Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Update

Omg where do I even start this thing?
Image from Anime Viking


Yes, I am still alive!

I've actually been working on several things - every time I start a post I keep getting distracted by something even more exciting or important. And the thing I've finally landed on as the thing I must do is such a HUUUUUUUGE topic, I almost don't know where to start. I've been doing a deep, deep dive into the MBTI, which is turning out to be an amazing tool for personal growth. I'm particularly focused on John Beebe's 8 function model, something I had serious reservations about but am now convinced is not only true but incredibly useful. The problem is, it's an enormous area of study; a lot has been discovered and written but I feel even more work can be done so I've been doing independent research. I'm far from done yet but I'm going to write up some posts, at least on the basics.

These posts will all be works in progress as I'm learning new stuff all the time, a lot of which I am personally piecing together, so it takes time. But I want to at least get started. So please look forward to a lot of posts about the MBTI and the 8 function model!

See you soon!


Thursday, April 4, 2019

Maintaining a relationship with the animal body

Reference for an upcoming post on shame:
Here is a question by Dr. Harding: “Can you take up in further detail the section in the chapter on the Compassionate Ones where Nietzsche speaks of man as the animal with red cheeks? The interpretation given at the last seminar that he was ashamed on account of the unconsciousness of his fellow man does not seem adequate to me. Is there not an analogy with the story of Eden where we are told that when Adam and Eve had eaten of the tree of knowledge they were ashamed before God of their nakedness, which had never bothered them before? And perhaps – who knows? – they may have been ashamed of their clothes before the other animals? In fact, does not consciousness itself carry its own burden of guilt because the discerning one can no longer act with the complete rightness of unconscious instinct?”

Well, you have answered your question yourself, practically. That shame is of course a very typical reaction; it is a primitive reaction which clearly shows the distance that exists between the ego consciousness and the original unconsciousness of mere instinct. As long as man is in a merely instinctive animal condition, there is absolutely no ground for shame, no possibility of shame even, but with the coming of ego consciousness, he feels apart from the animal kingdom and the original paradise of unconsciousness, and then naturally he is inclined to have feelings of inferiority. The beginning of consciousness is characterized by feelings of inferiority, and also by megalomania. The old prophets and philosophers say nothing is greater than man, but on the other side nothing is more miserable than man, for the ego consciousness is only a little spark of light in an immense darkness. Yet it is the light, and if you pile up a thousand darknesses you don’t get a spark of light, you don’t make consciousness. Consciousness is the sun in the great darkness of the world. Man is just a little lantern in the world of darkness, and as soon as you have a certain amount of ego consciousness naturally you are isolated and become self-conscious – you can’t help it – and naturally you no longer possess the absolute simplicity of nature: you are no longer na├»ve. It is a great art and a great difficulty to become like unto a child again – or better still, like unto an animal; to become like an animal is then the supreme ideal.

When you have built up your consciousness to a decent degree, you become so separated from nature that you feel it to be a disadvantage; you feel that you have fallen from grace. This is of course the expulsion from paradise. Then life becomes ego misery and lawlessness and you must create artificial laws in order to develop a feeling of obedience. Having ego consciousness means that you have a certain amount of disposable willpower, which of course means arbitrary feelings and decisions, disobedience of natural laws and so on; and that gives you a terrible feeling of being lost, cursed, isolated, and wrong altogether. And of course this causes feelings of shame. Compare your state of innocence with the innocence of a little child and you have ground for shame; and compared with an animal you are nowhere. So the dawn of consciousness was naturally a tremendous problem to man; he had to invent a new law-abiding world of obedience, the careful observance of rules; instead of the herd or the natural animal state, he had to invent an artificial state. He has now succeeded in making of the state a tremendous monster, such as nature probably never would have tolerated, but he had to do it in order to compensate that sentiment d’incompletude, d’insuffisance. For we should not live instinctively any longer. We had to invent machines and law books and morals in order to give mankind a feeling of being in order, of being in a decent condition – something similar to paradise where the animals knew how to behave with each other. You see, the great world seems to be a self-regulating orderliness, an organism that moves and lives in a more or less decent way. The catastrophes are not too great or too many. There are not too many diseases – only a decent amount to kill off enough animals. But we know that we can break out at any time and destroy as no volcano and no epidemic ever destroyed, and we chiefly injure our own species; we would not dream of making an international war against flies or microbes or against whales or elephants – it isn’t worthwhile – but it is worthwhile when it is against man. That is so much against nature that on the other side, man seeks to protect himself by complicated machines, states, and contracts which he cannot observe. So this first reaction of shame symbolizes the moment when man felt his tragic difference from paradise, his original condition.

