Page 3 of 7

Colossal – A Deep Movie Worthy of Its Title

I just saw the movie Colossal last night, starring Anne Hathaway and Jason Sudeikis. Brilliant film-making by Ignacio “Nacho” Vigalondo, a Spanish film maker who is certainly worth further attention after seeing this movie . I am not going to talk much about the film, because it deserves to be seen without too much of my interpretation.

I will be speaking to it in the future. We have our own unique perspective and this movie requires that.

Very briefly, the movie opens with Gloria (Anne Hathaway) coming home one morning after partying all night, to her boyfriend’s New York apartment that she shares. This isn’t the first time and he’s had enough. He’s packed her things and she is out on the street in shock. She decides to return to her parents’ home in some small town, called Mainland. The house is empty and she takes up residence there. On that first day, she meets up with an elementary school friend, Oscar (Jason Sudeikis) who owns a bar and she starts working there, which is perhaps not the best job for a person with issues with intoxicating substances. A reasonable and predictable start for a movie – drama or romantic comedy or both and there are aspects of both of those genres. But we also have a Godzilla-like monster attacking the capital of South Korea that is really central to the movie. Dorothy, we’re not in Kansas.

I was attracted to this movie because I find Anne Hathaway interesting, and she is excellent in this movie. I also like Jason Sudeikis and he is excellent, again giving credence to the truism in acting that dying is easy, comedy is hard. It is remarkable how many comedic actors can show a dark side with great acting, yet so many dramatic actors fall flat when doing comedy. Finally, I was attracted to the description that some gave it as a mashup – I love those and so many movies are boringly predictable that I was intrigued by such a movie – I wasn’t disappointed.

I won’t give a full review or analysis here – I want to see the movie at least once more before doing that. And I don’t want to taint anyone’s view of it by my interpretation. I’ll just leave you with this. This movie is considered by some to be an interesting, fun and sometimes dark exploration of relationships, masculinity and alcoholism. Other people consider the movie to be a bit of a mess – like Gloria. Like any deeper movie, Colossal can be taken at many different levels. But fundamentally this is a deep exploration of the human condition and first and foremost is intended as myth and metaphor, to my thinking. Carl Jung could say much about it. One final note – the city attacked by the monster in the movie is not chosen ironically or without intent. This is a very interesting movie that is well worth your attention if you are willing to look at it metaphorically. It certainly works on other levels, but this is a movie with depth.

We Are All Verbs – Fuller, Jung, and Metaphysics

In his 1970 book I Seem To Be a Verb, Buckminster Fuller wrote: “I live on Earth at present, and I don’t know what I am. I know that I am not a category. I am not a thing—a noun. I seem to be a verb, an evolutionary process—an integral function of the universe.

Buckminster Fuller was a futurist, a designer, a scientific shaman, an architect, a writer, a genius. In many ways he reminds me of Carl Jung, his kindred spirit, in the depth and breadth, and fundamentally, in the originality and importance of his thinking, and of the ideas they have both entrusted with us.

I will quote several passages of the book:  Metaphysics of Buckminster Fuller by Phillip M. Pierson. Pierson lists himself as a commentator. Most of the book is Buckminster Fuller in his own words, with commentary by Pierson. He interviewed Buckminster Fuller, “Bucky” as many knew him, in 1980 and he obviously has a great deal of respect and affection for Fuller and his ideas.

Metaphysics is the branch of philosophy that looks at the fundamental nature of reality. You can’t navigate the world or live your life without metaphysics. You either embrace a metaphysics consciously or unconsciously, but metaphysics is not optional.

Buckminster Fuller’s words are italicized in the following quotations, and all taken from Metaphysics of Buckminster Fuller. Fuller is not the easiest writer to follow. He creates his own words and he uses them liberally. He was thinking on the edge and it shows in his writing.

 

First, let’s begin with Bucky’s reminder that we are not individuals living a life that is being put before us in the world of space and solids. Rather, we are individuals who are all seeing not what is out there, but what is really inside of ourselves. There is a world “out there,” but on an individual basis it is all “inside us.” I find myself thinking of the couple of times I have testified in court; I was amazed that the others who testified saw the same thing I did, yet we “saw” it differently. We can better understand this when we realize it is not what was out there, but what is colored by our inside self that we actually saw. Bucky wrote: “To explain our sight, we call it ‘instantaneous.’ We say we can see instantaneously. This fact has misled us very greatly. You insist that you are seeing the black-and-white page of this book, do you not? You’re not. You have a brain-centered television set, and the light is bouncing off the page. The resultant comes back through your optical system and is scanned and actually goes back into the brain, and you are seeing the page in your brain. You are not seeing the page out in front of you. We have gotten used to the idea that we see outside of ourselves, but we just don’t do so. It only takes about a billionth of a second for the light to bounce off the page and get in the brain to be scanned, so the child is fooled into thinking that he is seeing outside of himself. And we are misinforming ourselves in discounting the lag and assuming that we see it “over there.’ No one has ever seen outside themselves.”

