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    Thread: Jungian Archetypes and the Unconscious

    1. #1
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      Jungian Archetypes and the Unconscious

      How many of you oneironauts are into Jungian psychology and work towards self-integration via lucid dreaming? I've been reading up on it lately and it is frightening what you might uncover buried in your unconscious.

      Here is a horrifying example of accessing the personal unconscious by a psychiatrist and Jungian psychoanalyst where, at the moment of traumatic impact, the psyche dissociatively splits : Dr Donald Kalsched, author of Inner World of Trauma, had a patient who had been sexually abused by her father when she was a child. Every Sunday when the analysand's mother went to church, the girl was raped by her father. During the course of her therapy as an adult, she reveals that in those moments she would have an out-of-body experience and see herself from above—an indication of a mind trying to cope with the horror of the occurrence and attempting to gain distance from the physical trauma. When the doctor asks her where she went in those moments, she breaks down and reveals that she was in the arms of 'The Mother'—where during those traumatic moments the physical mother couldn't be there for her, the analysand would enter into a fantasy of being held by a larger and greater mother. For Jung, this would be an instance of the manifestation of the Mother archetype.

      How do bees know how to make a hive? For Jung, this was not learned behaviour, it is instinctual. Humans function in a similar way in that there are imprints of human experience that we inherit from our ancestors. Every archetypal pattern was, at some point, an event that impacted humanity in the course of its history and which we actually inherit in the collective unconscious. We are predisposed to certain instincts imprinted on our psyches.

      We also know that the unconscious is somehow connected to matter but don't know exactly how and how much this pertains to synchronous events. Jung's co-worker Marie-Louise von Franz provides an example of synchronicity in her book Alchemy: An Introduction to the Symbolism and the Psychology, where a scientist tries to produce a vitamin in a chemical form but seemed to wait forever for the product to crystallise. He got his helper to keep an eye on the liquid substance while he went home to sleep. In a dream, a voice told him to return to the lab and see that crystallisation had occurred—it was as if the man's unconscious informed him about the chemical process taking place in the retort for it had indeed happened in the real world around that time.

      Who in here buys into Rupert Sheldrake's morphogenetic fields or Michael Persinger's quantum entanglement of minds within the geomagnetic field?
      Last edited by Summerlander; 07-26-2021 at 01:20 AM. Reason: Typographical
      THE PHASE = waking consciousness during sleep hybridisation at 40Hz of brainwave activity conducive to lucid dreaming and autoscopy.

    2. #2
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      I believe the process of individuation can be aided by lucid dreaming in the context of self-integration.

      The process of individuation is progress towards realising your fullest potential and wholeness—the process of becoming who you could potentially be, which does not entail perfection as it might be erroneously assumed, but rather, noting your strengths and weaknesses and honouring your limitations, too, in order to aid individual development. Jung wrote a lot about masculine psychology (anima) and not a lot about feminine psychology (animus) but the field has developed a lot since his time where other experts have filled in the gaps, such as Erich Neumann with The Fear of the Feminine, Marion Woodman with Addiction to Perfection: The Still Unravished Bride, and also Clarissa Pinkola EstÚs with Women Who Run With the Wolves. The Persona is linked to the Anima and Animus in that the former tends to contradict the latter. For a man, he might want to come across as more masculine to others but privately, his femininity dominates.
      DarkestDarkness likes this.
      THE PHASE = waking consciousness during sleep hybridisation at 40Hz of brainwave activity conducive to lucid dreaming and autoscopy.

    3. #3
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      Directed towards your first question, I do try to use Jungian ideas in my approach to dreaming and all other forms of mental or inner imagery in general, but I also apply it to other parts of life too. I actually entered the world of Jungian thought through reading about Symbolism first, although I already had an interest in psychology since my teens, so it was a happy coincidence for me to be led through symbols into that area anyway.

      One of my introductions into these themes was "A Dictionary of Symbols" by Tom Chetwynd, an author that I have personally found a lot of value in. In respects to masculine vs feminine psychology and so forth, I would argue that this author also focuses mainly on the masculine side in his works, at least ones that I have read, though perhaps he felt it best to write about what he knew more about, I suppose I would do so, at least. I have recommended one of his other "dictionary" books to the Lucid Dreaming Bookclub here but it does suffer a bit more of this issue, in my opinion, versus his other two "dictionaries". Your mention of other titles that touch more on the feminine side should be interesting to explore some time if I can find an opportunity to do so.

      Somewhat sadly, I have not yet read anything of Jung himself directly and I should probably make that an objective for one of my next reads. Though honestly in some ways I think it's good that I picked up on the subject indirectly over the years, because I feel I had some comfort to explore freely the thematics of Jung-like thought and I don't know if the same would have happened if I had a more direct reading approach on the subject. I have some concern that I might have taken it more dogmatically if I had. That's why I have truly appreciated reading Chetwynd's work, I have felt encouraged to pursue my own definition of values and meanings for symbols and otherwise. If you recall, I put forward some discussion on your other topic about a nihilistic view of the world (my own). I find that this aspect of a symbolic life with constructed meaning, therefore artificial in the nicest sense, is probably my biggest counterweight to that somewhat lifeless world view.

      Regardless, it is Jungian thought that makes me be willing to face inner and lifelong fears and problems. And it makes me try to appreciate things as their constructs, that is, in how they exist in a subjective relationship to myself, rather than their rigid reality, which by nature I do not believe I am able to see most of the time anyway, since I feel that there are always biases at play, conscious or otherwise, in the sensory, emotional and rational perceptions for anything.

      So personally, I'm not sure that I find anything about self-discovery of the non-conscious to be frightening, at least in the strictest sense of the word, though I imagine one's outlook on this is dependant on a person's character and experience. Perhaps you can expand on how it might be frightening, to yourself?
      Singled out from some of my favourite quotes from Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri: "Risks of [Planet] flowering: considerable. But rewards of godhood: who can measure? - Usurper Judaa'Maar: Courage: to question."

