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    Thread: Carl Gustav Jung - Videos, Books, Ruminations

    1. #176
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      Archetypes part 2 - a Detour through Brain Science (the Rat Maze)

      I made several posts this morning on this thread. If you're seeing this you might need to back up - the first post was at the bottom of page 7. Just a heads up.

      Let me briefly detour into Brain Science relating to the unconscious. One thing the mind seems to do in dreams is try to help you solve current problems, and it does it by delving back through your memory stores and trying to find similar problems you’ve faced in the past. Makes sense, right? Think about how you dealt with similar situations - did it work then, and if so what was the solution, and how might you be able to apply it to the present situation? What the mind has at its disposal is a reservoir of memories of experiences. So it makes perfect sense that it would develop a system of organic machines designed to store, sort and play these memories when needed to help you solve problems. After all, that’s essentially what the mind is - a problem solving machine. This is precisely why as Jung likes to point out it is compensatory - it has a tendency to give you what you need to solve a problem. And this is why dreams relate to your problems. At least at those times when you’re experiencing a problem - if you‘re not then they can be more of a random playground populated with memories pulled up by the Archetypes but not for any pressing reason.

      Let me relate a section of a book called The Mind at Night. There was an experiment done with rats in a maze. They had electrodes going to various areas in their brains, and as they solved the problems of the maze - as they learned their way around it to get to the food at the end, scientists could see different areas of the brain lighting up. They also watched the brain activity as the rats were sleeping. What they found is that certain brain areas lit up like a christmas tree when the rats were learning the maze. They could see the brain centers lighting up in a pattern - and they even could see the pattern changing as the rats gradually learned the maze.

      What they found was that if they let the rats sleep after tackling the maze those same patterns would repeat in their brains. The exact same brain centers would light up in exactly the same patterns as they did during the day, while the rats were trying to solve the maze. They could see the decisions being made at each turn, and the pleasure centers light up when the food was discovered at the end. The interesting thing is, they also used a control group of rats who were not allowed to sleep after solving the maze. Not surprizingly, the rats who were allowed to sleep got better fast - the next day they were able to thread their way throgh the maze almost perfectly from the first try. The ones who weren't alowed to sleep, and didn’t dream about going through the maze, didn’t improve as fast as the ones who did. It’s known that we do something while dreaming that helps us learn. Apparently what we do is retrace our steps - go over whatever experiences we've had that might help us to solve any problems we’re experiencing. It’s also said that durng dreaming we decide which memories to discard as useless and which ones will go into long term memory storage - because they’re important toward possible future problem solving.

      The book presented a similar experiment with people. They got wired up with electrodes and played a video game. It was a skiing game - you had to learn a route down a mountain. So really it was a maze of sorts. They divided the test subjects into 2 groups - let one sleep afterwards and the other wasn’t allowed to. During sleep the brain centers of the sleepers lit up in the same patterns they had while playing the game but this time there was one added benefit - the scientists were able to ask the subjects what they dreamed about - a rat can’t tell you that. People reported that they dreamed about snow a lot - often of tracing a path of footprints in the snow. People reported stepping in already existing footprints. What would that mean? Well, it’s tracing a path that's already been made - following in somebody’s footsteps. Somebody who’s already been where you’re going. In other words, finding a path through the snow by thinking about where you, or somebody else, has already walked. This is a perfect metaphor for digging into your memories in order to help solve a problem.

      People also dreamed about other things that at first seemed unrelated or only loosely related. Walking through houses buildings or streets, usually places they knew. In other words - memories. It turns out what they were really doing was comparing the new experiences to older ones. By dreaming about walking through a familiar house or school or street and comparing that to the new problems you’re trying to solve in the snow maze, you’re comparing and collating old memories with the new problem. It’s apparently the way the brain is designed to work. It digs through memories to see if there’s any information there that can apply in the new situation.
      Last edited by Darkmatters; 01-08-2018 at 09:47 PM.

    2. #177
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      Archetypes part 3 - Projection. Conclusion

      So, back to the Archetypes then. They contain, select and project memories with strong emotional content.

      Here’s where things get really interesting I think. I made sure to say they project, rather than just play, and that's for a good reason. Because projection requires a screen. What is the screen they project onto? It depends. If you’re sleeping it’s what you could just call the Dream Screen or the Dream Theater. There’s no sensory input coming in when you’re asleep - the pathways from the sensory organs to the brain are shut down - you’re not seeing or hearing or smelling things. Well you sort of still are, but those signals are squelched way down to clear the mind’s theater for dreaming. So the Arcehtypes project characters and situations up onto the Dream Screen and create little interactive stories. Like little video games for you to solve. You have varying degrees of interactivity depending on how lucid you are - in most dreams it’s pretty limited.

      But - what do the archetypes project onto when you’re awake? Onto people or situations around you. It’s a sort of waking dream, or a blending of dream with reality. If your mind decides you're unbalanced and something needs to be brought to your attention, it will do so by making you see what you need to see. If you’re being too tyranical for instance it might project images of tyrants onto people around you. It only works if there’s a ‘hook’ to hang the projection on - in other words it can't project a tyrannical image onto a person who is nice and friendly - they need to have some level of tyranny. So it takes the person’s actual characteristics and exaggerates them - twists them into an image of a tyrant. What it’s really showing you is a reflection of yourself. It’s saying "hey buddy - you’re behaving like a tyrant lately and you need to stop - here see, this is what you look like”.

      Because that’s the essence of projection - it is really reflection. Something inside you is being reflected out onto the objective world (or into the dream theater) so that you can see the problem. Unfortunatley most people are so wrapped up in denial and excuses that they refuse to see it. This is why it’s important to learn how this stuff works - what it means if you get obsessed about something and start seeing it in people all around you - it’s probably something inside yourself that you need to deal with.

      To be clear - what I’m talking about now applies to projections onto other people or onto situations that we see in waking life. That’s when it refers to something inside yourself. In dreams it can be inside yourself or it might not be. This makes dreams a little harder to figure out. Is the dream showing me that I’m being a jerk, or that somebody in my life is? Or maybe both? But the nice thing about dreams is, if you fail to understand and act appropriately on them, then they’ll keep telling you the same thing in different ways hopefully until you get it.

      Ok, I think that pretty well covers the Archetypes as well as I understand them. If there are any gaps please ask questions. Not guaranteeing I can answer them.
      Last edited by Darkmatters; 01-08-2018 at 09:39 PM.

    3. #178
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      Special Bonus Material - What Are Dreams?