 

“What is really important, however, about you or me is the ‘thinkable you’ or the ‘thinkable me,’ the abstract metaphysical you or me, what we have done with these images, the relatedness we have found, what communications we have made with one another. We begin to realize that dimensions of the ‘thinkable you’ are phenomenal, when you hear Mozart on the radio, that is, the metaphysical—only intellectually identifiable—eternal Mozart who will always be there to any who hears his music. When we say ‘atom’ or think ‘atom’ we are intellect-to-intellect with livingly thinkable Democritus, who first conceived and named the invisible phenomenon ‘atom.’ Were exclusively tactile Democritus to be sitting next to you, surely you would not recognize him nor accredit him as you do the only-thinkable Democritus and what he thought about the atom. You say to me: ‘I see you sitting there.’ And all you see is a little of my pink face and hands and my shoes and clothing, and you can’t see ‘me,’ which is entirely the thinking, abstract, metaphysical me. It becomes shocking to think that we recognize one another only as the touchable, nonthinking biological organism and its clothed ensemble.”

 

“Recognized in these significant identification terms, there is quite a different significance in what we term ‘dead’ as a strictly tactile ‘thing,’ in contrast to the exclusively ‘thinking ‘ you or me. We can put the touchable things in the ground, but we can’t put the thinking and thinkable you in the ground. The fact that I see you only as the touchable you keeps shocking me. The baby’s spontaneous touching becomes the dominant sense measure, wherefore we insist on measuring the inches or the feet. We talk this way even though these are not the right increments. My exclusively tactile seeing inadequacy becomes a kind of warning, despite my only theoretical knowledge of the error of seeing you only as the touchable you. I keep spontaneously seeing the tactile living you. The tactile is very unreliable; it has little meaning. Though you know they are gentle, sweet children, when they put on Hallowe’en monster masks they ‘look’ like monsters. It was precisely in this manner that human beings came to err in identifying life only with the touchable physical, which is exactly what life isn’t.”

 

Fuller is making bold claims here and I agree with him. There is more to reality than the physical and in fact, fundamentally, the physical is not the most important portion of reality despite the dominant view of our senses and the culture. I’ve been inspired by his comprehensive view of our reality that articulates my own views. I’m beginning with my conclusions here and will circle back to provide a new view of reality, or rather one that does not match the current conventional view of the reality we find ourselves in. This circling back to expand and lay the foundation for my conclusions will come in future posts.

Science has become the Ouroboros and has discovered its own metaphysical tail, which is what I will be talking about in future posts. Reality cannot be explored or even perceived without metaphysics. That metaphysics can either be conscious, or as it is for most people in our culture, unconsciously accepted from that culture. Real consciousness has to begin with metaphysics, which is why so many scientists and philosophers are hostile to even the notion or relevancy of metaphysics. Metaphysics is often dismissed as speculation and essentially crazy ideas that have no bearing on “real” life. Much of that hostility arises because materialist science has such a hard time with consciousness. They either deny consciousness or claim it arose “somehow”.

But you can’t ignore metaphysics. Anyone who dismisses metaphysics is a person whose agenda is to put forth a metaphysics that they don’t want critically examined. Metaphysics comes before physics and physics must ultimately refer to metaphysics – always. In denying metaphysics as valid or important, many materialists, believing only in a physical reality, want us to embrace their metaphysics unconsciously and uncritically. It’s time for each one of us to reject that limitation imposed by some of the high priests of our culture. Each of us must explore and formulate a personal metaphysics – it is the ultimate foundation of our lives and cannot be left to chance or unthinking acceptance.

In later posts, I will provide a startling view of reality from a bona fide, credentialed scientist that provides a firm basis for embracing this new metaphysical view. But in reality, the new metaphysics is an embracing of an older metaphysics, but one that is broader and deeper. The Ouroboros finds its tail. But where does this metaphysics lead us? I’ll just hint at the conclusions for now.

