Wholeness

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Re: Wholeness

Postby felix dakat » Tue Sep 15, 2020 4:41 pm

felix dakat wrote:This rediscovery of existentialism has a great significance for theology. It has seen the dark elements in man as over against a philosophy of consciousness which lays all the stress on man's conscious decisions and his good will. The existentialists allied themselves with Freud's analysis of the unconscious in protest against a psychology of consciousness which had previously existed. Existentialism and psychotherapeutic psychology are natural allies and have always worked together. This rediscovery of the unconscious in man is of the highest importance for theology. It has changed the moralistic and idealistic types which we have discussed; it has placed the question of the human condition at the center of all theological thinking, and for this reason it has made the answers meaningful again. In this light we can say that existentialism and Freud, together with his followers and friends (especially Jung and the archetypal psychologists*), have become the providential allies of Christian theology in the twentieth century. This is similar to the way in which the Marxist analysis of the structure of society became a tremendous factor in arousing the churches to a sense of responsibility for the social conditions in which men live.

PAUL TILLICH A History of Christian Thought From Its Judaic and Hellenistic Origins to Existentialism

* Felix


Reading Tillich's systematic theology helped me transition from a Christian cult to an agnosticism in which I recognize that faith itself implies doubt. See how that is consistent with the polarities of Chinese philosophy and Carl Jung? Spiritual growth is the process whereby the polarities of the psyche become unified.
The purpose of my life would seem to be to express the truth as I discover it, but in such a manner that it is completely devoid of authority. By having no authority, by being seen by all as utterly unreliable, I express the truth and put everyone in a contradictory position where they can only save themselves by making the truth their own.
Soren Kierkegaard– Journals, 432
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Re: Wholeness

Postby felix dakat » Wed Sep 16, 2020 7:21 pm

"From the Universe Next Door: christian existentialism (neo-orthodoxy) is a reaction against depersonalized orthodoxy. Sin to orthodox is breaking rules, to existentialist betraying a relationship, repentance is sorrow over breaking relationship vs admitting guilt, forgiveness is renewing fellowship vs cancelled penalty, faith is communicating vs belief in propositions and the Christian life is pleasing the personal Lord vs obeying rules. "

I suppose that the relationship with Christ (the personal Lord described above) is an imaginal phenomena.
The purpose of my life would seem to be to express the truth as I discover it, but in such a manner that it is completely devoid of authority. By having no authority, by being seen by all as utterly unreliable, I express the truth and put everyone in a contradictory position where they can only save themselves by making the truth their own.
Soren Kierkegaard– Journals, 432
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Re: Wholeness

Postby felix dakat » Thu Sep 17, 2020 6:03 pm

"The interplay of opposites is the engine that runs the universe" Tom Robbins

"As above, so below"

Image

Diagram illustrating the unification of the Light King and the Shadow King archetypes into the fully actualized King. This is a symbolic representation of the process of masculine individuation and integration toward Wholeness in one archetypal dimension. Other key archetypes of the male psyche include the warrior. the magician and the lover. Each are polarized when immature, and can be unified through growth and development and insight. Together they can be diagrammed as a four sided pyramid whose center is also the peak --the ideal of wholeness. This conceptualization of individuation is based on the work of Jungian psychoanalyst Robert Moore and mythologist Douglas Gillette.

The degree to which this approach becomes a meaningful mode of spiritual progress will depend on the degree symbols are experienced in one's own internal imagery. What depth psychology since before Freud has shown is that our sense that we are a simply unified ego is an illusion. Jung's concept of the persona--the character that the psyche uses to interface with others is itself an oversimplification. One has multiple personae which are used in different situations and in different moods. Perhaps the difference between someone who seeks treatment for multiple personality disorder and the rest of us is that they experience distress by the multiple archetypes that occupy their consciousness and we are either not aware of the different personalities or if we are, it doesn't bother us.

Image

Here's another diagram based on the work of Moore and Gillette. Much research and analysis of the hero archetype including the works of Rank, Jung and Campbell. Moore and Gillette see the hero as an archetype of boy psychology. Initiation in traditional cultures involves the ritual death of the boy as a necessary step toward the birth of the man. The death and resurrection of Christ has been proffered by mythologists as an instance of the the initiation motif in the hero myth.

