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Pivotal Moments in Life

Pivotal moments arrive in our life. We can never anticipate them. But we cannot ignore them. We must answer yes or no.

It just occurred to me, days after posting this, that this is a conversation between Logos and Eros, between a man largely in Logos and a woman largely in Eros. But I think that it supports my thesis – really the movie as a whole supports it. Logos can be trusted to eventually recognize its limitations and embrace Eros, but we have to do what we can to help in that process – hence the vital importance of all things Jungian. The ego, which has largely latched onto Logos as its method to understand and navigate the world, is very stubborn and short sighted because of the Logos approach to the world. Logos, as an archetype itself, is more flexible and open I believe. But it’s complicated and I will be exploring this a great deal in future posts.

From the wonderful movie, I Originsand for me one of the most important scenes:

I recommend the movie highly.

The Choice in the Machine

Each of us has a stark choice before us.

Are we only the machine – the view of Logos?

Or are we the “I” temporarily in the machine, but the pilot of the machine – the user of the machine – the view of Eros.

We must define ourselves by seeing the larger picture. To see our self as only the machine is to see the smallest part of the larger picture and then define the machine as us. Logos identifies each one of us as and with the machine.

Logos, by itself, is almost certain to see us as a machine, at least in this current age. Logos seeks to diminish Eros because the perspectives of the two are so different and Logos is threatened by the broader and deeper view of Eros.

Eros sees the “I” – the greater self. Both Logos and Eros are found in the machine, and outside of the machine – both use the machine. But Logos sees the smaller picture of parts and misidentifies as the machine, rather than the machine being our servant and our persona. Eros knows the truth. Logos is confused and limited in its perception. But in that confusion and limited perspective, Logos is convinced of the truth of its analysis. Our ego is also confused, because it is dominated by Logos as well. Both Logos and ego mean well, but are hopelessly limited by their narrow views – for now.

The machine is useful. It does work for us. But to be lost in the machine – to misidentify as the machine, is an error of perception. Eros cannot be lost and will correct that error.

The machine is not the master, but the servant.

Eros will re-establish the truth of our existence. It will show Logos the truth. The ego will come to know this truth .

Welcome to the Machine

Welcome my son, welcome to the machine
Where have you been?
It’s alright we know where you’ve been
You’ve been in the pipeline, filling in time
Provided with toys and ‘scouting for boys’
You brought a guitar to punish your ma
And you didn’t like school, and you
Know you’re nobody’s fool
So welcome to the machine

Welcome my son, welcome to the machine
What did you dream?
It’s alright we told you what to dream
You dreamed of a big star
He played a mean guitar
He always ate in the Steak Bar
He loved to drive in his Jaguar
So welcome to the machine

Songwriters: Roger Waters

Welcome to the Machine lyrics © Warner/Chappell Music, Inc

The machine is a tool. We are not a machine. We are the “I”. Without the “I”, the machine is nothing. The machine must be seen for what it is and for what it is not.

Eros will reveal that truth. We are evolving.

Eros rises.

Gotta Love Joan Jett

A random post of thoughtful rock n roll – not deep, but insightful. And the woman can rock. It’s hard to believe that it wasn’t that long ago that comedy and rock n roll were not thought to be appropriate for women, or that they could do it as well as men. Ha. Evolution mocks such nonsensical conclusions. Evolution will never be denied.

Ladies and gentlemen, Joan Jett

 

 

The Power of Metaphor

Reality can only be understood by metaphor – explaining one thing by a relationship to another. But before metaphor, there is an axiom of existence – a  starting point. Metaphors are always limited and misleading if they are taken too far or if they are allowed to inflate beyond their explanatory power. They are operational, contingent and provisional. Eros is the source of deeper and more profound truths. Eros rises.

A Guide to Civilized Arguments and Discussions

I posted this elsewhere, but I think it bears repeating.

Karl Popper said:

“It is impossible to speak in such a way that you cannot be misunderstood.”

Which is why the best discussions involve wine, beer or other intoxicants, no fighting, and leaving as friends, regardless of any other outcome.

Soccer Metaphysics

If we just sat around in bliss, seeing ourselves as just a small part of the divine one, evolution would never occur. We did not manifest to do that. That is our underlying truth, but we have set that aside for now. Just as the underlying truth of every soccer player is that they have the ability to pick up the ball and run with it. But they have freely chosen to play the game, with the constraints of the game. In working with those constraints, which some could call illusion, these soccer players have evolved to perform miracles with their feet and heads on the ball. Those miracles would never have occurred without the conscious decision to accept those constraints and live within them on the soccer field.

