension in the space of a man leaning out the window. And this gave rise to an uninterrupted succession of phrases that left in him the impression of such gratitude “that the empire which I hitherto held over myself seemed to me to be illusory.”

The history of surrealistic movement is marked by political movements and agitations. In 1925, for example, the surrealists took a stand in favour of Morocco. At that time, Morocco was fighting with France.

4 Breton’s Account

Among the historical records of works produced with automatic writing are “The magnetic fields” (1921), by André Breton and Philippe Soupault. The roots of Breton surrealism lie in the poetry and prose of Rimbaud and Lautréamont and in the more remote poetry of William Blake. These are leading artists of surrealism in foreign literature.

Automatic writing began to be used in Brazil in the 1920s, through Prudente de Morais Neto and Sérgio Buarque de Holanda. They were the first experimenters of automatic writing in the Portuguese language.

The next day he woke up early. It was still dark. His eyes opened when he heard the clock of the lower apartment hit five hours. He had an urge to sleep again but could not. Thousands of ideas were oscillating in his mind. All of a sudden came something good.  By chance, he received from his inner self some beautiful phrases that he never wrote. He repeated those excellent words. He took a pencil and paper on the table. To a spectator it felt like he had broken a vein. The words came on board of thoughts, all in succession. Words put itself in its place, the replicas appeared, and he enjoyed to the crux of it. The successive thoughts were so quick that they flowed abundantly. Meanwhile, he lost a lot of delicate details, because obviously, thoughts ran fast but the pencil could not. He wasted no time and the phrases kept swaying in its flow. He was thus pregnant with his subject.

He became the father of Surrealism with Tristan Tzara, in 1919. The same year witnessed the launch of the magazine Littérature. The magazine published texts produced with automatic writing by Breton and Soupault. The authors wrote their surrealist texts, in the spring of 1919, in a state caused by psychic automatism.

5 Automatic Typing Mode and Psychology 

Automatic writing is used as an instrument of Freudian psychology in activities connected with the studies of “self-knowledge”. It serves as an effective tool for the purpose of gaining introspection in the psychographer’s mind.

Carlos Rodrigues quotes-“When unconscious ideas are expressed in automatic writing, sceptics point out that it is unlikely that they are deeper than the writer’s conscious thoughts. Sceptics argue that there is no evidence that the true self is in the unconscious more than in normal consciousness.”

Claudio Willer, in his long article on Poetic Creation, mentions that in the Le message automatique test of 1933, Breton changed the focus of automatic writing discussion. He failed to cite Freud and referred to Myers, a nineteenth-century psychologist with an experimental orientation, a forerunner of both psychology and the psychology of perception. Myers researched eidetic images, the visual post-effects, and stated:

“All ongoing experimentation would be of a nature to show that perception and representation-which to the ordinary adult seem to oppose so radically-should be taken only as products of Dissociation of a unique, original faculty, from which the eidetic image gives account and from which traces are found between primitives and children. By this reasoning, visions and hallucinations are equivalent to automatism, and vice versa. They gain the status of real, unimpaired perceptions. For surrealism, the hallucinated visionary does indeed see; Or, in verbal automatism, indeed hears.”

6 Breton Psychology or Surrealism

Is writing automatically the same as psychographic? Kardecist spiritists argue that automatic writing is writing without the interference of the conscious.

The automatic writer is a medium who is supposed to receive spiritist messages. From this point of view, the expression “automatic writing” is deprecated by Kardecists. Spiritists consider what is automatically produced as a message conveyed by someone from the beyond.

In the Book of Mediums, Chapter 13, item 157, which speaks of indirect psychology: baskets and clipboards and direct or manual psychography, Alan Kardec expresses:

“We call indirect psychography to the writing thus obtained, as opposed to direct or manual psychography, obtained by the medium himself. In order to understand this last process, it is necessary to take into account what happens in the operation. The communicating Spirit acts upon the medium, who under this influence, mechanically moves his arm and hand to write, without having the least consciousness of what he writes; The hand acts on the basket and the basket on the pencil. So it is not the basket that becomes intelligent; it is only an instrument managed by intelligence; it is really nothing more than a pencil, an appendix of the hand, an intermediary, between the hand and the pencil.”