Yet that original condition was also not a very happy one. The primitive man did not feel his unconscious to be very satisfactory. He tried to get away from it. Of course, we have the idea that the original condition was a wonderful paradise, but as a matter of actual fact man has always tried to move away from that unconsciousness. All his many ceremonies were attempts to create a more conscious condition, and any new positive acquisition in the field of consciousness was praised as a great asset, a great accomplishment. Prometheus stealing the fire from the immortal gods has become a savior of mankind, and man’s greatest triumph was that God himself incarnated in man in order to illumine the world; that was a tremendous increase of consciousness. But every increase of consciousness means a further separation from the original animal-like condition, and I don’t know where it will end: it is really a tragic problem. We have to discover more consciousness, to extend consciousness, and the more it is extended the more we get away from the original condition.

The body is the original animal condition; we are all animals in the body, and so we should have animal psychology in order to be able to live in it. Yes, if we had no body then we could live with contracts and marvelous laws which everybody could observe and a marvelous morality which everybody could easily fulfil. But since we have a body it is indispensable that we exist also as an animal, and each time we invent a new increase of consciousness we have to put a new link in the chain that binds us to the animal, till finally it will become so long that complications will surely ensure. For when the chain between man and animal has grown so long that we lose sight of the animal, anything can happen in between, and the chain will snarl up somewhere. That has happened already and therefore we doctors have to find in a conscious individual the place where the chain begins; we have to go back and find out where it has been caught or what has happened to the animal at the other end of the line. Then we have to shorten it perhaps, or disentangle it, in order to improve the relationship between the consciousness that went too far ahead and the animal left behind.
- CG Jung, from Jung's Seminar on Nietzsche's Zarathustra

Thursday, February 7, 2019

The last stage of the journey

For a long time I wondered; what exists after the animus goes away? What is the end of life task? The animus takes many, many years to deal with. But one can eventually integrate this side of life. What comes after?

I saw a female figure. She was beautiful, but an adult. A woman. A woman beyond men. And I saw a man beyond women; I saw Them. They stand after the animus and the anima. The being of the same sex, which you come to after dealing with the being of the other sex, is the Wise Woman or Sage.

The culmination of a life fully lived is a confrontation with these beings. If you do everything right, as you approach the end of your life you meet these two. If you don’t then you will become possessed by their opposites; the Witch and the Troll.

The man turns away from his mature wife and towards a young sylph, and maybe this is the way it’s supposed to be. Because a woman who goes past the age where she can carry the sylph turns away from her previous life. After years, decades focusing on the small confines of her one-family house, the wide world begins to beckon her. But she will need to abandon all those who relied on her to do so.

The animus is a trickster, and he is eternal. The time of the animus focuses clearly on Him, but even in the seemingly sexless last stage of life, His charm is transformed into the allure of knowledge. He, even now, continues to lure us onwards, towards a deeper union.


------------------------------


“So, priestesses are chaste? You’re chaste?”


“Yes, I’m chaste, but not the way you’re thinking about it. I will never really truly belong to you. A part of me....... the most important part of me....... will always be somewhere else. There will always be someone else in my life, someone as close to me as I am to myself. And there may come a day when I have to leave you, even if you’re not ready for it. And I may leave you. That’s what chaste means; it means that God always comes first.

“You’re either chaste, or you’re promiscuous. You either maintain your loyalty with God, or you decide to live to gratify the appetites of the Ego. Most people side with the pleasures of the Ego, and therefore they are not chaste. But I choose chastity.

“So, the day may come when I have to leave you. But I’m here with you now. Let us find joy in these days we have, for as long as this lasts.”

Monday, February 4, 2019

The plumb line of personality

The superior function and the inferior function are two points along a human line, and that human line is the plumb line of the personality which I call the spine. And I like to think of the superior function as the head of the spine, and the inferior function as the tail of the spine. This definition of the spine is a very real thing. When I discovered that I was an intuitive type, I just knew suddenly – the man who dreamed when he was depressed – had to be some kind of intuitive, and I later realized was an extraverted intuitive, and he also had to be an absent-minded bloke who lost things, and that was my inferior introverted sensation, and I felt my spine in that. Not long after that I dreamt that I was present at the birth of a baby, and I was both the person giving the birth, and I was also the person delivering the baby. If I really knew it, I was also the baby. The baby which was coming out of that healthy sense of spine, was my nature, my psychological type. That sense of self we all have is along that mysterious axis between what we are best at and what we are worst at, which is the spine of our personality, and there is our uprightness, there is our integrity. Another way of saying this metaphorically and analogically is that a personality needs to drop anchor. Some people are pretty clear about what they are best at, but it doesn’t ground them enough. What grounds them is that thing they are not so good at, the thing they can’t control with the conscious mind, the thing they can’t make money at, the thing they can’t will, the thing they can’t push around, the thing that just is and constantly brings them down to earth.

