Thursday, 10 September 2015

The Palaeolithic artist: part 11

C. G. Jung institute in Küsnacht, Switzerland
photo: Qtea from Turku, Finland
While I had said that I would have "Jung in tow" for yesterday's post, and it was entirely Jungian, his obvious presence existed only with the word "synchronicity". I write these posts alla prima and they thus take on a life of their own. Although yesterday's post was only 700 words, it took me far longer to write than part 8 which was 2,700 words. The reason for this is that in some posts, I am working out my ideas in real time, while in others I am writing essays based on existent knowledge. I was also somewhat tired and that had a lesser effect.

In the course of three days, I had put in 40 hours work over three active projects, and that did not include the phone call from a friend who had just come back from a long visit to her home town of Copenhagen. Our phone conversations usually last about three hours, but she wanted to catch up on my news and that one exceeded four hours. The following morning I was bumping into things, kept forgetting what I was doing, and even cut myself while cutting some meat. The body can only take so much, especially one that  will be 66 years old at the end of the month. Working out ideas is especially draining: sometimes, I will spend two or three days thinking about a very specific question without even talking to anyone during that time. I am thus trying to catch up on lost sleep, and taking everything a lot slower.

As I also often write in series, and these have to be "stand-alone" entities for those who find my blog through Google etc. I have to define some terms repeatedly, and this might annoy my regular readers who have heard it all before. I never just cut and paste definitions, though, and I try to tailor them to the topic at hand. The term, this time, is synchronicity. Sorry for the long preamble.

The most popular term in the Jungian canon is synchronicity, it is also the least understood. Critics of the term who have never read Jung, and especially those with a strongly expressed extraverted psychology such as both religious fundamentalists and atheistic skeptics who espouse scientism more than science, have an especially difficult time with it and might even reject it completely. In the editorial preface to the Princeton/Bollingen edition (1973, vif) of Jung's Synchronicity: An Acausal Connecting Principle (1960) It is revealed that its inspiration came from several conversations over dinner with Albert Einstein, but became fully developed, thirty years later, with his collaborative relationship with the physicist Wolfgang Pauli. Yet, in Jung's own text, in the same edition, Pauli makes his first appearance in note 33 on p.19, and consists only of "Professor Pauli was kind enough to draw my attention to this paper which appeared in 1949". Pauli was not the sort of person who placed great importance in academic empire building, or even publishing for that matter. A lot of his best stuff is to be found in his letters. Synchronicity, as discussed in the Pauli/Jung letters was instrumental in the development of the Pauli/Jung conjecture. For the last two titles, Pauli gets top billing. It was Einstein who had nominated Pauli for his Nobel Prize. Thus we dispose of the critics who might have formulated their opinions after some discussion following the playing of Synchronicity by The Police.

My own definition of synchronicity is (currently): Energy directed at a part of the unconscious mind can be attended with an event in the material world connected by meaning alone to the person experiencing such, and is thus acausal in either direction.

Emilio Valli, of the United Nations had started a small discussion group about mythology. He is currently stationed in Kyrgyzstan, where he is a Program Officer at United Nations Volunteers, but at that time was working in economic development in Kazakhstan. His interest in central Asia is explained here  Now you might ask why mythology is of interest to such a person. So might I. I do have an idea, but when Emilio put forward any topic for discussion, he did not frame it within the context of his interests, but allowed people to create their own contexts. So when he put up the topic of Mythos and Logos. I eagerly ran with it as I saw it would be the perfect vehicle with which to explain the Jungian concepts of Introversion and Extraversion to the general public. Specifically to the subject of the collective consciousness. When Jung looked at the collective conscious, it was mainly to condemn it. His in-depth analyses were reserved for the collective unconscious. While, as quoted, at that link, other terms have been proposed or are used, I much prefer to stick with the original. "autonomous psyche" I think is just wrong as it does not pair too well with the personal unconscious with its compensatory function to the personal consciousness, and "objective psyche", while being accurate can only confuse people unfamiliar with Pauli's work. (which is most people).
Also, I consider that to criticize people for exhibiting their Zeitgeist is not only grossly unfair, but is indicative of considerable sloppiness and intellectual laziness. Science builds upon itself rather than abandoning what has gone before to present an entirely new science.