      I just remembered - there was a Nova episode that covered much of the material from the book The Mind at Night. Here it is - it shows the rat maze experiment and the skiing video game experiment. Fascinating stuff:



      Lol I started watching it and remembered - they completely bypass Jung and instead show Freud's theories! Another example of how the academic world ignores Jung and instead goes back to Freud, whose theories have largely been discredited - by Jung! Sheesh! Academic bias at work - probably a collective projection.

      EDIT - a woman toward the end even said she dreamed about a "giant made of shadows" and they still didn't mention Jung! Denial much?
      Last edited by Darkmatters; 01-08-2018 at 07:26 PM.

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      You've been busy Darkmatters, I've retreated for a rest. I will come back and read your posts soon, life has hit again for a few days.
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      Yeah, I spent a few days writing that up and then just posted it all on one day. Lol, I feel like I'm writing my first year dissertation! And putting it into words is really helping me understand it better. I imagine I'll be popping in at periods in the future and posting my upgraded understanding - my 2nd and 3rd year dissertations etc.

      Meanwhile - here's this:



      Goes into some detail about how Christianity split God and the Devil and how that kind of attitude does psychological damage. The split must be healed, and can be through the psychological understanding that what has been called Satan in the Bible is really The Shadow, and is an integral half of the Self that must be consciously understood and balanced, not ignored and relegated to the unconscious where it will pull the secret puppet-strings when you least suspect it.

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      An amazing talk by Jordan Peterson - most of it revolves around Jungian theory, and delves into Gnosticism and Logos. Behold and Tremble:



      I've heard him say many of these things before, but not all put together like this. It boggles the mind...
      Last edited by Darkmatters; 01-11-2018 at 11:10 PM.
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      Quote Originally Posted by Darkmatters View Post
      An amazing talk by Jordan Peterson - most of it revolves around Jungian theory, and delves into Gnosticism and Logos. Behold and Tremble:



      I've heard him say many of these things before, but not all put together like this. It boggles the mind...
      Great talk! Thought provoking.
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    8. #183
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      Thoughts on the Shadow and the Anima/Animus

      Ok, the essays continue. I suppose these are the Ruminations the title of the thread is referring to. And while the thread seems to have suddenly died as soon as I started posting them, I don't think that's the reason - I think the handful of people who are into it enough to respond are just busy with other things. Which actually makes it easier for me to keep posting the essays rather than just videos or little question and answer exchanges etc. And writing these is really helping me to consolidate my own understanding of all this Jungian stuff. Up until now I was dissecting - examining the various parts and how they each work, and now I'm putting them together - synthesizing. You need to do both to fully process things I think. So back to it then - here are my recent thoughts on the Shadow and the Anima/Animus:

      Why do they exist as 2 separate Archetypes? Why one based on sex and one not?

      Well, that’s not quite where it breaks down actually. It’s about different kinds of opposites. The Anima/mus is about your ability to relate successfully - to other people and to your innermost being. This one needs to be developed over a lifetime of practice and experiences. It accumulates, like a skill.

      The Shadow on the other hand - well, the experiences do accumulate, but there’s a basic difference I think. Hmm.. maybe accumulation has nothing to do with it. Maybe it’s simply that one is about relating honestly and the other is about repressing and denying that which we want to disown about ourselves. One positive, one negative. And together they constitute our relation to the world, to ourselves and to other people. To Reality as Peterson might say.

      We relate by either connecting or rejecting/denying/repressing. A positive way and a negative way. And we’re constantly doing a bit of both, in very small ways as well as in larger ways. It isn’t possible to eliminate one and only have the other - this is the lesson of the Opposites. We must accept them both as integral and essential aspects of life. The only way to not experience life as an endless set of matched opposites is to live completely unconsciously - and the only way to really do that would be in a coma or asleep all the time, and even in dreams we do have a rudimentary level of conscious awareness - opposites are always showing up in our dreams.

      The main problem with the opposites is this - one always seems to be positive and the other negative, and so most people tend to embrace one enthusiastically - sometimes to a pathological extent, and reject the other. By rejecting it we push it down out of conscious awareness - whatever you refuse to think honestly about disappears into the unconscious - into the Shadow I would say, and can there grow to monstrous proportions and take you over without your being aware of it. This is called Shadow Possession. You literally get possessed by the Shadow just like being possessed by a demon - in fact this is exactly what demonic possession always was. It’s also been called possession by various gods or spirits, because in the past, before we understood the unconscious and the way it works, people used to try to explain what it was doing in ways that seemed to make sense to them in pre-scientific times.

      And even when you do understand the deep psyche, it still works to use terms like possession or magic spell, because these ideas perfectly encapsulate exactly what the experience feels like! If you’ve ever been under a really powerful compulsion that you couldn’t break out of, well that’s something you can describe as being under a spell, and that’s exactly what it feels like. Often you don’t even realize you’re under a compulsion until the spell begins to break, and suddenly people will look back and say things like “Wow, I had no idea what I was doing!”, or “The Devil got into me” or “It must have been that evil witch - somehow I know that woman got inside my head and took control of me”.

      Women do have a way of doing that - or a man can do it to a woman. And of course it doesn't have to be across the gender divide. Love makes us crazy, and it changes who we are and how we behave. And not just love - sometimes a person can just get under your skin in ways you don’t understand - something about them just brings up things inside yourself that you didn’t know were there - they can make you turn into somebody you don’t even recognize. And often you sort of come back to yourself a little while after they’re gone and you wonder what the hell happened? Why did I say those crazy things - that really isn’t like me! well, it’s because something unconscious inside you was responding to something probably unconscious in the other person. It could be your animus was being driven crazy by their anima, or maybe your Shadow got activated by their Shadow.

      How does the Shadow develop?
      Well, I think it’s like this. I think beginning in early childhood we begin to make decisions about what is acceptable and what isn’t. And when we find ourselves doing something unacceptable we have a visceral emotional response - "Oh no that's a BAD thing!! I don’t do that! That’s not the kind of person I am… I’m a GOOD person!" Therefore that behavior has to go. Or rather, your KNOWLEDGE of that behavior has to go. You’ll still keep doing it - often we do what we do for reasons we aren't consciously aware of, and even if we decide it's bad and we shouldn’t do it - like smoking or cursing or being lazy or something - well most likely you’re going to continue doing it because you don’t really have full conscious control over your own behavior.

      So when you find that you’re still doing it, you have an even stronger emotional reaction. Oh crap - I wasn't’ going to do that anymore!! What’s wrong with me? Am I a bad person? Do I not have any self control? We really don’t have very much. But if the behavior in question is something that’s really embarrassing or that makes you feel like a really bad person - say for instance lying to people or always being late or something even worse like stealing compulsively or drinking too much - well then you don’t want to face that the habit controls you (rather than the other way around), so one way to get rid of the guilt and shame is to just repress it all. Just make it go away. "Who, me? No, I don’t do that, what are you talking about? Oh sure, I USED to! But that was a month ago! I changed - you know that. I don’t do it anymore. Now I’m clean and sober.”