Jung is really the first psychologist to penetrate and confront the metaphysical reality of our existence. To ignore this metaphysical reality is to ignore reality. A psychology that ignores this is arithmetic compared to the calculus of Carl Jung. That is why Jung is so dense and hard to encapsulate. Weaned on a view of reality mired in the physical, we seek answers using that simple arithmetic. We cannot understand the calculus Jung has set before us, using the tools of arithmetic.

Metaphysics cannot be ignored, but instead modern science has embraced a shallow metaphysics and much of psychology embraces that limited view. Jung could not. Jung did not. We cannot, if we are to evolve consciously, because we must recognize the broader metaphysical reality and work with that. Jung is the psychological metaphysician or the metaphysical psychologist. Either term applies to Jung, because since consciousness is primary, metaphysics and psychology are equivalent. They are the Möbius strip that has only one side. They cannot be separated. Metaphysics and psychology are one.

As an aside. I am finding that the Möbius strip is one of the most profound metaphors for many things in life. Things that appear to be dualistic are not, in the way they appear to be. I think this points to the ultimate unity of reality. Male – female is a duality that circles back on itself. Jung recognized the female aspect within the male and the male aspect within the female – the anima and the animus. I think the Möbius strip resembles the Ouroboros in a profound way. There is a simple video showing the Möbius strip. To make one, you simply take a longer strip of paper and tape the ends together, but you rotate one end 180 degrees and this gives you a one sided structure. If the paper is different colors on the two sides, you will see the two colors come together at the joint of course. If you start drawing a line along the strip your pen will eventually reach the beginning of the line without taking the pen off of the paper – one side from a two-sided piece of paper. For me, a profound metaphor. pointing to ultimate unity of two aspects of a whole.

Before Jung, many  people hinted at this unity or took it for granted, but they did so unconsciously, without real awareness. They were fish unaware of the water. Moving forward and evolving required us to step out of this metaphysical reality into the current limited view. This limited view was a temporary necessity in our evolution that began with the enlightenment and scientific age. But for those who feel the constraints of this limited view, this view has became intolerable, and is becoming increasingly so. This is the itch inside of so many people. Jung felt this. Many people feel it. I feel it. But Jung had the courage and the supremely inquisitive and rigorous nature to move beyond the materialist metaphysics. It was inevitable that a genius would come along to do this. For whatever reason, this genius was Carl Gustav Jung. It is now our job to continue his work within ourselves to consciously engage with our metaphysical and psychological reality. But again, the Möbius strip analogy describes metaphysical reality. Inside and outside are the same, but given our biases that persist, we must direct our attention inward, which will inevitably lead outward as we travel the Möbius strip.

The journey starts within and the deeper one goes, the higher and further one travels.

“The task is . . . not so much to see what no one has yet seen; but to think what nobody has yet thought, about that which everybody sees. —Erwin Schrodinger

That is what Buckminster Fuller and Carl Jung did. I found this quotation by Erwin Schrodinger, a physicist and pioneer in quantum mechanics, in Metaphysics of Buckminster Fuller at the beginning of the chapter, The Big Picture. Reading that chapter made it clear to me that the brain is a tool of the mind, our consciousness, just as science is a tool of metaphysical psychology. These tools are indispensable but must always be used consciously, with explicit and implicit awareness of their limitations and profound skepticism for premature conclusions.

I will end, again with Buckminster Fuller:

If we take all that we have shared about reality seriously, it should cause us to change our thinking in many ways. Bucky was very clear in saying, like the Buddha, “wake up”—wake up to reality: “Humans still think in terms of an entirely superficial game of static things—solids, surfaces, or straight lines—despite that no things—no continuums—only discontinuous, energy quanta—separate even packages—operate as remotely from one another as the stars of the Milky Way. Science has found no ‘things’; only events. Universe has no nouns; only verbs. Don’t say self-comfortingly to yourself or to me that you have found the old way of getting along with false notions to be quite adequate and satisfactory. So was the old umbilical cord to your mother. But you can’t reattach it and your mother is no longer physically present. You can’t go back. You can’t stay put. You can only grow and, if you comprehend what is going on, you will find it ever more satisfactory and fascinating, for that is what evolution is doing, whether you think, ignorantly, that you don’t like it or do.”

