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Jung: A very short introduction

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libertygrl
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Posted 12/18/12 - 12:34 PM:
Subject: Jung: A very short introduction
Excerpted from the book (about prominent psychologist Carl Jung), by Anthony Stevens

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Jung’s adult delight in solitude, his alchemical studies, and his research into the dynamics of psychic transformation were also foreshadowed in an adolescent fantasy which entertained him as he walked each day from the vicarage at Klein-Hüningen to the school he attended in Basel. It was a vision of an ideal world in which everything would be better than it was. There would be no school and life could be arranged exactly as he wished. On a rock rising out of a lake sat a well-fortified castle with a tall keep, a watchtower, surrounded by a small medieval city, ruled by a council of elders. The castle was Carl’s home. Here he lived as Justice of the Peace, emerging only occasionally ‘to hold court’. In the harbor lay his personal two-masted schooner, armed with an array of small cannon.

The crux of the fantasy was the keep: it contained a wonderful secret of which Carl was the sole possessor. Inside the tower, extending from the battlements down to the vaulted cellar, was a copper column as thick as a man’s arm: at the top were fine branches or filaments extending into the air. These extracted a ‘spiritual essence’ from the atmosphere which the copper column drew down into the cellar, where there was a laboratory in which he transformed the airy substance into gold. ‘This was certainly no mere conjuring trick, but a venerable and vitally important secret of nature which had come to me I know not how and which I had to conceal not only from the council of elders but, in a sense, also from myself.’

The need to create a citadel in which to hide from the world is characteristic of people with a schizoid disposition. Young Carl’s castle was defensively fortified and only tenuously connected to the mainland by a narrow isthmus cut through by a broad canal, with a drawbridge over it. Later, he began building model castles, surrounded by fortified emplacements, and he spent hours studying the virtually impregnable fortifications of Vauban.

Within the security of his inner citadel Carl experienced himself as made up of two separate personalities, which he referred to as ‘No. 1’ and ‘No. 2’, respectively. No. 1 was the son of his parents who went to school and coped with life as well as he could, while No. 2 was much older, remote from the world of human society, but close to nature and animals, to dreams, and to God. He conceived No. 2 as ‘having no definable character at all – born, living, dead, everything in one, a total vision of life.’ As a psychiatrist he came to understand that these two personalities were not unique to himself but present in everyone. However, he acknowledged that he was apparently more aware of them than most, particularly of No. 2. ‘In my life No. 2 has been of prime importance, and I have always tried to make room for anything that wanted to come from within.’ Much later he was to rename these to personalities the ego and the Self and to maintain that the play and counter-play between them constitutes the central dynamic of personality development.
Nihil Loc
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Posted 01/04/13 - 6:03 PM:

Some Excerpts from The Portable Jung, The Stages of Life:

CG Jung wrote:
"It is man's turning away from instinct -- his opposing himself to instinct-- that creates consciousness. Instinct is nature and seeks to perpetuate nature, whereas consciousness can only seek culture or its denial."
_________

"Everything in us that still belongs to nature shrinks away from a problem, for its name is doubt, and wherever doubt holds sway there is uncertainty and the possibility of divergent ways. And where several ways seem possible, there we have turned away from the certain guidance of instinct and are handed over to fear."

_________

"Every problem, therefore, brings the possibility of a widening of consciousness, but also he necessity of saying goodbye to the childlike unconsciousness and trust in nature. This necessity is a psychic fact of such importance that it constitutes one of the most essential symbolic teachings of the Christian religion. It is the sacrifice of merely natural man, of the unconscious, ingenuous being whose tragic career began with the eating of the apple in Paradise. The biblical fall of man presents the dawn of consciousness as a curse. And as a matter of fact it is in this light that we first look upon every problem that forces us to greater consciousness and separates us even further from the paradise of unconscious childhood."




libertygrl
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Posted 01/06/13 - 5:12 PM:

cool thumb up
Vagabond
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Posted 08/01/13 - 5:50 PM:

I sometimes wonder about that moment... when humankind left instinct behind and woke to consciousness... Surely it must have been a long messy process, but I wonder what force drove US and not other species over that threshold...
thedoc
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Posted 08/01/13 - 6:21 PM:

Vagabond wrote:
I sometimes wonder about that moment... when humankind left instinct behind and woke to consciousness... Surely it must have been a long messy process, but I wonder what force drove US and not other species over that threshold...


The fallacy is to believe that humans left instinct behind when in fact much of human activity is driven by instinct and not by contemplation. Humans are not as far over "that threshold" as you might think. Much, if not all, of the very beginning of Human development is driven by instinct, eating, crawling, walking, talking, are all done by instinct when the body has developed the strength and co-ordination to do so. Parents do very little 'teaching', it's mostly providing a safe environment so the child will live long enough to develop.
Vagabond
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Posted 08/02/13 - 1:39 PM:

thedoc wrote:


The fallacy is to believe that humans left instinct behind when in fact much of human activity is driven by instinct and not by contemplation. Humans are not as far over "that threshold" as you might think.


True. I misspoke somewhat.

Still, we did cross an important threshold and it is almost hard to believe that other species on the planet were not on a similar path.

But then again, who's to say that they aren't - obviously we are talking about a process that takes 100,000s of years, if not millions. If left alone, would chimps or dolphins eventually make a "civilization"? Or are we humans an anomaly?

thedoc
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Posted 08/02/13 - 11:59 PM:

Yes, Humans have crossed a threshold, that of contemplating just who we are? Much of our daily activity is conducted by instinct which leaves the mind free to ponder the "Higher" questions of existence. You wouldn't want to spend all your day deciding which foot to put in front of the other, it just happens without conscious thought. The Human mind and it's ability to contemplate the universe and other things has gone far beyond what is necessary for the survival of the species. Many creatures survive with far less cognitive ability than humans. Humans are an anomaly, but why? Did the Universe just want some beings that could admire the enormity and grandeur of itself?

No other creature will rise to the level of Human contemplation, Human arrogance will crush them before they have a chance, at least as long as humans dominate the planet.
SUNLIGHT
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Posted 08/03/13 - 8:36 AM:

thedoc wrote:
Yes, Humans have crossed a threshold, that of contemplating just who we are? Much of our daily activity is conducted by instinct which leaves the mind free to ponder the "Higher" questions of existence. You wouldn't want to spend all your day deciding which foot to put in front of the other, it just happens without conscious thought. The Human mind and it's ability to contemplate the universe and other things has gone far beyond what is necessary for the survival of the species. Many creatures survive with far less cognitive ability than humans. Humans are an anomaly, but why? Did the Universe just want some beings that could admire the enormity and grandeur of itself?

No other creature will rise to the level of Human contemplation, Human arrogance will crush them before they have a chance, at least as long as humans dominate the planet.
..............................................QUOTE THE DOC :
No other creature will rise to the level of Human contemplation, Human arrogance will crush them before they have a chance, at least as long as humans dominate the planet: WELL SAID zen
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