      Especially if there’s a lot on the line. Like if your relationship is hanging in the balance - maybe your girlfriend has given you an ultimatum - quit drinking and all the lying and sneaking around that goes along with it, or it’s all over. And you tried - you really tried - but at some point you were drinking again, and it filled you with shame and fear, because you know now that the habit is stronger than your will to fight it, and people have simplistic ideas about willpower and breaking habits - they think if you fail at trying to break a habit it means you’re a failure (which is another example of simplistic black and white thinking).

      So anyway, I think you can see how it works. A person who engages in some really bad behavior has probably been telling themselves for a long time that it’s ok - I’m not really addicted. I can quit at any time. You know, the standard excuses. Then when somebody challenges them to put their money where their mouth is and demonstrate this incredible willpower, they try it and discover it isn’t so easy! Maybe something really does have control deep inside and they weren’t even aware of it. Well, that’s frightening, and you don’t want to face it. It means you’re not in control, and some people have a compulsive need to feel like they’re in total control of their lives. So that leads to a snowballing series of lies and excuses, until eventually it’s obvious to everybody else that you’re lying and sneaking around and showing up drunk to work half the time, and you’re the only one who doesn’t see it.

      And there’s this weird thing people do in situations like that. They’ll sort of half-lie to themselves, maybe even a little bit humorously, and let themselves get lost along the line between lie and reality. As long as they make the line fuzzy enough, they have a lot of leeway to pretend they can’t tell which side of it they’re on. Or to jump back and forth any time they get caught.


      So rather than just outright boldfaced lies, they’ll engage in half-truths and pretend like they’re only kidding a lot. This is how sarcasm works as a defense mechanism - this seems to be a really big one these days.
      Last edited by Darkmatters; 01-15-2018 at 12:16 AM.
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    9. #184
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      Sarcasm as a defense mechanism (slight detour by way of elaboration):

      This is an illustration of a specific type of behavior the Shadow loves to hide behind as it grows stronger and spreads its insidious influence. I'm making it a separate entry because it sort of stands on its own. Then I'll get back to the general discussion about Shadow and Anima/Animus


      I used to get really annoyed that so many of the people I talk to these days seem to be really sarcastic, and almost all the time. Some a lot more so than others. And one day it occurred to me why it’s so annoying - it’s because you can never pin them down on anything - because they never commit themselves to anything. They never let you know honesty how they feel about anything. By being sarcastic you always have a way to weasel out of anything you’ve said - you can go either way. And it goes farther than that - sarcasm allows you to be really nasty and insulting and THEN weasel out of it time after time - some people seem to get addicted to it. Saying something sarcastically allows you be really insulting and nasty, and then if somebody gets offended you just say “Oh, did you take me seriously?” and sort of leer at them. It’s an insulting way to say you didn’t really mean it, but it’s not really an apology at all! Just the opposite. It implies that you’re stupid because you couldn’t tell they were just being sarcastic. And if you do take it as sarcasm and that doesn’t suit their purpose, then they can go the other way… “What, you thought I was being sarcastic?”

      People who are addicted to sarcasm seem to almost always give negative responses, even if they agree with you - because the one thing they will almost never do is reveal anything sensitive or vulnerable about themselves - because then you could hurt them. Sarcasm is a mask - an armor of sorts that fearful people hide behind. It's a persona, but a really false and insidious one that allows the Shadow to grow to massive proportions while the person cultivates a sense of superiority. I suspect it's often a habitual mask for narcissism. And that’s a really bad problem.

      Of course sarcasm isn’t always a pathological defense mechanism - only if somebody uses it habitually to avoid revealing their actual feelings, or to make other people feel inferior and themselves superior. Teens and 20-somethings go through a period when they do get really sarcastic and engage in a lot of other off-putting behavior because they’re at a point where they have to beak away from being a dependent child and grow into adulthood. This requires making a complete break from childish naiveté, and it means they can’t be as acquiescent and nice as they used to be (not saying all kids are that way!) In fact it requires a full-blown rebellion against the tyranny of adults who still want to be able to control the kids, or at least to relate to them they way they used to, as an adult to a child.

      Understandably they start to get pretty mad about being treated like kids when they’re not really kids anymore, so they rebel and at first they don’t know how to do it in an adult way - it takes time to grow into adulthood and learn how to do these things right. So I’m just saying not all sarcasm is pathological and it isn't always the Shadow repressing and projecting. I’m also saying I suppose this is a big part of the reason so many young people are so sarcastic.
      Last edited by Darkmatters; 01-14-2018 at 07:13 PM.
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    10. #185
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      Groupthink - Identifying and Disidentifying (Patriotism, Zealotry, Bigotry etc):

      This section is another example of ways people can fall into the trap of the Opposites uncritically.

      So many of us have a tendency to identify strongly with the positive aspect - the Good pole of each pair of opposites, and to disidentify, sometimes completely, with the negative pole. “I'm a Good person, I’m never a Bad person.” Obviously at this scale, classifying yourself completely as either good or bad, it’s clear people are going to usually identify as good. This kind of simplistic all-or-nothing, good-or-bad thinking leads to all kinds of problems, but it’s the way many people think most of the time. We tend to break things down into Us vs Them dichotomies, and of course, We are always the Good Guys.

      Some people who remain so simplistic and continue to think in black and white dichotomies will begin to see that “We” are not all good, but then they flip completely the opposite way - “We” are actually evil to the core, but since I am aware of that fact, I no longer identify as one of “Us”. So they will engage in fault-finding concerning the group, while seeing themselves as standing outside of it.

      This is at least the beginning of a more critical type of thinking - discriminating to a finer degree. And fine discrimination is what’s necessary. For example, a person who begins to feel like The Stamp Collecting Club is not Good is beginning to see past the simplistic propaganda, but if they remain too simple in their ability to discriminate, or if they fail to actually think critically to a deep enough extent, they might then simply fall into the opposite extreme - “Therefore The Stamp Collecting Club is Evil!” - when more likely there are certain things that cause it to be less than completely Good - maybe it’s a group of people in charge who are making decisions for their own reasons, or maybe something else.

      This kind of black and white thinking tends to proliferate in groupthink - in political or religious organizations etc. Groups of those kinds depend on people being very simple-minded and not thinking outside of the clear black-and-white lines they’ve drawn. You’re either One of Us or you’re Part of the Problem. They pretend like there are no other possibilities, when reality is actually far more subtle and complex than that and usually there are many more possibilities and degrees of meaning. Substitute a country or a religion or a race or political party for The Stamp Collecting Club and it’s easy to see what I mean.