Here is Rank as his work pertains to comparisons of the birth of Christ with other hero myths:

Another attempt at a reversal to a more original type consists in the following theme: The return to the lowly father, which has been brought about through the separation of the father's rôle from that of the king, is again nullified through the lowly father's secondary elevation to the rank of a god, as in Perseus and the other sons of virgin mothers (Karna, Ion, Romulus, Jesus) . The secondary character of this godly paternity is especially evident in those myths where the virgin who has been impregnated by divine conception later on marries a mortal (Jesus, Karna, Ion), who then appears as the real father, while the god as the father represents merely the most exalted childish idea of the magnitude, power, and perfection of the father. 1 At the same time, these myths strictly insist upon the motif of the virginity of the mother, which elsewhere is merely hinted at. The first impetus is perhaps supplied by the transcendental tendency, necessitated through the introduction of the god. At the same time, the birth from the virgin is the most abrupt repudiation of the father, the consummation of the entire myth, as illustrated by the Sargon legend, which does not admit any father besides the vestal mother. The last stage of this progressive attenuation of the hostile relation to the father is represented by that form of the myth in which the person of the royal persecutor not only appears entirely detached from that of the father, but has even lost the remotest kinship with the hero's family, which he opposes in the most hostile manner, as its enemy (in Feridun, Abraham, King Herod against Jesus, and others) .

Rank, Otto. The Myth of the Birth of the Hero: A Psychological Interpretation of Mythology (pp. 74-75). Mariana de Lacerda Oliveira. Kindle Edition.


Rank saw the Jesus birth story as fitting clearly into Freudian Oedipal theory. Jung had a very different interpretation in which incest taboo has a genetic basis.

Jung drew special attention to the myth of the hero, interpreting the recurrent theme of his fight with a dragon-monster as the struggle of the adolescent ego for deliverance from the mother. This led him to interpretations of the Oedipus complex and the incest taboo which were very different from those proposed by Freud. In Jung’s view, a child became attached to his mother not because she was the object of incestuous passion, as Freud maintained, but because she was the provider of love and care – a view which anticipated the theoretical revolution revolution wrought some forty years later by the British analyst and psychiatrist John Bowlby. Furthermore, Jung maintained that the incest taboo was primary: it existed a priori, and was not derived from the father’s prohibition of the boy’s lust for his mother, as Freud insisted. Oedipal longings, when they occurred, were the consequence of incest prohibition rather than its cause. Jung also argued that the Oedipus complex was not the universal phenomenon that Freud declared it to be.

Stevens, Anthony. Jung: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions) (p. 23). OUP Oxford. Kindle Edition.


In either theory, Freud's or Jung's the rivalry with the Father is central to a pattern of the developing male ego. In Jung's theory the ego itself is itself an archetype of the psyche.

It should be remembered that it was Jung who proposed the Electra complex as "a girl's psychosexual competition with her mother for possession of her father. In the course of her psychosexual development, the complex is the girl's phallic stage; a boy's analogous experience is the Oedipus complex." [Wikipedia]

As a psychoanalytic term for daughter–mother psychosexual conflict, the Electra complex derives from the Greek mythologic character Electra, who plotted matricidal revenge with Orestes, her brother, against Clytemnestra, their mother, and Aegisthus, their stepfather, for their murder of Agamemnon, their father (cf. Electra, by Sophocles). https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electra_complex
The purpose of my life would seem to be to express the truth as I discover it, but in such a manner that it is completely devoid of authority. By having no authority, by being seen by all as utterly unreliable, I express the truth and put everyone in a contradictory position where they can only save themselves by making the truth their own.
Soren Kierkegaard– Journals, 432
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Re: Wholeness

Postby felix dakat » Sat Sep 19, 2020 6:22 pm

Jungian theory aside, the point of departure for this thread is the value of attending to one's mental imagery as a means of becoming conscious of one's own psychic depth.

Psychoanalyst Jacques Lacan noted that in the course of his research he observed that the mind once freed from all critical pressures and school-bound habits offered images and not logical propositions. He noticed that the meanings patients attached to words are often fluid and seem to be attached to images. In the first phase of his work Lacon stressed the role of images and the imaginary in the workings of the human mind. His observations at this stage and similar to that of the archetypal psychology of James Hillman.

Imaginal exploration has lead me to entertain the possibility of an imaginal realm accessible by the human mind that has been the province of esoteric and perennial wisdom throughout the ages.

