In Hindu philosophy, there is a lot of talk about the 'witness'. If, instead of experiencing an event intensely, if you become the observer and watch it from a distance, the intensity of the event vanishes. The experiencing position is called Associated or the First perceptual position, and the opponent's position is called the Second Perceptual Position. The third perceptual position is that of an observer, also called Dissociated.

It has been observed by therapists that those who suffer intense traumas usually associate themselves in their mental pictures. If only they can learn to dissociate themselves from their mental pictures, watching themselves in the pictures suffering the traumas, they can get out of their mental agony rapidly.

Those who feel depressed, usually watch themselves in their mental pictures, that is, they are dissociated. They can come out of their depression by associating themselves in their mental pictures.

Those who feel guilty are associated in their mental pictures and they can come out of their guilt by dissociating themselves from their mental pictures.

There are six perceptual positions the first three being basic and the next three are advanced.

Basic Perceptual Positions

First Position

Associated. You experience the event directly, intensely, as if you are inside yourself in the mental picture.

Second Position

The position of the opponent or the other person. You are inside the opposite party in the mental picture. You literally look at things from the opponent's point of view.

Third Position

The position of the independent observer. You take an objective view of the whole situation. Looking at things from a neutral point of view.

Advanced Perceptual Positions

Fourth Position

The position of a mythic observer. This is the realm of poetry and metaphorical view of the situation.

Fifth Position

Identified as the Spirit in various spiritual areas. It is very difficult to define this position in words.

Zeroth Position

The position we take when we apply anchors, shift through various perceptual positions.

Also, see Timelines.