      There are certain fault lines along which people naturally tend to divide, and these are exploited relentlessly by those who want to control others. If a person fails to learn to think critically and see beyond the simple polarities, they’re easily manipulated by this kind of all or nothing approach. In fact, even highly intelligent people who can usually see past these things can fall prey to simplistic black and white thinking under certain circumstances. If they’re drunk or on certain other forms of recreational drugs, if they’re tired or angry or otherwise emotionally distressed, or if they're sleep deprived or sick. For instance a headache or some other type of pain will do the trick. If you can get them mad or worked up in some way, they become much simpler and more easily controlled. It requires a certain placidity - a tranquility and level-headedness to be able to discriminate to a high degree between What’s Good and What’s Bad, and to begin to see that there are other levels in between. This is why those people who want to control others tend to speak in strong emotional terms designed to get people impassioned and angry or fearful. Fear-mongering as it’s called. Invoking strong passions will destroy a person’s critical thinking capacity temporarily.

      Of course there are other things that can destroy a person’s ability to think in subtle complex terms - it’s something that requires effort, sustained thought and maturity. People under a certain age don’t have fully developed brain structures and aren't prepared for it yet. But maturity means more than just physically having the brain structures in place, it also means developing yourself in certain ways, which many people never do or are even taught not to do by the people in their lives. Maturity is like Individuation in that respect - it requires an ongoing commitment to self improvement and a going against the tide in many regards, unless you happen to live in a really good family that encourages self development, which many people unfortunately don’t.

      I’m just trying to get across the idea that simplistic black and white thinking of an emotional type is probably the baseline for many people, and is encouraged by many groups, and rising above it is difficult and actually fairly unusual. So the masses tend to be dominated by groupthink and emotionalized polarities, and will use shaming tactics to reprogram any members who stray from the herd. When a person starts to think for themselves and starts to arrive at unconventional outside the box ideas, they often are not encouraged by family and friends - maybe by some of them, but there will often be many in their lives who angrily demand that they comply with groupthink and make horrible accusations against them. Individuation is about stepping outside of groupthink and herd behavior and starting to think for yourself - and about seeing the subtle gradations between Right and Wrong, between Good and Bad, and in fact seeing that these polarities are traps for the unwary. A person subject to groupthink is a servant, and not at all in control of their own destiny.

      And when you divide everything neatly and uncritically into Good and Bad polarities, you create a very large and very powerful Shadow. In fact it will be fully half of your personality, since half of everything is pushed automatically into the Bad category so that you never even think about it any other way. This is the cost of falling into Groupthink.
      Last edited by Darkmatters; 01-14-2018 at 07:21 PM.

    11. #186
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      The Shadow exists across the entire Psyche - Anima/Animus is a separate category

      The Shadow is a global phenomenon. Every part of the psyche gets split into a Shadow part and a part that you’re consciously aware of. I think this is true of each Archetype - I mean I think each Archetype has its own Shadow component. The Anima /Animus has its good half and its bad half - a positive aspect and a negative one. The same is true of the Self - since the Self is the God Image inside the Psyche, it breaks down into God and Satan. When you see God in the world in some way - some miracle that is the work of God, you’re projecting your own Self archetype out there, and when you see the work of the Devil the same is true. As within, so without - as above, so below. In these phrases, above and within both refer to the psyche, while below and without refer to the physical plane or the outside world.

      So really the Shadow is a much bigger part of the total psyche than the Anima or Animus. It’s the dark half of the entire psyche, both conscious (the Ego) and unconscious (everything else).

      Maybe a better way to say it is that the Self is the totality of the psyche - both conscious and unconscious - so it includes all of the other archetypes. And it (the totality of the psyche - the Self) is split into a dark and a light half. So is each of the lesser archetypes. The split runs across all of them. What applies to the One (the Self) applies equally to the Many (the entire menagerie of Archetypes that make up the totality of the Self/ the Psyche). It’s a fractal thing - like a hologram. A hologram is an image that appears to be 3 dimensional, and if you break off a piece it somehow contains the entire image - every piece of it does in fact, no matter how small they are or how many.

      Well that’s not quite a perfect analogy, because each Archetype doesn’t contain the entirely of the psyche, but each does split into a light and a dark half. But I think the idea is true if a psyche splits into sub-personalities - each one has a complete set of archetypes, each split into a Shadow half and a Light half. This is fascinating, and has the numinosity of a religious or spiritual truth.


      Whenever we encounter some part of the unconscious we experience the Numinous. This numinosity is exactly why the phenomenon of the psyche have always held such power over people and made them try to explain its manifestations as spiritual or religious experiences, or as ghosts or myth.

      Numinosity definition.
      1. Of or relating to a numen; supernatural.
      2. Filled up with or characterized by a feeling of a supernatural existence: a numinous place.
      3. Spiritually elevated; sublime.
      4. Stimulating spiritual or religious emotions.
      Last edited by Darkmatters; 01-14-2018 at 08:44 PM.

    12. #187
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      Archetypes aren't always there - they Constellate when they're needed

      The title sort of says it all for this one. I just thought it was important enough to deserve its own post. But yeah, these Archetypes aren't all there all the time - they sort of sink into solution in the morass of the psyche until something calls one into being. Then it takes form - Constellates as it's called, and creates images that are projected into conscious awareness - either in your dreams, fantasies, spontaneous visions or synchronicites, or perhaps by being projected out onto people or situations around you. However the images are projected, their purpose is to get your attention - to let you know something is wrong and you need to take some kind of action.

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      Lots for me to catch up on. It looks like I've caught flu again, how many strains there are going around at the moment near me I've no idea, but everyone's going on about that nasty one...I hope this won't be it. Either way, I may not be working for the next couple of days, so I may be able to catch up....

      On a totally random subject, I've just watched the film The Life of Pi. A friend was telling me what a wonderful film it was, so, being ill, I actually sat and watched. Darkmatters, have you seen it? If not, don't worry. If you have.....do you think the Tiger is a sign that the boy had integrated his shadow, like Peterson talks about, and therefore is stronger and demands respect? That said, the tiger was still pretty much out of control, so maybe not....
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      Quote Originally Posted by Darkmatters View Post
      And while the thread seems to have suddenly died as soon as I started posting them, I don't think that's the reason - I think the handful of people who are into it enough to respond are just busy with other things.
      I know I came in a bit later in the thread, but just to say I struggle due to time. Just for feedback. But I intend to read all that you post, it might just take time and I might come back with a response later, lol.
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      Thanks, I appreciate it! I hope you get better soon - but maybe after you've caught up.

      I have not seen Life of Pi, but it does look really amazing. I might have to catch it one of these days.