The hard-core materialist will dismiss such a proposition as pure fantasy. I'm okay with that. It's not like I claim to "know" in the objective sense of the word. Let them consider it to be my personal religious predilection.
The purpose of my life would seem to be to express the truth as I discover it, but in such a manner that it is completely devoid of authority. By having no authority, by being seen by all as utterly unreliable, I express the truth and put everyone in a contradictory position where they can only save themselves by making the truth their own.
Soren Kierkegaard– Journals, 432
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Re: Wholeness

Postby felix dakat » Mon Sep 21, 2020 12:38 am

Four hypnagogic experiences from my childhood and one recent one:
1) recurring dreams of nuclear Holocaust and panic attacks when the air raid sirens went off
2) a dream of swallowing a bottle cap that led to a trip to the emergency room
3) waking up in the middle of the night and being unable to find my parents anywhere which led to years of suspicion that my parents and other adults were deceiving me about what was really going on in the world
4) walking up the stairs from the basement of the church building alone and reaching the sanctuary to find it empty and full of light like I had never seen before or after

5) coming home to find my cat Widget dead after a vision of him filled my mind and made my heart heavy with grief as I lay in bed trying to sleep.
The purpose of my life would seem to be to express the truth as I discover it, but in such a manner that it is completely devoid of authority. By having no authority, by being seen by all as utterly unreliable, I express the truth and put everyone in a contradictory position where they can only save themselves by making the truth their own.
Soren Kierkegaard– Journals, 432
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Re: Wholeness

Postby felix dakat » Mon Sep 21, 2020 1:50 am

A warning to philosophers from Jung's Red Book:

A thinker should fear Salome, since she wants his head, especially if he is a holy man. A thinker cannot be a holy person, otherwise he loses his head. It does not help to hide oneself in thought. There the solidification overtakes you. You must turn back to motherly forethought to obtain renewal. But forethought leads to Salome.

C. G. Jung. The Red Book: A Reader's Edition (Philemon) (Kindle Locations 3337-3339). W. W. Norton & Company. Kindle Edition.


And a means of moving past disgust toward wholeness:

What a thinker does not think he believes does not exist, and what one who feels does not feel he believes does not exist. You begin to have a presentiment of the whole when you embrace your opposite principle, since the whole belongs to both principles, which grow from one root.

C. G. Jung. The Red Book: A Reader's Edition (Philemon) (Kindle Locations 3352-3354). W. W. Norton & Company. Kindle Edition.


My experience confirms this. When I only see one side of an issue my cognitive dissonance is great. When I become aware of the other side of the polarity, I transcend myself and consciousness becomes fuller. Growth in consciousness is dialectical. Dialogue can be a means of growth when one is open to the truth of the other.



Jung's Red Book is an extended hypnagogic journey as is Kafka's The Trial .
The purpose of my life would seem to be to express the truth as I discover it, but in such a manner that it is completely devoid of authority. By having no authority, by being seen by all as utterly unreliable, I express the truth and put everyone in a contradictory position where they can only save themselves by making the truth their own.
Soren Kierkegaard– Journals, 432
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Re: Wholeness

Postby felix dakat » Mon Sep 21, 2020 6:19 pm

Gratitude/Thankfulness--it can change your perspective from darkness to light!

Gratitude is the expression of appreciation for what one has. It is a recognition of value independent of monetary worth. Spontaneously generated from within, it is an affirmation of goodness and warmth. This social emotion strengthens relationships, and its roots run deep in evolutionary history—emanating from the survival value of helping others and being helped in return. Studies show that specific areas of the brain are involved in experiencing and expressing gratitude. Brain scans of people assigned a task that stimulates expression of gratitude show lasting changes in the prefrontal cortex that heighten sensitivity to future experiences of gratitude.https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/basics/gratitude


Gratitude also increases consciousness. When you take a person or thing for granted you are not conscious of them or it.
The purpose of my life would seem to be to express the truth as I discover it, but in such a manner that it is completely devoid of authority. By having no authority, by being seen by all as utterly unreliable, I express the truth and put everyone in a contradictory position where they can only save themselves by making the truth their own.
Soren Kierkegaard– Journals, 432
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Re: Wholeness

Postby felix dakat » Mon Sep 21, 2020 6:57 pm

...for any composite thing, death brings dread. However, though I cannot escape the dread of death, I can feel something of the eternal satisfaction of the Witness.

I am a Witness. Being a Witness doesn’t bring with it any fame or admiration, but it carries its own timeless pleasure, a sense of immortality that in some inexplicable way transcends the inevitable death that lies ahead. It engenders the instinctive feeling of fellowship with eternal wisdom, since the Witness knows it is already ensconced in a realm beyond change and dread.

The fact is that every conscious thing is such a Witness, and every conscious thing senses that this is the case. But not every conscious thing actually becomes aware of its true nature. For that reason, many conscious things have an exaggerated fear of death, and, in their fear, they mock those who can acknowledge the real situation. They see them as arrogant.

Crabtree, Adam. The Land of Hypnagogia (pp. 77-78). Kindle Edition.