I was in my glory just a few days ago at the time of the election because I consulted the I Ching last January, January of 1992, and I asked about some presidential possibilities, and based on the answers I got I concluded Clinton could win the election, and that Bush would lose the election. Because I can’t contain anything, I let that out at a public lecture in April or so, and then I just lived in dread because if that didn’t come through, my name would be mud. It was a very strange political year, there were many vicissitudes, and Clinton finally won. Bush lost. I was the prophet of all time. I was just exactly what I wanted to be – the great extraverted intuitive prophet. And I was so filled with my happiness, my glory and all the rest that I forgot to write down the time of two of my patients and managed to ignore the writing on my calendar on the third, so I messed up three appointments in a single week. What a nerd this would-be genius turned out to be. That’s the way of the balancing act that the psyche gives us every single time between my marvelous extraverted intuition in my case, and my absolutely rotted, no good introverted sensation that can’t be trusted.

Or one could look at it the other way. One could say that what is rotten is my inflated extraverted intuition, and what is good about me is this humble introverted sensation that makes these mistakes to remind me that I need to pay attention to the here and now, the straight and narrow, and to be humble.
- A Jungian Analyst Talks About Psychological Types: A Visit with John Beebe


See also:
Inferior function
Primary ("superior") function

The flower of human beings

Late in life someone asked Jung, "Well, does consciousness help in the process of individuation?" This person was thinking individuation meant some kind of self-actualization, and maybe you could get there without psychotherapy, but it might be so much better to have psychotherapy, so does consciousness help in the process of individuation? And Jung’s answer was just sublime. He said, "Consciousness is the human being’s individuation." And then in the typical language of Jung he said, "Well, you know if a plant has it in its rhizome to produce a certain flower, and the plant goes on to flower, then you can speak of the flowering of the plant as the individuation of the plant." Then Jung said, "Consciousness is the human being’s flower."
- A Jungian Analyst Talks About Psychological Types: A Visit with John Beebe

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

The treasure

The body comes from the earth it lives on. It’s local… and it can change. If your ancestors traveled from another land somewhere they brought with them the matter of their homelands, but also of their now home. You, however, are of the new land. This land’s spirits must be cared for, as They are the ones keeping your body and, by extension, you alive.

Then there’s the part of you that comes from your ancestors; the soul. If your body is now, and local, then the soul is every other time, and universal. The soul is a straight line; the line of your ancestry goes back to the first living creature that started your line. And, beyond that, your soul goes back to join in unity with the entire universe.

The soul is consciousness, the consciousness of the universe, carried in you. The signal remains the same, only the receiver has changed. Stone is receptive but thinks and feels nothing. Plant is alive and thrives, competes and aids, but has no warmth. Animal is hot, red, full of life, even thoughts and feelings, but nothing is differentiated, it’s all a nebulous blob. Only the creatures of intelligence - some primates, some water mammals, and a large land herbivore - have managed to attain such capable receivers. But, so far, only one of the large primates has managed to begin differentiation. This is the teleological purpose of evolution... of the universe itself. There is a large, deep, rich signal that we can still only pick up a small part of. Our job - the job of the entire universe itself - is to develop a receiver that can pick up as much of the signal as possible.

The answer to this question lies in us; will we carry differentiation to the next level? The West has struggled with the question of Evil for so long, thousands of years. The time has long passed where it became first possible, then good, and now urgently necessary to fold the archetype of Evil back into our waking consciousness. More people have to become more conscious. If we can do this, then we can steer the stream of history towards an easy, peaceful, rich, fulfilling transition to a higher state of differentiation, a process which has taken place many times before.

Marx said that history is a history of the changes of the idea of the self, and of the “good.” But also, it is a change of consciousness. Each radical change in culture and economic system has been accompanied by a concurrent change - an enlargening, and complexifying - of consciousness. This is the very thing that is required of us right now. The problem is that this leap is unlike most others, except at the very greatest crossroads (becoming life, coming out of the water, coming down from the trees). This is the problem of the 3 becoming 4; the first three changes may be difficult but they're relatively straightforward. The 4th change is the truly difficult one; complex, obtuse, painful to solve. To be able to endure answering the question of the 4th challenge, the seeker must be able to endure pain, and suffering. The seeker may even enjoy this suffering; a spiritual longing for the experiences which will burn away all of the “corruptible humidity.”

The 3 must become 4: all that is unworthy must be burned away; the treasure without compare must be found, and found by many. Only then will we succeed at our venture.