Jung is justifiably criticized, however, for his opinions about "primitives", which was backward thinking even for his own day, but anthropology also moves on.

Any Jungian analyst reading this and yesterday's post will correctly observe that my attention to such detail is a symptom of my lack of sleep and exhaustion from work if they knew that my Myers-Briggs Type Indicator is INFJ   The site at that link, while a "Reader's Digest" version is accurate in what it says. "The Protector" is just one label, other sources call my type "The Counselor" or "Intuitive Empath" By most best estimates, Jung, himself, was of the same type save for very early in his life. We are pure introverts which is always a surprise to people who know me, because I can be quite charismatic, I always have a smile on  my face when I greet people, I am well liked by most who have met me, I'm also a good orator. Although I have only given two talks at universities, both were ad-lib without even notes and engaged the audiences very well.

The reason for this apparent contradiction is that my auxiliary characteristic is Extraverted Feeling (The Mentor). Being auxiliary, I am not as good at this as one who would have it as their primary feature, but that is partially counteracted by the fact that I learned most things and developed because of having a string of amazing mentors throughout my life and my sense of "paying it forward" is strong in me. My formal schooling was of such poor quality that everything it did for me was harmful. I had to create myself, and I picked brilliant mentors who were at the top of their various disciplines and specialties. I could never duplicate that as a mentor, myself, but I can at least muddle by fairly well.

The polar opposite to the Intuitive Empath is the Psychopath (Ted Bundy type), and unlike almost everyone else, we can often recognize them instantly. By way of a happy accident, I was also given an opportunity to sit and study one for about a half hour when I was younger. My sister was in hospital for a very serious condition and I was visiting her one day when her doctor needed to attend to her. I waited on a seat outside, which happened to face another room with its door open. Inside, to my surprise was a psychopath sniper who had been shot by the police, a few days earlier and was in a wheelchair and under the guard of a uniformed young police officer. I could not resist studying him (who couldn't?), but my instinct was to maintain a blank expression while I did so. As such psychopaths revel in the attention they get, as everyone knows, he started to "perform" for me, by making sudden movements that brought the young cop to attention. I also marvelled at the patience of the young cop in keeping his calm. I have met cops more like the psychopath in their "swagger". I was sure that the cop had been specially selected for the task because of his patience.

The psychopath (of many varieties, not just killers) has an air of superiority about them that they manifest just slightly subtler than they think anyone will perceive, and they are mostly right in that.
I am convinced that they manifest it as high as they think they can get away with because they need that sensation of knowing that you are too stupid to see them for what they truly are.

There is nothing "supernatural" about the Intuitive Empath's ability to evaluate people instantly. I believe that it is the same skill as exhibited by people who are trained to read micro-expressions and/or body language and do that professionally. It is just that the intuitive empath does it on a more unconscious or "instinctive" level and cannot identify the specific signals consciously. The professional always does it better because it never gets turned off. When the intuitive empath starts to communicate with  people, their conscious thoughts and feelings act as an interference of sorts that soon diminishes that ability. Even worse, if we think that our intuition is still strong at such times, we can be a really bad judge of character. We usually have a really horrible early life, painfully shy, unable to ask questions at school when we do not understand something and can often pick really damaging relationships. As we grow older, though, we get much better and in later life we can really shine, We learn what to avoid doing that can hurt us. For many years, I have not watched or listened to news nor read newspapers. If I need some news on a specific topic, I just Google it. If I hear that some poor child has accidentally fallen to his or her death from an apartment balcony. I grieve just as strongly as if that child's mother was my best friend and it can take two to three days before that fades. Needless to say I get frustrated when some friend says "I know you don't watch the news, but did you hear that..." and then proceeds to tell me some ghastly story.

But there is a practical aspect to not watching news, too. It desensitizes us all, and the evil in the world requires ever more violent means to accomplish its goals. In my opinion the sensationalist news reporters are far worse than pornographers. They end their vile programs with something happy because they do not want you to be able to identify them as the evil bastards they truly are.