As Buckminster Fuller and Carl Jung made clear, we cannot go back to older ways of looking at the world. We must embrace a new metaphysics – a new way of seeing our world. In future posts I will be setting out the profound reason why our metaphysics has been so limited and essentially wrong. We have been living in an illusion about our perception of reality, and there is a scientific theory that explains why there are powerful reasons to revise our metaphysics. And this comes from the science of evolution itself – not quantum physics. Quantum physics is the smoking gun that points at major problems with our conventional notions of metaphysics, the nature of reality and our perceptions of that reality. This new theory, coming from evolution, presents a much bigger picture of the nature of our illusion. It validates both Jung and Fuller. I see this as really changing the game, but it will certainly take time to be accepted and proven. But for those of us who are ready for this new framework, these ideas open up more possibilities allowing us to go farther and deeper. I hope that this new metaphysics leads to more understanding and acceptance of Jung and his ideas – and to more evolution.

Jung – Love and Power

The shadow and light cannot exist without the other. Unity is preserved and is fundamental. It’s a metaphysical thing. Jung was a great meta-physician as well as physician, psychologist…. etc

A Poem – Ithaka

In the Homeric epic, mythological poem, The Oddyssey, Odysseus, the central character was king of the island of Ithaca. I love this poem as a hopeful story for our path.

Travel well. Travel deep.

The poem is by C. P. Cavafy.

Ithaka

As you set out for Ithaka
hope the voyage is a long one,
full of adventure, full of discovery.
Laistrygonians and Cyclops,
angry Poseidon—don’t be afraid of them:
you’ll never find things like that on your way
as long as you keep your thoughts raised high,
as long as a rare excitement
stirs your spirit and your body.
Laistrygonians and Cyclops,
wild Poseidon—you won’t encounter them
unless you bring them along inside your soul,
unless your soul sets them up in front of you.

Hope the voyage is a long one.
May there be many a summer morning when,
with what pleasure, what joy,
you come into harbors seen for the first time;
may you stop at Phoenician trading stations
to buy fine things,
mother of pearl and coral, amber and ebony,
sensual perfume of every kind—
as many sensual perfumes as you can;
and may you visit many Egyptian cities
to gather stores of knowledge from their scholars.

Keep Ithaka always in your mind.
Arriving there is what you are destined for.
But do not hurry the journey at all.
Better if it lasts for years,
so you are old by the time you reach the island,
wealthy with all you have gained on the way,
not expecting Ithaka to make you rich.

Ithaka gave you the marvelous journey.
Without her you would not have set out.
She has nothing left to give you now.

And if you find her poor, Ithaka won’t have fooled you.
Wise as you will have become, so full of experience,
you will have understood by then what these Ithakas mean.

Gradient is the Elixir of Youth

This phrase resonates in my head. Constantly. For me, it’s poetic. Over three years ago, I posted a comment on another blog that talked about a life crisis that can come in early adulthood, around the age of twenty five. The author called it the “quarter-life crisis”. In my comment, I included the following:

“A good friend of mine had the quote “gradient is the elixir of youth” as his high school write up. At the time that was completely wasted on most of us – myself included. But the phrase comes to me now quite often – maybe it is the recognition of gradient or the awakening to gradient, that is the elixir of evolution.”

I know my friend was referring to skiing – one of his passions at the time – but knowing the person, who remains a good friend, he was also pointing to the broader and deeper meaning, if not consciously. Evolution – change – growth – expansion are all the elixir of youth and really, the elixir of life. Myth and meaning are the the engine and fuel for that evolution. And a crisis can be the stimulus for that growth, but the timetable is variable and unpredictable. Mixing metaphors with abandon, I know. But this is Mashup Soup, at least for now, so wtf.

Myth and Science – A Teaser

The institution of science and the materialism it has embraced as the core tenet, has put myth on the margins, as having little relevance to our lives. I seek to correct this error. Myth has remained, albeit diminished in importance in our modern society, not because humans irrationally seek escape into the unreal, but rather we are drawn to the most fundamentally real that is revealed by myth and art.

More to come – much more.

Carl Jung Wisdom

What is Consciousness?

Consciousness is this complex self awareness that we are all sure that we possess. Some will say that it’s perhaps the one thing we can be sure of – our own consciousness. Conventional material science that starts with physical matter has a real problem with explaining how consciousness arises. This video briefly looks at the conventional scientific view of consciousness. It shows serious people in white lab coats looking at images of brains functioning, in the quest to find the origin of consciousness. The implication is that science has made real progress and we are close to understanding the relationship between brains and consciousness, when in reality there is a chasm between consciousness and physical matter that seems to me to be unbridgeable if we insist that consciousness arises from the physical matter of brain. There’s no question that our brains play a central role in our experience and expression of our consciousness, but that in no way proves that our consciousness arises from our brain.