And so have we all, on this field of the physical world – evolution through constraints and the challenges of meeting and playing with those constraints. Too often we see life as a battle – we must reframe our life as a game.

Universal Humanity – Cry

This is one of the more subtle and human music video from the 80’s.

10 CC were a great, intelligent pop band, with art school sensibilities, from the 70’s. Godley and Creme were two members who went on to have a successful career after the band split.

This video is remarkable for its technicality – long before simple laptops were capable of digital magic. It’s impact is greater for the lack of those digital effects. Life is analog at the level we perceive it.

I find this video and song compelling in it’s humanity. Pain is a universal human emotion. Watching this video I am reminded of just how we are all the same behind the mask of persona.

We are all uniquely here in our “beingness”. We are all essentially the same beneath the skin of gender, age, race, culture, and experience. Our human nature transcends our differences. Each one of us is an individuated piece of something much greater than we can comprehend. That duality is baked in at the most fundamental metaphysical level and is part of the joy and pain of this life.

The irony is that in crying, in pain, we often feel the most alone, but in this video we are reminded of our being part of that much greater whole.

Eros rises.

T.S. Elliot on Logos and Eros

Opening Stanza of T. S. Eliot‘s Choruses from the Rock


The Eagle soars in the summit of Heaven,
The Hunter with his dogs pursues his circuit.

perpetual revolution of configured stars,

perpetual recurrence of determined seasons,

world of spring and autumn, birth and dying
The endless cycle of idea and action,
Endless invention, endless experiment,
Brings knowledge of motion, but not of stillness;
Knowledge of speech, but not of silence;
Knowledge of words, and ignorance of the Word.
All our knowledge brings us nearer to our ignorance,
All our ignorance brings us nearer to death,
But nearness to death no nearer to GOD.
Where is the Life we have lost in living?
Where is the wisdom we have lost in knowledge?
Where is the knowledge we have lost in information?
The cycles of Heaven in twenty centuries
Bring us farther from GOD and nearer to the Dust.

 

Logos recedes. Eros rises.

We Are.

We Are.

We are caretakers of an empty bliss.

We are seekers of a frozen star.

We are the unremembering.

We are.

We will be.

More.

Again.

Edward Edinger on Jung

Right after posting my longer piece on Jordan Peterson, I ran across this video with Edward Edinger being interviewed by Lawrence Jaffe, a Jungian analyst himself, having written two books on Jung. Edinger, however, was a prolific writer who in this video, tells us that he wanted to mediate the complex depths of Jung for those of us who want to know Jung better. Edinger was successful in this, with many books worthy of reading and rereading. His books are available at InnerCity BooksEdinger’s page there. InnerCity Books is a publisher devoted to producing the books of Jungian analysts only. It is an excellent resource.

The contrast and comparison with Jordan Peterson is stark. Edinger “gets” it and he communicates it without pretense, drama, or polemics, but with deep passion.

Jordan Peterson may or may not get Jung, But he certainly does not communicate Jung in any deep way.

In this video, Edinger is deeply moved by his relationship to Jung and to what Jung has brought to humanity. The emotional reverence that Edinger shows for Jung is something that I can completely relate to, particularly as I am reading The Red Book and discovering it in a way that was not open to me just a few months ago. Exploring Jung is the most humbling, yet uplifting experience for me. I would recommend this video for any student of Jung, and certainly for anyone embarking upon diving into The Red Book. That book is a deep dark ocean and any knowledgeable and enlightened insight or guidance you can find, as you make your personal exploration of it, is worthy of your time. The journey is personal, but use every resource at hand that makes sense to you, and then leave them at the shore.

You may have trouble deciphering one of the words Edinger uses a number of times – Weltanschaung – German for “world view”.

Here you can find a transcript of this wonderful talk.

There is no superfluous word or thought in this interview, but I will quote two longer passages that are particularly meaningful for me:

“I consider Jung’s work primarily, and I think he did too, primarily to be a scientific accomplishment.  What he did was to discover through his own personal experience both individually and with patients, he discovered the objective Psyche.  The Psyche as an objective entity as contrasted with a subjective entity.  That led him into a region of such immense dimensions that he then spent the rest of his life trying to describe and present some of the major aspects of the nature of the objective Psyche as he had discovered it.

So he is primarily, fundamentally, a scientific genius, who has made a totally new discovery; a totally new dimension of being has been laid bare.  And following that discovery he was obliged to create a whole new methodology of approaching it, because since it’s a new object, it cannot be approached by the old methodology that physical science used.  Physical science requires a methodology different from the science of depth psychology, because the nature of the subject matter is different.