Bishop Stephen Bettencourt ruled out the interference of a spirit in the case of surrealist writing. In his article The Automatic Writing or Psychography, he writes that in the field of psychography, there are people so veritable and suggestible that they just sit at a table, pick up a pencil, put their hand on a sheet of paper and stop their thinking about certain matter, so that they may discuss this matter in writing. Such people do not have to think of a phrase at all. It is enough for them to conceive of the idea of writing something; It is enough to take a merely passive attitude so that the hand begins to write. Such people also do not need to go into trance or hypnotic sleep. These people, in almost every situation, write without knowing what they are writing, even if they are agreed.

Grassi Lucia dos Santos, in the surreal experience of language: Breton and psychoanalysis, cites a small part of the work “Histoire du Surréalisme” Nadeau, M, published in 1958:

Surrealism is not conceived by its founders as a new artistic tool, but it is rather a means of knowledge, particularly of continents. Until then it had not been explored: the unconscious, the wonderful, the dream, the madness, the hallucinatory states, in reverse of what is presented as a logical scenario. (NADEAU, 1958: 46)

7 Ferreira Gullar And His Experience With Psychic Automatism

The famous poet Ferreira Gullar, a member of the Brazilian Academy of Letters says in his “Poetics Autobiography and Other Texts ” that he had much interest in surrealism and he thought very innovative and challenging ideas of artistic creation.

Ferreira Gullar read with interest the manifestoes of Breton, the poems he wrote and other poets of the group, even without being interested in making surrealist poetry.

Gullar was influenced his way of conceiving poetic creation. He acknowledges that the valuation of unconscious or irrational factors came from the surrealists, although he believed that psychic automatism was an inconsequential proposal, because impracticable.

8 Brainstorming And Automatic Writing

Brainstorming is a technique used to explore the creative potential of a group or an individual in order to gather a diversity of thoughts and experiences and find innovative solutions. Every thought approaching the mind should be noted, without making any preliminary judgment, according to the most important rule of brainstorming: criticism is rejected.

The writer Sara Farinha quotes that the first idea before writing texts is the idea or brainstorming storm. It helps create a list of ideas about a particular topic. Brainstorming works through free association of ideas, dispensing critical thinking and self-editing, allowing us to focus on quantity and ultimately quality.

The absence of critical thinking is present in both brainstorming and automatic writing. The difference is that one is focused on the production of topics or ideas and the other for the production of whole texts.

9 Automatic Writing Techniques

Some people have a vibrating temperament and with little training they are able to express themselves automatically through writing. These people can transfer to paper what comes from the bottom of the unconscious mind.
Psychological automatism can arise not only through concentration, but also through suggestion. Suggestions from outside can motivate new behaviour. The same can be said of self-suggestion.

Technique 1

How to spell it automatically? The first step is to have possession of the writing material, and a relaxed body and mind. One doesn’t needs to worry about how to write because everything will come automatically.

By being deeply relaxed, one may feel a slight tingling in the hand or arm or top of the head.
The best way is to write down everything that comes, without caring whether it lends itself or not, and whether it is coherent or inconsistent. The key is to turn off the critical sense and let the subconscious or unconscious mind command everything.
Even if the result of the first time was unsatisfactory, do not be discouraged. Persistence is the secret of victory.
Before finishing the practice, one should focus on entering more quickly the next time. One should fall deep into the state of relaxation and not think how to write, because it will pen down automatically.

Technique 2

The next strategy is to stay alone in office or wherever possible. Then sit comfortably, putting hands on the keyboard of computer. Then relax the muscles of your body, neck, arms and especially those of the face.
Type the date at the top of the Word page or another program to write. Come up with a theme.
Pay attention to everything that comes in writing, without judging.
As the sentences come, the critical sense also comes into play. Forget critical sense and consider each sentence as a precious asset.
At first there maybe unending difficulties, but over time one will polish to the best.