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      The Gnostic Jung and the Seven Sermons to the Dead

      A few days ago I received The Gnostic Jung and the Seven Sermons to the Dead, which I described at the very bottom of page 6. I was pretty excited about it then, but now that I've read it, even more so.

      Stephan Hoeller is an amazing writer. He really brings the material to life and makes it fascinating, though that's partly because the subject matter is already fascinating if you're into Jung and the psyche and its links with religion, myth and fairy tale etc, which I most definitely am.

      I also want to say - I mentioned on that earlier post that he had a youtube channel and that I remembered his voice being annoying - a thick accent and sort of sarcastic. Well I was right about the accent - he's Austro-Hungarian, so like Jung he speaks German as his native language, and has pretty much the same accent. In fact there's even a physical resemblance - distinguished and gentlemanly, and yet also somehow mischievous and a little gnomelike. But I was wrong about him sounding sarcastic - I was confusing him with somebody else. His voice is actually very pleasant to listen to.

      Ok, on to the book - I just want to say I now have a new favorite Jungian book - this one has replaced Marie-Louise Von Franz's Alchemy for that spot. I was beginning to understand that Jung had taken the majority of his ideas from Gnosticism and Alchemy, and now I know it's true. In fact, now I'm starting to see that Gnosticism itself is a part of Hermeticism - of which Alchemy is another part. All created by Hermes Trismegistus - AKA Mercurius the Trickster. I'm starting to get more interested in that guy now. In fact, I want to flesh out my understanding of both Gnosticism and Alchemy- I really think it will deepen and enhance a study of Jung and his theories. After all, it's what they're really all about - he just sort of kept that fact under wraps so as not to cast an unfortunate pall over his psychology. He didn't want to be seen as a mystic, though really that's what he was. But toward the end of his life he did begin to reveal that fact, and even more so when The Red Book was finally published in 2009.

      But that brings up the question - what exactly is mysticism? There's a lot of misunderstanding around it. It isn't what people tend to think - mumbo-jumbo magic that only a moron or a pre-scientific Ancient could believe in. The whole reason Jung devoured it so voraciously is because as he read about it, he discovered that in fact the Mystics - certain branches of them anyway (namely the Hermetic branches) had discovered exactly what he himself had - the inner reality of the Psyche!

      They didn't know that's what it was - well I suppose it's debatable how much they understood - apparently some of them did understand it was inside the mind. But they didn't quite grasp the full structure and nature of the mind - of the unconscious. That had to wait until Freud mapped it out. And then the stage was set for Jung - the modern scientific Gnostic - to go in and deepen and broaden the map - to open up new areas Freud hadn't even suspected. But those areas had already been mapped - in a way - by the ancient mystics. Though their maps had pictures of monsters and Gods and bizarre convoluted creatures rather than scientific terminology and empirical evidence. Throughout most of his publishing career, Jung restrained himself to largely scientific descriptions - just referring almost fancifully to the ancient ideas. But when you get to know the real Jung - the Gnostic Jung - the Alchemical Jung - you come to understand that the real discoveries can best be described by metaphor and symbolism - the language of poetry, of music and art - of the unconscious. The language of the mystics. And it still lives deep inside of our own modern, rational materialistic minds, to emerge in our dreams, our stories, and our fantasies. Through the age of rational, empirical and reductionist reasoning, we've largely lost contact with these deep and magical truths, but Jung has found the way to re-connect us.
      Last edited by Darkmatters; 01-19-2018 at 02:55 AM.

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      Tomorrow eve, UK time I'll be able to spend some more time on this, and I'll pm re more of the Mercurius stuff :-)
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      Oh excellent! Very much looking forward to that!

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      2 Books about the Alchemical Jung by Gary Lachman

      Following up on what I said above, I looked into Jung's Alchemical side some more - this time not his own writings, which he deliberately kept as rational and scientific as possible to avoid the accusations and recriminations of mysticism - but in books written about him, where the authors are not under any such compulsion. I should probably say - despite the title of the post these books are not really about Jung - they're actually about Hermetic Mysticism, but they do discuss Jung in that connection.

      These 2, both by Gary Lachman look very promising - in fact I doubt I'll be able to resist the temptation to buy at least one of them - probably both:

      The Quest for Hermes Trismegistus: From Ancient Egypt to the Modern World

      From the sands of Alexandria via the Renaissance palaces of the Medicis to our own time, this spiritual adventure story traces the profound influence of Hermes Trismegistus―the “thrice-great one”―on the Western mind. For centuries, his name ranked among the most illustrious of the ancient world.
      Considered by some a contemporary of Moses and a forerunner of Christ, this almost mythical figure arose in Alexandria during the fourth century B.C. from a fusion of the Egyptian god Thoth and the Greek god Hermes. Master of magic, writing, science, and philosophy, Hermes was thought to have walked with gods and to be the source of the divine wisdom granted to humankind at the dawn of time.

      Gary Lachman has written many books exploring ancient traditions for the modern mind. In The Quest for Hermes Trismegistus, he brings to life the mysterious character of this great spiritual guide, exposing the many theories and stories surrounding him, and revitalizing his teachings for the modern world.

      Through centuries of wars, conquests, and religious persecutions, the fragile pages of the teachings of Hermes Trismegistus have survived. This is a book for all thinkers and enquirers who want to recover that lost knowledge and awaken a shift in human consciousness.
      and...

      The Secret Teachers of the Western World

      This epic study unveils the esoteric masters who have covertly impacted the intellectual development of the West, from Pythagoras and Zoroaster to the little-known modern icons Jean Gebser and Schwaller de Lubicz.

      Running alongside the mainstream of Western intellectual history there is another current which, in a very real sense, should take pride of place, but which for the last few centuries has occupied a shadowy, inferior position, somewhere underground.

      This "other" stream forms the subject of Gary Lachman’s epic history and analysis, The Secret Teachers of the Western World.

      In this clarifying, accessible, and fascinating study, the acclaimed historian explores the Western esoteric tradition – a thought movement with ancient roots and modern expressions, which, in a broad sense, regards the cosmos as a living, spiritual, meaningful being and humankind as having a unique obligation and responsibility in it.

      The historical roots of our “counter tradition,” as Lachman explores, have their beginning in Alexandria around the time of Christ. It was then that we find the first written accounts of the ancient tradition, which had earlier been passed on orally. Here, in this remarkable city, filled with teachers, philosophers, and mystics from Egypt, Greece, Asia, and other parts of the world, in a multi-cultural, multi-faith, and pluralistic society, a synthesis took place, a creative blending of different ideas and visions, which gave the hidden tradition the eclectic character it retains today.

