Thursday, 24 April 2014

The strange case of the Syracusan dekadrachm ― part six

Pyramid structure of the psyche
adapted from Carl Gustav Jung
  1. self (subjective)
  2. consciousness
  3. personal unconscious 
  4. collective unconscious
  5. unknowable (objective)
(Derived from by Lily)
"If the subjective consciousness prefers the ideas and opinions of collective consciousness and identifies with them, then the contents of the collective unconscious are repressed. The repression has typical consequences: the energy-charge of the repressed contents adds itself, in some measure, to that of the repressing factor, whose effectiveness is increased accordingly. The higher its charge mounts, the more the repressive attitude acquires a fanatical character and the nearer it comes to conversion into its opposite, i.e., an enantiodromia. And the more highly charged the collective consciousness, the more the ego forfeits its practical importance. It is, as it were, absorbed by the opinions and tendencies of collective consciousness, and the result of that is the mass man, the ever-ready victim of some wretched "ism"."
C. G. Jung, On the Nature of the Psyche, (paragraph 425)

Introversion and extraversion, in Jungian personality typing such as the Humanmetrics Jung Typology Test™  will be expressed in percentages, as will the other characteristics of the personality. Moderately expressed extraverts and introverts will likely have an easier time discussing a problem than if that characteristic is very strongly expressed.  In emotional relationships, we often hear that opposites attract and usually, on popular personality testing websites, opposites are given as the "ideal relationship". While opposites are naturally attracted, this does not mean any such relationship is ideal. It is really talking about chemistry. While I am not advocating a return to arranged marriages initiated by professional matchmakers, the latter do have an advantage in that chemistry is always second to more practical matters of compatibility. Divorce lawyers, on the other hand, really like the idea of chemistry, as the higher its emotional charge will be for the couple wanting a divorce, the higher, too, will be the charges on the lawyers invoices. Through enantiodromia, love turns to hate and it keeps only its intensity.

So lets set aside the emotional sort of relationship, and think about the relationship that an archaeological researcher has with his or her chosen subject. The extravert is all about the material and cause and effect, and if this is too strongly expressed, anything of the past which has to do with belief, aesthetics, and abstract principles which can traverse disciplinary boundaries will become so difficult (and uncomfortable) that they will be substituted with something with an action. Thus, instead of explaining religious ideas and how they are expressed in the evidence, you will see the word ritual and its underlying psychology will never be explained.

The "New Archaeology" of the seventies put great faith in science, but whenever these ideas were too strongly expressed, a resulting repression of the unconscious occurred and the "scientific" became the "scientistic". You see this in the wording used by extreme skeptics: "There is no scientific evidence that..." is my favorite. What it really should mean is that no science was performed, or the results of scientific testing was inconclusive. Too often, though, it becomes an expression of faith in the material, and that which is not material is thus unscientific too such people. Postmodernism was a necessary reaction to modernism, and in archaeology, the two philosophical outlooks were expressed by processualism and post processualism, and like many "ism's", they sometimes took on a fanatical nature quite apart from any real merits of either.

It became even more problematical in academia because of a tendency of students to be followers whether through some sort of hero-worship, or through "brown nosing" for career advancement. An original researcher might find a particular method useful for a specific application, a follower, however, will sometimes interpret the method as a law and then apply it inappropriately and with considerable fanaticism.

If you really want to upset an atheist skeptic, then tell them that atheism is a religious belief. Religion is something that lies outside of science but is not "unscientific". Most science has nothing to say about it one way or the other. Curiously, though, eastern religious ideas have crept into quantum physics with the realization of the importance of the observer, and with such conundrums as complementarity, the wave/particle duality and the Einstein, Podolsky, Rosen paradox.

The best researchers will be found around the middle of the Introvert - Extravert scale, but with a fairly strong leaning to one or the other. There also has to be an expressed Intuition, because, as you see from the above chart, the fully conscious  is pure subjectivity and the unconscious is pure objectivity. The pathological skeptic although always touting "scientific objectivity" does so in a religious manner using faith in the "science deity".

You can see the two methods  at play with someone researching an object's authenticity: one will have a "gut feeling" but not know the specifics, while the other will have to rely on various tests to determine the answer. The best, though, will flip back and forth between knowing and knowing why. Good researchers  will, similarly, employ both inductive and deductive reasoning often flipping back and forth to achieve their ends.

From what has been mentioned, so far in this series, you might have a few insights about some details of the dekadrachm story. For example, a skill in detecting fakes is a thing that some people have. The real expert, like David Sear, will look very carefully at the object and will back up intuitive knowledge with material evidence (like the incrustations). I have seen previously respected authenticators fall into the temptation to rely too much on their developed intuition. Sometimes this is just showing off -- I once saw a curator condemn what seemed to me to be a perfectly genuine Athenian "archaic style owl" tetradrachm as a fake after merely glancing at it for about a second without the use of a loupe or magnifying glass. Some sort of enantiodromia had apparently taken place. It was probably initiated by a shift from the importance of the skill to the fame of the skill.

What I have not mentioned yet, is the "'mechanics" of how I could have wanted something "impossible" and then get it. It is an area of synchronicity that I have only recently been able to consciously understand to any degree and I was, at first, rather reluctant to venture there because I was afraid that such an unconscious process might be endangered by looking at it. The answer involves the interaction of psychology and physics that came about with the communications between C. G. Jung and Wolfgang Pauli and you will have to wait until tomorrow.

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