The Psyche requires a methodology that engages the whole person.  Physical science, by its nature, excludes a significant portion of the whole person as irrelevant.  But, dealing with the Psyche requires an engagement of the whole person.  That’s a totally new approach, and people have yet to learn it.  Jung teaches us how to do it, but we still have to learn it.  He was obliged to create that whole new methodology in order to deal with the new subject that he’d discovered, the subject of the objective Psyche, and this is what he’s done in all of his mature work.  That’s how I think of him fundamentally.

26:50  However, what he discovered when he discovered the objective Psyche and started to explore it, was that it is the Source of religion, of philosophy, of art, of mythology, of worldviews of all kinds.  It’s the Source of those.  Therefore, although we say quite accurately, “No, Jungian Psychology is not a religion, it’s not a philosophy, it’s not a worldview, but nonetheless, it deals with the Source of all of those, and it has also discovered in the course of realizing the practical aspect of encounter with the Psyche, which is psychotherapy, it’s discovered that psychotherapy, if it’s going to be complete in the individual case, involves the individual’s discovery of a religious standpoint and a worldview.  So that Jungian Psychology, when it’s applied does lead to religious consciousness and to the emerging awareness of a new worldview, even though Jungian Psychology itself is not itself a religion or a worldview.  It’s as though it is more fundamental than that.

Just because Jung talks about religious imagery and religious phenomenology many people superficially think he is a religionist.  Or as you said earlier, he’s a mystic.  That’s not true! He’s an empirical scientist of the Psyche.  That’s what he is.”

I consider the The Red Book to be the record of Jung’s inquiry into the nature of the psyche. I can see now the point that Edinger is making. Jung was working scientifically, in the only way possible, given that he was using the human psyche to explore itself. That scientific exploration led to mysticism and religion. Jung should not be criticized for what his explorations revealed. He was a unique explorer in science, since he was not afraid to go where the data and his experiences took him, even though many would dismiss his findings out of hand…for now.

And this exchange occurs immediately after the preceding one:

29:00 Jaffe speaks:

“As you have have spoken of  Jung as an Epocal Man, and you have explained that you mean by that a man whose life inaugurates/constellates a new age in cultural history, can you tell us more of this idea and have there been other Epocal men.”

Edinger replies:

“You see I have a perception of Jung that I’m afraid practically nobody shares.  I’m almost alone in that; speaking of being alone. I mentioned earlier, he’s a whole new species.  We know from history that when an individual carrying new consciousness arrives on the scene that often inaugurates a new epoch.  The two examples that I’m thinking of particularly are the examples of Christ and Buddha.  I believe that Jung belongs to that order of individual.

When a major new level of consciousness emerges then it has to have some huge collective effect, but it may take several hundred years to bring into visibility, but will eventually be seen for what it is.  That’s how I see Jung. (Quoting Jung in the following:)

  1. 311 of Volume II of his Letters.  It summarizes in a nutshell the basic idea behind continuing incarnation.  Here’s what he says, “Buddha’s insight and the incarnation in Christ break the chain of suffering through the intervention of the enlightened human consciousness which thereby acquires a metaphysical and cosmic significance.” 

Now of course, you’re not going to get that in one reading.  But what he’s referring to there is the Buddhist notion of the chain of suffering that involves desirousness leading to frustration and finally to death that repeats itself endlessly. The chain of life that goes round and round; it can never be broken.

That’s what he’s referring to.  He says two things break it, Buddha’s insight breaks it and the incarnation in Christ breaks it.  He doesn’t say “broke it.” He doesn’t use the past tense.  He uses the present tense, which means that Buddha’s insight and incarnation in Christ are current happenings which have the effect of breaking the chain of suffering through the intervention of the enlightened human consciousness, which thereby acquires a metaphysical and cosmic significance.”

For me, Edinger has distilled down, here in this interview, Jung to his essence. There is an alchemical quality to this video somehow, as he gives form to the deepest truth of Jung. It is a process of purification and clarification that Edinger is engaged in here.

Peterson is using Jung to understand the world better and to help preserve the things he feels are valuable and useful. Edinger is using Jung in the way I think Jung intended – to change each one of us and to change the world. Peterson is using Jung to maintain the status quo, albeit with improvements. Jung was a change agent – a profound one. Peterson is not. He sells Jung short. Edinger does not. The world cannot afford to sell Jung short, but I have no doubt that in the long run, that would be impossible. But the sooner Jung is more broadly appreciated, to facilitate this Deep Wake-Up in human consciousness, the better.

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