Crabtree's hypnogagic insight above is akin to Kierkegaard's understanding of the single individual's existential relation to the Infinite in his eponymous writings.
The purpose of my life would seem to be to express the truth as I discover it, but in such a manner that it is completely devoid of authority. By having no authority, by being seen by all as utterly unreliable, I express the truth and put everyone in a contradictory position where they can only save themselves by making the truth their own.
Soren Kierkegaard– Journals, 432
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Re: Wholeness

Postby felix dakat » Tue Sep 22, 2020 6:15 pm

'For the historian of religions, every manifestation of the sacred is important: every rite, every myth, every belief or divine figure reflects the experience of the sacred and hence implies the notions of being, of meaning, and of truth. As I observed on another occasion, “it is difficult to imagine how the human mind could function without the conviction that there is something irreducibly real in the world; and it is impossible to imagine how consciousness could appear without conferring a meaning on man’s impulses and experiences. Consciousness of a real and meaningful world is intimately connected with the discovery of the sacred. Through experience of the sacred, the human mind has perceived the difference between what reveals itself as being real, powerful, rich, and meaningful and what lacks these qualities, that is, the chaotic and dangerous flux of things, their fortuitous and senseless appearances and disappearances” (preface to The Quest: History and Meaning in Religion [1969]). In short, the “sacred” is an element in the structure of consciousness and not a stage in the history of consciousness. On the most archaic levels of culture, living, considered as being human, is in itself a religious act, for food-getting, sexual life, and work have a sacramental value. In other words, to be—or, rather, to become—a man signifies being “religious” (ibid.).'
Eliade, Mircea. A History of Religious Ideas Volume 1: From the Stone Age to the Eleusinian Mysteries . The University of Chicago Press. Preface.


Challenger:
I would challenge this quote on the basis that Eliade appears to be assuming his own biases and then using that as the starting point for his observations. In particular, I have problems with this section: "...it is difficult to imagine how the human mind could function without the conviction that there is something irreducibly real in the world; and it is impossible to imagine how consciousness could appear without conferring a meaning on man’s impulses and experiences. Consciousness of a real and meaningful world is intimately connected with the discovery of the sacred." I have a couple of points of contention with this statement. First, I have no idea what he means by "something irreducibly real". Religious language frequently is guilty of this kind of opaqueness. Pushing the world of quantum theory aside, in terms of everyday experience, of course the human brain makes assumptions minute by minute of the irreducible reality that it is interpreting. That is a statement of the obvious. He then moves on to imply that the discovery of "meaning" and "the sacred" is a necessary element of "consciousness". I would offer that this seems to be true only to the person who has already assumed the existence of the sacred. It is just as possible that consciousness would lead to concluding that all is devoid of meaning and ultimate value. This, of course, is the nihilist position and the existentialist dilemma. Finally, the ascribing of sacredness is just as possibly one stage in the evolution of human consciousness, rather than a necessary element, and certainly rather than its goal.


Me:
Thank you for your challenge, because it opened the dialect of meaning for me with respect to the above quote. I think Eliade is right because intention always precedes and conditions consciousness.


Challenger
really? It seems much more reasonable to me to say that consciousness always precedes intention. After all, how could there be such a thing as "intention" without a preexisting consciousness?


Me
consciousness is not free floating. It always has an object. It is always focused by intention. Right now as you read these words your consciousness is focused on them and there are an infinite number of other things in the universe of which you are not conscious. When is this ever not the case?


Challenger:
I would agree that the application of consciousness is, by definition, intentional. But "consciousness", as a state of being, I would define as the awareness that "we are" - i.e. the awareness of our own selves and our own minds. That awareness is not necessarily intentional. When I awake in the morning and am suddenly aware that I am awake, that I have the need to relieve myself, that I feel rested or not, etc. - those are not focused, intentional thoughts. They are simply the product of evolution in the human brain. I don't "choose", or "intend" to be conscious. I simply am.