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      I'm glad to hear that you are also into Jung! I think we share an interest and thank you for the Tom Chetwynd mention, it sounds like a sound recommendation.

      I also see Jungian archetypes and modes of behaviour play out everywhere according to his worldview. It seems very apparent to me that dreams and waking life reflect his theory. My journey with Jungian psychology began with my interest in dreams and proclivity for lucidity in them. Anybody who takes an interest in oneirology, as you might imagine, will inevitably come across Carl Jung. Only recently did I arrive at all the symbolism in ancient cultures, including alchemy, that so intrigued the psychoanalyst on a meaningful and psychological level.

      I must say that I learn about myself both in dreams and waking life and I try to understand my psychical make-up. To cut a long story short, I had a traumatic childhood and remember a peculiar instance of being engulfed by darkness and feeling pushed down by a force that I fought hard against desperately for I felt that not doing so would mean the cessation of my being. I was hanging by a thread and felt like I was drowning in some kind of hell. When I came to, I was crying in my father's arms and did not know why. It was like someone had been crying for me. My mother was sprinkling 'holy' water on me and uttering prayers. Because I was a child, my mother simply told me I had been ill but was now fully recovered. Later, in my teens, I was informed that I had been possessed by an evil spirit and had to be exorcised ...

      This was my Christian mother's spiritualistic interpretation of what happened and what she had observed. According to her, I had turned violent—screaming, growling and cursing everyone—before finally calming down and returning to my typical self. I do not recall behaving in such a manner because I simply blacked out. Eventually I came across a scientific magazine that sparked my interest in science and seemed to provide a perfectly good explanation: whenever there is relentless and prolonged trouble in a household, young minds are affected.

      The child will come to feel like a scared animal that has been cornered and has nowhere to run, so the only option is to turn around and attack like a mad dog. In that moment, a primordial part of the brain takes over as the conscious default state of the young personality is instinctually deemed insufficient to cope or deal with the perceived problem. My parents were about to get divorced. My father was a degenerate gambler and a habitual wife beater. I wanted him to disappear! The dissociative experience remains somewhat of a mystery to me but Jung spoke of the dangers of the shadow taking over. Perhaps, I was overwhelmed by the shadow, temporarily, an anger I couldn't repress any longer. The beast could no longer be ignored and it came to the surface just when I least expected it. I was joyously playing with a toy at the table as I waited for my mother to dish up dinner!

      Much later, I came across Jung's ideas of individuation and the analogous alchemical concept of 'nigredo' where the active testing and blackening of the 'prima materia' responsible for the unconscious unleashes all manner of demons to be confronted in the realm of the mind. Suddenly, everything began to make sense. Now there is a tendency to look at all my dreams through a Jungian lens, considering both the personal and the collective.

      Last Wednesday I had a dream that I was working at Betfred and there was a difficult and potentially threatening punter. A brawl ensues and Santosh, the deputy manager, cannot contain the chaos; the betting shop is smashed up. I help an effeminate man escape—he seems vulnerable and very camp as he holds on to me. As I lead him out of the shop and into safety, I notice that it's dark and raining outside. The rain is heavy and quickly inundating the streets. It seems superficial at first, but soon the flood level is as high as our knees. We find shelter with water almost submerging benches and wooden tables look wet. I'm hungry and disappointed that there is no food to be found. In fact, there is nowhere comfortable to eat. I complain to the effeminate man but subsequently realise that the priority is to find a new shelter away from the flood. I wake up.

      It seems to me that this dream could reflect having got over a difficult period and the need to put certain plans on hold in order to organise things closer to home. I can't afford to eat yet because I need to make sure the ship doesn't sink, as it were. I'm fighting my own battles so, naturally, thoughts pertaining to my concerns have been on my mind. The betting shop seems to represent a scenario where aspects of myself have to 'gamble' in order to determine what could happen, which is, as it turns out, a little chaos that required moving away from. But the flood could not be ignored. The plan to eat (desires) had to be put on hold in order to find a suitable shelter first. The house has to be in order first before business can begin!

      Me and my wife have battled with depression for a long time and we still have our ups and downs. But we struggle to stay afloat because self-preservation is worth it. Creativity and aspiring to something greater is our impetus to strive for stability and improvement. It is interesting to learn that Jung's friend von Franz talked about depressed people tending to dream about lions and dragons—but more the former—after my experience having been just that! At their roots, depressive states tend to have either creative contents or violent, unfulfilled desires. Dreaming of lions and other devouring beasts represent the craving for success and to be at the top, but because realistically life is not like fantasy, consciousness has the potential to be overwhelmed by the wild animals of the unconscious who want to eat everything up—frustrated desires masked by depression.

      I have dreamt of big cats chasing me and devouring everybody in their wake. They seemed uncontrollable and impossible to contain. In the dream, I didn't know what to do so, I kept jumping to higher ground—climbing trees and accessing roofs—with others who managed to survive. Eventually, I found myself flying, which led to becoming conscious of dreaming. The problem, of course, disappeared in the lucid dream and I was able to explore a virtual world to my heart's content. Dreaming of ferocious beasts came around a time when I wished for my business as an artist to be up and running sooner than possible which was leading to frustration. I needed to look at my life with realism but without repressing my childish desires, but instead, consider them as valid and to be purposely worked on long-term towards an ideal.
      Last edited by Summerlander; 07-30-2021 at 02:49 AM. Reason: Typographical
      DarkestDarkness likes this.
      THE PHASE = waking consciousness during sleep hybridisation at 40Hz of brainwave activity conducive to lucid dreaming and autoscopy.

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