I want to explore consciousness from the other side – starting with consciousness, but first it is useful to look at the physical approach. As well as people in lab coats, we have Daniel Dennet, a philosopher and cognitive scientist, who fundamentally denies the centrality of consciousness to the experience of being human. I understand his position because he is constrained by the limits of working within a physical universe. He could be right, but I am convinced that he is not, for reasons that I will develop in future posts. I also take issue with Daniel Dennet in that he and others gives evolution a bad name, because conventional science has so thoroughly related it to being fundamental with physical existence, when it is equally at home with the broader existence and metaphysics. Conventional physical science has claimed evolution as its own. I am here to claim evolution beyond physical existence – way beyond.

So this video discusses a view of consciousness that I essentially take extreme issue with. I think that by any measure, this attempt to understand and explain consciousness has been a failure, but it remains the current dogma in much of science, but not all. I want to present this before I move on to another view of consciousness in later posts.

Science As It Should Be

“The true and only goal of science is to reveal unity rather than mechanism.”

Henri Poincaré

Poincaré was a philosopher of science, physicist, mathematician, and engineer. I will refrain from diluting the above quotation by presenting others, but Poincaré took science very seriously and  very deeply, so he is worthy of further investigation.

But the above quotation stands on its own. Ultimately science points to its own limitations, when it limits itself to the physical world.

Individuality and Evolution – People Who Don’t Like Music

Since I think evolution is absolutely fundamental to our lives, I think that the world is full of factors and processes that support evolution. I think that individuality is a powerful enhancer of evolution. Diversity breeds evolution. The more differences there are among people, the greater the opportunities to learn, grow and expand by exposure to the variety of ideas and opinions. Everyone of us in Canada is enhanced enormously by the cultural diversity we enjoy. And within cultures, there is more and more diversity.

We see differences and we see common features with our fellow humans. There is much that bonds us all – fundamental values, experiences and emotions. But we are all individuals with unique experiences, temperaments, and ideas. It is easy to see ourselves as members of tribes and there are powerful social forces that encourage our identity in that way.

It’s also easy to take at least some of our personal views for granted, as being shared by everyone. A trivial example for me was when I found out that many people do not share my love of spring – my favorite season. I assumed my feelings were widespread and when I found out lots of people loved fall as their favorite season, I was really surprised. But vive la difference! Even in this small way, the world is a richer place for that tiny difference among people.

I just came across an article that explored a phenomenon that I would have assumed did not exist. A good number of people do not react positively to music – all music. According to the article, 3 to 5% of the population do not enjoy music – musical anhedonia. Anhedonia is the inability to feel pleasure for anything, which is associated with so-called mood disorders – I guess by definition.

Inside the Heads of People Who Don’t Like Music

Musical anhedonia is not temporary, but appears to be a feature of how some people’s brains or minds are wired. The why is completely open to speculation and I believe we really have no clue to the fundamental source of our ideas, emotions, thoughts, and beliefs. Our knowledge of the nature of our consciousness remains very primitive, but our brain activity can certainly point to something that’s going on with us.

This article discussed a study that looked at the neural response of people based on their feelings for music – those who were apathetic about music, those who liked music, and those who love music – called hyper-hedonics. They found that when listening to music, members of the three groups showed significant differences in their neural responses. They simply found that people who enjoyed music more showed more activity occurring between the auditory and reward regions of the brain.

It’s easy to see that this is perhaps obvious and doesn’t tell us a great deal. But for me, it’s a potent reminder that as similar as we may seem to be to our partners, friends, family, and even strangers, there can be profound differences that can have an enormous effects on how we see and experience the world. In the article, a woman who is a retired engineer feels essentially nothing – “music sits in an odd spot halfway between boring and distracting.” Yet she came from a very musical family.

As a passionate lover of music I simply cannot imagine not enjoying music and I think most people feel the same way. But not all do and that is important to remember as we live our lives. Our experiences are absolutely unique to ourselves and that’s a very good thing. It fuels our expansion and growth, but we must never forget how many differences we may have that are not at all apparent. I think opening ourselves up to that awareness of the uniqueness of ourselves and others, leads to a happier life as well as greater evolution and expansion – the virtuous circle.

 

« Older posts Newer posts »

© 2017 MashupSoUp

Theme by Anders NorenUp ↑