      The history of our esoteric tradition roughly forms three parts:

      Part One: After looking back at the earliest roots of the esoteric tradition in ancient Egypt and Greece, the historical narrative opens in Alexandria in the first centuries of the Christian era. Over the following centuries, it traces our “other” tradition through such agents as the Hermeticists; Kabbalists; Gnostics; Neoplatonists; and early Church fathers, among many others. We examine the reemergence of the lost Hermetic books in the Renaissance and their influence on the emerging modern mind.

      Part Two begins with the fall of Hermeticism in the late Renaissance and the beginning of “the esoteric counterculture.” In 1614, the same year that the Hermetic teachings fell from grace, a strange document appeared in Kassel, Germany announcing the existence of a mysterious fraternity: the Rosicrucians. Part two charts the impact of the Rosicrucians and the esoteric currents that followed, such as the Romance movement and the European occult revival of the late nineteenth century, including Madame Blavatsky and the opening of the western mind to the wisdom of the East, and the fin-de-siècle occultism of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn.

      Part Three chronicles the rise of “modern esotericism,” as seen in the influence of Rudolf Steiner, Gurdjieff, Annie Besant, Krishnamurti, Aleister Crowley, R. A Schwaller de Lubicz, and many others. Central is the life and work of C.G. Jung, perhaps the most important figure in the development of modern spirituality. The book looks at the occult revival of the “mystic sixties” and our own New Age, and how this itself has given birth to a more critical, rigorous investigation of the ancient wisdom.

      With many detours and dead ends, we now seem to be slowly moving into a watershed. It has become clear that the dominant, left-brain, reductionist view, once so liberating and exciting, has run out of steam, and the promise of that much-sought-after “paradigm change” seems possible. We may be on the brink of a culminating moment of the esoteric intellectual tradition of the West.
      I've posted the descriptions of both books here, but for anyone interested, be sure to click on the links and read inside - the preview you get when you click on the book's cover. As soon as I did that the fascination grew strong - the descriptions themselves are rather dry and academic in comparison. Maybe browse some of the reader comments.

      Gary Lachman is - surprisingly enough - the bass player and a founding member of the New Wave band Blondie. But what's important to me about both of these books is that they connect the subject matter with Jung. I've read a couple of books about Gnosticism - before I knew it was connected to Jung, and though I was fascinated, they failed to really connect. I think I sensed that they connected in an important way with the psyche, but wasn't able to see the connections myself - I needed a guide like Jung to point that out. So as soon as I found Hoeller's books that do just that, Bam!! Total deep connection.

      Incidentally, the Secret Teachers of the Western World takes a detour through brain science and confirms a longstanding suspicion of mine - that to a large extent the Left brain is the logical, one - the conscious mind, and the Right hemisphere is essentially the unconscious. They think very differently. The left half dissects and analyses, while the right synthesizes holistically. But it really gets interesting when he states that in pre-scientific times we were primarily right-brained, but since the Age of Enlightenment the logical left has taken over - usurped the throne and is actively trying to disempower the intuitive and symbolic right brain. This is what has led to the crisis of our modern time - the so-called modern human condition of existential dread and meaninglessness. AKA the Death of God as proclaimed by Nietzsche. And, as I saw in some book recently (who can keep track, as many as I've been reading?), shortly after Nietzsche's funeral proclamation, Jung announced the birth of a new God in the human Psyche - the archetype of the Self.
      Last edited by Darkmatters; 01-19-2018 at 04:02 PM.

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      Here's another author who has examined the Alchemical side of Jung's oeuvre: Jeffrey Raff. I'm going to link to a couple of his books and post the descriptions here - as usual anyone who follows through and digs into the material will get a much deeper experience than those who simply read here (surface skimmers! )

      Jung and the Alchemical Imagination

      Jung and the Alchemical Imagination illustrates the spiritual nature of Jungian psychology and the debt it owes to the tradition of esoteric religion. Unlike other books on Jung and alchemy which contain a psychological interpretation of alchemical material, this work uses alchemy to understand the three cornerstones of Jungian spirituality--the self, the transcendent function, and active imagination. Through the interpretation of alchemical imagery, Raff explains the nature of these three concepts and illustrates how together they form a new model of contemporary Western spirituality. This book is also unique in selecting alchemical texts for analysis that are relatively unknown and which, for the most part, have never been interpreted. In addition, he presents two new concepts--the ally and the psychoid realm. Through the addition of these ideas, and the new understanding that they offer, it is possible to apply alchemical imagery to transpsychic experience; that is, to a world of spirits which may not be reduced to psychological concepts. By including this realm in the study of alchemy and Jungian thought, it is possible to gain insights into the nature of visionary and ecstatic experiences that form part of the path of individuation--the road to completion.

      The Wedding of Sophia: The Divine Feminine in Psychoidal Alchemy

      This book is an in-depth look at the feminine aspect of the divine. Sophia is, in the esoteric teachings, the embodiment of Wisdom, the matrix from which God arose, and God's heavenly consort. But, as Raff explains, she suffered a fall from this exalted state, corresponding to the obscuration of the feminine archetype in the patriarchal world. Without Sophia, God is not whole. It is our task to work with imagination to reunite Sophia and God.
      This book seems very interesting to me especially in light of the Darren Aronofsky movie mother!, which I posted about a few pages back (man this thread is moving, ain't it? I can hardly keep up!) Here's the video that explains how the movie is actually Gnostic:



      I suspect after you understand a bit about Gnosticism and how it connects with Jung and the psyche, it all makes a lot more sense. Essentially in the film, Jennifer Lawrence represents Sophia, the principle of Wisdom that preceded God, and with whom they create the whole of the Cosmos, including Humanity. She also represents Woman and Nature. While Javier Bardem represents the Demiurge (basically God), as well as Man and Patriarchy. Understanding this - that the main actors represent the One and the Many (they each represent all women or all men respectively, in a way), it's easy to see Aronofsky's extremist viewpoint at work here - Jennifer Lawrence seems to be extremely weak and vulnerable and under constant attack by God/Man/The Patriarcy. This in each of her guises, as Nature, as Woman, and as Wisdom. And the film shows the ultimate cataclysm that would result from such an unbalanced state if it remains uncorrected. Of course, there's a lot of truth in it, but also a lot of exaggeration. Apocalypse and cataclysm tend to be the result of unbalanced attitudes, when the repressed poles of the Opposites remain buried and unexamined - when a person refuses to examine the disowned aspects of the Self and instead doubles down in repression, neurosis or psychosis.

