Monday, 28 March 2016

The quest for the Holy relic of archaeology: part four

Edmund Husserl established the
school of phenomenology

"He was powerfully aware that the historical significance of the rise of psychology was as a reaction to rationalism, materialism, and the death of God, and he saw that no-one was truly healed who had not recovered a ‘religious outlook’ on life. But that outlook is not given by retreating from incarnate life into a heavenly place of prayer – which would perpetuate the very Gnostic splits that Jung sought to heal – but by descending deeper into those things with which the patient is concerned: his symptoms. ‘The gods have become diseases,’ says Jung. ‘Zeus no longer rules Olympus but rather the solar plexus’".

Roger Brooke, Jung and Phenomenology (Routledge Mental Health Classic Editions) p.8f

Reading Brooke's classic work this weekend, I was reminded of the difficulties Jung had in getting his ideas across to people, and Brooke starts by explaining why some phenomenologists' rejection of Jung was unwarranted. It was not just in Jung's communication, however, but in both his philosophical outlook and the perspectives of his time. I realized that in all my years of reading Jung, much of my understanding of him had come about through assimilation, and that anyone who would depend on the discovery of a quote or two from him without a wider look at his work, or those who would take things too literally instead of viewing them as foci of broader interpretation could so easily become lost.

This was very important for today's post as I will be partly dealing with Jung's psychological types. It is extremely fortunate that the core of those writings exist online and can be read without payment or some membership. So when I give some quote, you can see it in at least a certain amount of context. It is also necessary to explain that the types he is discussing are viewed from the perspective of a doctor dealing with his patients and are not intended to be as representative as a description of the same type as expressed in someone of the same type who would rarely feel the need to seek out therapy. The type of my main focus is the extraverted thinking type, but you can also find this type well-represented among successful and well-adjusted business executives. All the same, though, if you were looking for a sensitive and patient response to some emotional difficulties you were experiencing, seeking out a business executive would probably not be your first choice, even though such a person could guide you very well in starting a company, or managing your time. I should add, too, that the Jungian rational and irrational types are not what you would think them to be: irrational does not mean "crazy" it means an approach to something that comes about through observation or sensing rather than trying to work it out through the thinking processes. You can see this situation in the TV show "The Big Bang Theory" where Sheldon Cooper comes to the wrong conclusions through logical thought to situations blatantly obvious to those around him. You might say that Sheldon completely lacks a phenomenological approach.

In dealing with organizations of any type, and regardless of their specialty, the organization will likely behave in a manner atypical to that of an average person within in it.It has been said that many organizations act in manner that would be pathological if applied to a an individual and we are already dealing with pathology in talking about obsessive hoarding, so we are on firm ground here. We are also dealing with secular fundamentalism:
"I’ve come to believe that there is a scientific/intellectual right that is no less fundamentalist and no more tolerant of other views than their religious counterparts. Their belief system is one of the secular churches - science, mathematics, philosophy, etc., and anyone who does not think as they do is ipso facto evil. Oh, they would never use a term like evil - they use their world’s terms for evil - stupid, benighted, brainwashed, you name it.
Ed Gurowitz, Ph. D. (Neuropsychology), Beware Secular Fundamentalism, Huffington Post.
Compare this with what Jung has to say about the neuroses of the extraverted thinking type:
"In accordance with his definition, we must picture a, man whose constant aim -- in so far, of course, as he is a  pure type -- is to bring his total life-activities into relation with intellectual conclusions, which in the last resort are always orientated by objective data, whether objective facts or generally valid ideas. This type of man gives the deciding voice-not merely for himself alone but also on behalf of his entourage-either to the actual objective reality or to its objectively orientated, intellectual formula. By this formula are good and evil measured, and beauty and ugliness determined. All is right that corresponds with this formula; all is wrong that contradicts it; and everything that is neutral to it is purely accidental. Because this formula seems to correspond with the meaning of the world, it also becomes a world-law whose realization must be achieved at all times and seasons, both individually and collectively. Just as the extraverted thinking type subordinates himself to his formula, so, for its own good, must his entourage also obey it, since the man who refuses to obey is wrong -- he is resisting the world-law, and is, therefore, unreasonable, immoral, and without a conscience."
Tomorrow, how these organizational attitudes have brought about "Fringe Archaeology". Read the link here and compare it with the quotes above about the secular fundamentalist and the extraverted thinking type neuroses. Sometimes, things are just too easy.

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