Me
"Forgetfulness of being" occurs whenever we attend to something else. When you awake in the morning, the state of awakeness may or may not be the object of your consciousness. When you are conscious of needing to relieve yourself, you aren't thinking about being awake, etc. There is always a figure and ground in consciousness. When intention brings one to the fore, the rest sinks into the background. What is in the background is momentarily unconscious. "Pre-conscious" the psychoanalysts call it. Intentionality in the sense I am using it is a philosophical concept defined as "the power of minds to be about, to represent, or to stand for, things, properties and states of affairs". I agree that consciousness is theoretically a product of evolution. How far down does consciousness go in the phylogenetic chain? Alfred North Whitehead thought that feeling was the subjective concomitant of energy and that even atoms could feel. But that would not be consciousness such as we are discussing. Focused attention is certainly possible for other species. Predators such as hawks certainly are capable of focused attention. But, self-reflective consciousness--consciousness of being conscious-- seems to be limited for the most part to human beings. Or so it seems to me.
The purpose of my life would seem to be to express the truth as I discover it, but in such a manner that it is completely devoid of authority. By having no authority, by being seen by all as utterly unreliable, I express the truth and put everyone in a contradictory position where they can only save themselves by making the truth their own.
Soren Kierkegaard– Journals, 432
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Re: Wholeness

Postby felix dakat » Fri Sep 25, 2020 1:06 am

People who are “open to experience” tend to be intellectually curious, creative and imaginative. Personality researchers have shown that such people literally see the world differently.
Less open people experience latent inhibition, a brain function that filters out extraneous visual and cognitive input. But highly open people are less subject to such cognitive inhibition.
Because their perception allows more information to flow into their visual system, more open people tend to see things that others block out. Researchers also found that open people can feel very complex emotional states because seemingly incompatible feelings break through into their consciousness simultaneously.

Openness to Experience: The Gates of the Mind
People who are “open to experience” literally see the world differently

By Luke Smillie on August 15, 2017أعرض هذا


Openness to experience
Openness to experience is a general appreciation for art, emotion, adventure, unusual ideas, imagination, curiosity, and variety of experience. People who are open to experience are intellectually curious, open to emotion, sensitive to beauty and willing to try new things. They tend to be, when compared to closed people, more creative and more aware of their feelings. They are also more likely to hold unconventional beliefs. High openness can be perceived as unpredictability or lack of focus, and more likely to engage in risky behavior or drug-taking.[36] Moreover, individuals with high openness are said to pursue self-actualization specifically by seeking out intense, euphoric experiences. Conversely, those with low openness seek to gain fulfillment through perseverance and are characterized as pragmatic and data-driven—sometimes even perceived to be dogmatic and closed-minded. Some disagreement remains about how to interpret and contextualize the openness factor.[
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Big_Five_ ... ity_traits


Openness to experience seems to correlate highly with interest in mental imagery. Does focusing on mental imagery actually enhance openness and creativity?

Here's an article that suggests that with children it can: https://www.researchgate.net/publicatio ... 20products.

and this one with college students as well:
https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10 ... 01870/full
The purpose of my life would seem to be to express the truth as I discover it, but in such a manner that it is completely devoid of authority. By having no authority, by being seen by all as utterly unreliable, I express the truth and put everyone in a contradictory position where they can only save themselves by making the truth their own.
Soren Kierkegaard– Journals, 432
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Re: Wholeness

Postby felix dakat » Fri Sep 25, 2020 3:33 pm

The idea of the “noosphere” has been compared to Jung’s Collective Unconscious and Theosophy’s Akashic Record, yet its more immediate model is the internet.

Lachman, Gary. Dark Star Rising (p. 144). Penguin Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.


The noosphere is a philosophical concept developed and popularized by the biogeochemist Vladimir Vernadsky, and the French philosopher and Jesuit priest Pierre Teilhard de Chardin. Vernadsky defined the noosphere as the new state of the biosphere and described as the planetary "sphere of reason". The noosphere represents the highest stage of biospheric development, its defining factor being the development of humankind's rational activities.https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Noosphere

Collective unconscious (German: kollektives Unbewusstes) refers to structures of the unconscious mind which are shared among beings of the same species. It is a term coined by Carl Jung. According to Jung, the human collective unconscious is populated by instincts, as well as by archetypes: universal symbols such as The Great Mother, the Wise Old Man, the Shadow, the Tower, Water, and the Tree of Life. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Collective_unconscious

In theosophy and anthroposophy, the Akashic Chronicle is a compendium of all human events, thoughts, words, emotions, and intent ever to have occurred in the past, present, or future. They are believed by theosophists to be encoded in a non-physical plane of existence known as the mental plane. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Akashic_records

My hypothesis is that awareness of one's own mental images can bring one into contact with the hypnagogic/imaginal realm which is the potentially conscious sphere of the collective unconscious/noosphere/Akashic record. If so, psychic wholeness would include such spiritual consciousness.
The purpose of my life would seem to be to express the truth as I discover it, but in such a manner that it is completely devoid of authority. By having no authority, by being seen by all as utterly unreliable, I express the truth and put everyone in a contradictory position where they can only save themselves by making the truth their own.
Soren Kierkegaard– Journals, 432
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