      I've come to realize that the Alchemical Wedding - the marriage of Sophia and God, is the marriage of Left and Right Hemispheres. Of Logic/Reason and Feeling/Intuition. It's mentioned in the description for the book that God is incomplete without Sophia, but of course the corollary is also true (balance must be maintained, remember?) - Sophia is also incomplete without God. It's so easy to just choose sides and wave the flag and chant the chants - to believe that They are the problem, while failing to understand that it's really your projections onto Them - your oversimplified, unbalanced concept of what They represent (as well as their projections and oversimplifications of you), that are the problem. Ours is rapidly becoming a time of extremism and unbalance, largely because people choose either Reason or Feeling and don't try to marry them together (the purpose and end goal of Individuation I believe), and instead they double down on their one-sided proposition and join the ever-swelling ranks of extremists holding the same view.


      And here is a book penned by Edward Edinger serving a nice double purpose - it presents the structure of the psyche and the stages of Individuation, and does it all through the lens of Alchemical psychology as developed by Jung:

      Anatomy of the Psyche: Alchemical Symbolism in Psychotherapy

      "Edinger has greatly enriched my understanding of psychology through the avenue of alchemy. No other contribution has been as helpful as this for revealing, in a word, the anatomy of the psyche and how it applies to where one is in his or her process. This is a significant amplification and extension of Jung's work. Two hundred years from now, it will still be a useful handbook and an inspiring aid to those who care about individuation". -- Psychological Perspectives
      Last edited by Darkmatters; 01-19-2018 at 05:31 PM.

    21. #196
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      Quote Originally Posted by Darkmatters View Post
      It's so easy to just choose sides and wave the flag and chant the chants - to believe that They are the problem, while failing to understand that it's really your projections onto Them - your oversimplified, unbalanced concept of what They represent (as well as their projections and oversimplifications of you), that are the problem.
      Personally I've always felt the same about the bias and extremism but couldn't help but seriously doubt if that isn't just my own proclivity (that pretty much all humans exhibit) to be biased in thinking that the time period I live in is somehow special or that a lot of things are much worse than they used to be. The internet, social media, and the news media have raised our awareness of it to unprecedented degrees, but I wonder how much this kind of behavior was simply seen as normal (bigotry, for instance) or that the scope of an individual person's world prevented them from even having the first clue about how things are really going on anywhere else in the world save for some reports about war or something.

      In any case, the only viable solution to the problem that isn't strictly knee-jerk reaction or fear based that won't simply make a bigger mess is Jung's process of Individuation, truthfully. The only way for there not to be unintended consequences or cause further division is to quit identifying as being part of large (or imo, really any) groups and embracing a label, and simply acknowledging the opinions and beliefs you share with a given person/group/entity. Focus on learning to really know yourself, and you will know others. Not as other things, not even other people necessarily, but other you's. I don't think I could say in any real honesty that I have any kind of solid understanding of what exactly a human being is or experiences, but I know with every passing waking and dreaming moment what it is like to be me.

      I don't know if you guys care for anime at all, as a matter of fact before I started watching a bit more, the one I'm about to suggest is the only one I really ever liked. Ever heard of the original TV version of Neon Genesis Evangelion? It's 26 episodes long and the movie End of Evangelion is meant to "replace" (even though if you are paying attention, it's more like they are depicting specific parts of the same thing happening). It starts off like a fairly normal show, but once you hit about 16 episodes in, things briefly get a bit more psychological for about 3 episodes, and then everything goes completely off the rails insane dealing with depression, anxiety, self-loathing, death, life, etc. It gets deeply philosophical in the last 2 eps as well as End of Evangelion, and it's worth noting that Hideaki Anno (the creator) got a lot of influence from Freud and his contemporaries and psychoanalytics. Oh yeah, there's also the fact it's rife with Christian symbolism and symbolism in general. That, and his own crushing depression he was dealing with at the time because a large failure he'd just endured.

      It's probably one of the best creations in terms of Art I've ever come across in how masterfully condensed all the symbolism, connections between things, themes, and motifs are. I think with how much we're discussing things from the Bible, psychology, and existential philosophy makes it relevant enough to mention. I mean seriously, those 3 things are basically what make the show up, lol.

      By the way, sorry I haven't replied in so long. I'm pretty busy these days... though, it doesn't help I had written out huge WIP posts to some of your guys' responses on two occasions over the last two weeks but never got around to finishing them.
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      Quote Originally Posted by snoop View Post
      couldn't help but seriously doubt if that isn't just my own proclivity (that pretty much all humans exhibit) to be biased in thinking that the time period I live in is somehow special or that a lot of things are much worse than they used to be. The internet, social media, and the news media have raised our awareness of it to unprecedented degrees, but I wonder how much this kind of behavior was simply seen as normal (bigotry, for instance) or that the scope of an individual person's world prevented them from even having the first clue about how things are really going on anywhere else in the world save for some reports about war or something.
      Once again, this seems to be the most appropriate response:



      Also, completely agreed about the rest of it as well. Know Thyself, and through yourself you will come to know others (it's the One and the Many once again, flowing through each other). Only by individuals looking inside themselves and reaching toward Wholeness and Balance (rather than Perfection) can we solve the social problems. As individuals we can be intelligent, but as part of the mass we are cattle and easily led by herd instinct and mob mentality.

      In fact, that's a perfect lead-in to the latest Academy of Ideas video:


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      Keeping the thread current - I'm working up some more material, but trying to make it better quality-wise, and it's taking longer. I won't be updating this thread as often as I used to, but when I do it should be worthwhile. Meanwhile - there's some really good stuff in today's upload by the Reading Group:



      03:30—Talking about Aion: Researches into the Phenomenology of the Self, by Dr. C.G. Jung.
      O3:50—Aion is Dr. Jung’s commentary on The Red Book. Reference to Jung’s Redbook for Our Time: Searching for Soul under Postmodern Conditions.
      04:18—Diagram of the 1st 4 chapters of Aion. NOTE: I have read the first 4 chapters of Aion into video, and they are here in the Aion playlist.
      05:08—Reference to Marie-Louise von Franz’s The Interpretation of Fairy Tales. There is only one archetype at the deepest level, and that is The Self.
      06:08—Criticism of all books written by Jungian Analysts about fairy tales from Dr. von Franz’s perspective.
      08:18—The emergence of a fairy tale as a collective activity. It’s an explication of the Collective Unconscious.
      08:55—Reference to Psychology and Alchemy by C.G. Jung, which traces the evolution of the psyche over time.
      10:10—Skip’s ambivalence about fairy tales over 30 years revisited.
      11:00—Dr. Edinger’s note on the Author’s Note and Preface of Aion. A whole new department of human knowledge! Issues of university approaches.
      12:20—Skip’s experience of trying to offer a course on Dr. Jung as an adjunct professor.
      13:55—Skip’s criticism of Jungian Analysts.
      15:34—Do seminarians today have a religious experience?
      16:25—Education is no longer a Lived Experience.
      18:25—Significance of ¶63 or Aion, right after the Duck-Billed Platypus. The significance of the experience of being a Duck-Billed Platypus.
      20:00—Reminiscence of Kirin Beer, and the meaning of its name and what the picture is on its label.
      25:32—“One could see the moons of Jupiter even in Galileo’s day if one took the trouble to use his telescope.” C.G. Jung
      25:53—The objective of Jungian Analysis is for you to have an experience.
      26:40—Why do people go to Church?
      27:34—Skip’s religious experiences in churches.
      29:48—Skip’s numinous religious experience on September 6, 2016 at about 10:30 a.m., at the U.S. Naval Academy Chapel caught on camera, including a selfie of the moment. It has to be seen to understand how numinous it was. The Seal of the U.S. Naval Academy is in the gloom behind me on this selfie, just to clearly identify the place.
      Last edited by Darkmatters; 01-24-2018 at 06:44 PM.