My life experiences also include working, on a voluntary basis, as an RCMP Security Services (Canadian domestic intelligence) operative when a workmate told me that a terrorist group was wanting to recruit him. He was of the same ethnic minority as that group and they had certainly been exposed to injustices. He was conflicted. This was in the early seventies and the public was already grumbling rather loudly about the SS methods. As some associates and myself had already worked with the RCMP (but regular police) Fraud Squad, to try to expose and disband a certain organization which was conning a lot of people out of their money, I knew who to call and what I had to do. My first agent told me that if a terrorist was brought through the justice system, there would be another six to replace him before the case was completed. SS agents were forbidden to ever come into physical contact with anyone they were investigating. They always used outside operatives for such things. We were also expendable and could expect no rescue if things went wrong, or even expect their acknowledgement of our role or any connection to us, whatsoever. So, a short time after this, when he told me "If your cover gets blown, you can offer him police protection" I was visibly incredulous. "You would do that?" I asked in surprise. "Of course not!" he said, and laughed.

Our terrorist group was really KGB instigated, The KGB's connection with the, earlier, Front de libération du Québec (FLQ)  was quite different as is explained in this short article about Russian influence operations in Canada.

For those of you who believe that the James Bond movies reflect anything realistic at all, I have a little mind experiment you can try for yourselves that will be harmless to you: Get yourself a DVD of a few of the "Lovejoy" British TV series about the lovable rascals that wheel and deal in antiques in England. It uses common methods of "bubble gum" TV entertainment as opposed to more sophisticated literary genres. The likable characters are contrasted with the more plodding and conservative auction people far more superficially than Conan Doyle did with Inspector Lestrade.
Then read one of the novels that the show was based on (by Jonathan Gash). Don't look him up first!
You just might just have the need to take a shower afterward and scrub extra hard to remove the stench of that experience.

If you believe that I could do the things I did quite cheerfully because lives would be saved: to use people and to betray their trust, then you obviously know nothing about the human mind. It is every bit as emotionally devastating as if it were done for no greater good.

I don't know for sure if Emilio's goals are related to mine in his use of mythology, but I include this excerpt from Joseph Campbell's Foreword to his Masks Of God series about the motifs he deals with: "They are all given here in these volumes, with many clues, besides, suggesting ways in which they might be put to use by reasonable men to reasonable ends -- or by poets to poetic ends--or by madmen to nonsense and disaster. The terrorist supplies us with the last, and it is my life's mandate to counter this with the other two and more like them. By the way, all of our terrorists just vanished. No one knew of their plot. Not one person was terrorized. The purpose of terrorism is not the destruction you see, you are confusing terrorism with guerilla and urban warfare and the like. The purpose of terrorism is to spread fear and  terror among the people in order to rip apart the fabric of their society. The more you protest about the destruction, the more you are supporting their aims. Tomorrow is the anniversary of 9/11. You will not hear from me at all, instead I will present a video that reveals another way in which to thwart the aims of terrorism.

Finally, I knew that I would have to do something with my Mythos/Logos theory that Emilio inspired but I did not want to think about what that would entail. It was because I gave a few tips to an American adjunct professor who teaches world religions, and who has started her very demanding journey toward becoming a Jungian therapist at the American Jung Institute, and her subsequent encouragement, that I have decided to start writing a book to add to the Jungian canon. Despite studying Jung in isolation for about thirty years, and being inspired to actually tackle the task. This job will be in many orders of magnitude more difficult than anything I have done with any archaeological subject and it is daunting, indeed. It's working title is "Our bipolar world",and I will start to introduce the themes of Mythos/Logos along with evolution to our subject of the Palaeolithic artist on Monday. I will be away from the keyboard a lot of the weekend as I am going to be very busy with non-computer related work. Rest? What rest?

This episode is dedicated to Dr. Emilio Valli and to Dr Catherine Alvarez Ph.D. Have a good life-changing weekend, everyone.

No comments:

Post a Comment