    24. #199
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      Continuation of the last video:



      00:01—Religious experiences are unusual and too much for most people.
      01:05—The Church interposed itself between the People and God, so that you could not have an experience with God.
      01:33—That’s not Job’s, Paul’s, Jacob’s and Abraham’s experience. They had direct experiences of God.
      02:14—It’s not personal to you.
      02:46—It’s all wrapped up with the Ego! Is it the Ego that gets in the way?
      03:40—It’s stuck! Because we keep trying to maintain the Ego, because it’s the rational thing to do. But, sadly, the rational thing to do is NOT Life!
      04:23—You can grow your Ego by the number of times you pass through the Job Archetype: Contest-Defeat-Lamentation-Rebirth.
      04:41—“Can’t we find a defeat in here someplace?”—Dr. James Hillman
      05:24—Every time you’re reborn, your Ego grows. It’s healthier, because you can face the slings and arrows of life.
      06:10—The Puffer Fish is poisonous. You have to pull up things from your Unconscious. Don’t pull up a fish bigger than your boat, like Captain Ahab.
      07:05—You have to build up your Ego.
      07:35—Why am I focused on ¶63 of Aion? We’re not talking about the rational world at all. It really summarizes an essence about Jungian Psychology, which is: we’re not talking about the rational world at all!

    25. #200
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      The Collective Unconscious

      As promised - here is my description, as I currently understand it, of the Collective Unconscious.

      When Freud discovered and mapped what he called the unconscious, he actually only found the upper half of it - what Jung has dubbed the Personal Unconscious. It (the personal unconscious) consists of material that has been repressed, forgotten or rejected by the conscious awareness, because you are unable or unwilling to see it clearly or to accept that it is part of you.

      Beneath this Jung discovered the deeper level that he called the Collective Unconscious, and later changed to the Objective Psyche, though by that time the original name had stuck and most people still use it. It doesn’t consist of personal experiences that have been repressed or forgotten, but of ideas that are are inherited, and that are identical in everyone. Really they are like the instincts. Everyone accepts that the instincts are inherited, and are the same across an entire species. The Archetypes (of which the Collective Unconscious is comprised) are just the psychological expression of inborn instincts.

      An Archetype is a container for material, it is not the material itself. Their purpose is to organize the psyche, subdivide it into smaller units, each of which has a particular purpose. The Shadow for instance is to store and project experiences (memories) that a person is uncomfortable acknowledging or accepting as an aspect of themselves. The Anima or Animus is a container and projector for experiences of relation - whether good or bad (like any Archetype it has its own Shadow side, where bad experiences are stored).

      The physical body is subdivided into organs each of which perform a different function - well, the mind is laid out the same way - the Archetypes are the organs of the Objective Psyche. And just as the organs of the body grow and develop in the right way to do what they need to do, so do the Archetypes of the Collective Unconscious.

      An archetype is not so much a structure as an idea - an organizing principle. A potential that is not realized until there is content (memories, experiences) to fill it. Like an invisible glass that can’t be seen until it’s filled with liquid, which then reveals its shape. As Jung described it, the Archetypes form like crystals in a liquid matrix - there is no physical structure to contain or shape it, but there’s some kind of principle that determines its growth, so that each crystal takes the right form. This must be the same way instincts themselves are formed.

      The contents of the Personal Unconscious are closer to the level of consciousness, they’re ready to be made conscious. But the contents of the Collective Unconscious are different. An encounter with some aspect of the personal unconscious feels familiar, even if frightening or horrible, but an encounter with the Collective Unconscious feels alien and unfamiliar, specifically because it isn’t anything you’ve experienced before. It’s drawn from the sum total of human experiences, and filtered down through the Psyche into your awareness as a dream or a fantasy or hallucination or active imagination. This explains why these encounters feel so strange, and why people will swear that they encountered something Outside or Other - something not from their own mind. An encounter with one of the Archetypes of the Collective Unconscious also carries a powerful charge of Numinosity - which means it has a sense of being profoundly Religious or Spiritual. In other words it has the characteristics of a revelation or a Conversion. The Collective Unconscious is what has always been referred to as the Underworld, the Land of the Dead, of the Ancestors, Heaven and Hell, Nirvana, Mount Olympus, Asgard, and whatever other titles people have bestowed on the abode of Gods and Spirits.

      Oh, almost forgot to mention - I said the Archetypes exist only as potential, to be filled with content. And that the content of the Personal Unconscious is drawn from your own life - your experiences/ memories (which all experiences become). But what about the content of the Archetypes of the Collective Unconscious? This is a little complicated and involved. I'll try to explain it clearly.

      The Archetypes themselves exist only in the Collective Unconscious - there are none in the Personal Unconscious if I understand correctly (lol - add this caveat automatically to everything I say in this thread!) So, when an Archetype needs to project something, it draws material from your Personal Unconscious if it needs to. So, if it needs to create a Wise Old Man character in a dream for instance to impart some nugget of wisdom that you need to hear, it will use elements of people you've seen before - in life, on television or movies, etc. Sometimes it will compound several images together. Or sometimes it will just create a character from scratch, but in some ways it will still draw on your own experiences. Ie, you know what a human face looks like, and a body, and how people walk and move etc. You also have ideas about what a Wise Old Man should look like. Often these Collective Unconscious dreams or experiences will be a weird blending of the personal with the impersonal.

      The Collective Unconscious is the opposite number to the Collective Conscious, which we call society. Society has its ways of correcting your behavior if you go against its dictates, and so does the Collective Unconscious. In fact in that regard they function very similarly - since the purpose of Archetypes and the Psyche itself really is compensatory. Its job is to correct any wrong conscious attitudes you carry that are causing problems.

      Ok, I think that covers it pretty well.
      Last edited by Darkmatters; 01-26-2018 at 02:53 AM.

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