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Jung's Role in psychology & Culture


Boardwalk-Indiatlantic Fl.
Just finished a god workout at the gym. It is now just after noon, sunny, mid-70s and Im sitting at Starbuck's at Indiatlantic preparing in outline form the the paper i will use in classes have scheduled and plan to schedule on dreams and Jungian psyche. Stevens 'Jung: A very Short Introduction' will be of great assistance as will many of Joseph Campbell's contributions. I plan to focus on the archetypes and use Campbell's illustrations to amplify, summarize and help clarify what Jung meant. A few thoughts about what I am feeling plus a couple of excerpts from the book that standout about Jung's meaningful contributions{Chapter 8-Summing up}.


First I want to comment on a childhood aspect of Jung in the book, a minor reference but one I feel points to an important emphasis in most all dreams having to do with childhood. In working with dreams I have found a lot of focus on childhood experiences, either direct symbolic references or as a focus of deeper associations. I 'sense' that one primary aspect of all dreams is to address childhood insecurities that follow us into adulthood. I believe this to be my experience, resolving my own 'father' issues and moving on to 'higher' possibilities. With Individuation, upon resolution of emotional conflicts from childhood, if they are indeed controlling aspects as they were in my early adulthood, there is an ability to blossom to one's true self. This seems to have been Jung's experience as stated in the book.

When he eventually discovered in himself the security that was absent from his childhood environment, the 'inner certainty' this gave him enabled him to go his own way, to stand up to Freud and the academic psychologists, and like William Blake, another introverted visionary, to live in compensatory relationship to his Age.

This really home home for me. Having spent the first 35 years of my life trying to get close to a father who was so neurotic and self centered there was no hope of that happening {and which it never did}, those early life experiences without the father played out through the first half of my life, contributing to three failed marriages and a lot of other negative experiences. When I was finally able to resolve those issues is when I really began to focus on my true self, to discover the inner being that is spiritual and creative. And allows me to be where I am today, sitting at Starbucks, composing a deposition of expression that fits my soul.

Stevens points to Jung's 'compensatory' contributions to psychology and culture.

For most of his life psychology in the universities was dominated by behaviorism, with its dogmatic insistence on rigorous investigation of quantifiable behavioural responses to outer stimuli, banning the psyche and introspective techniques from the psychology laboratory, and denying the influence of innate structure on behaviour. Jung, by contrast, stressed the importance of symbolic experience and inner events, insisted the psyche and its study through introspection too precedence above all else, and claimed that innate propensities provided the basis of all psychological knowledge and experience.

If that statement doesn't boost my supposition that I possess an intuitive feel for Jungian psyche nothing else does. When one is able to learn and 'know through introspection and inner symbolic experience' there becomes an awareness of things not learned from outer experience but accessed from inner experience. This is a part of the message I hope to pass on to others who are ready to 'know'. Go inward and there will be discoveries that will be life changing. I know it changed my life, I can document it from day one {1992 and The Power of Myth}. a lot of it I have documented in my comments at the Dream Forum.

Then there is the cultural compensation that Jung provided.

Western society, detached from its Judeo-Christian roots, was compulsively materialistic , spiritually impoverished, and technologically obsessed. Collectively we were perpetuating the mistake of the alchemists, projecting our spiritual aspirations into materials things in the delusion that we were pursuing the highest value. this had encouraged us to treat each other as economic commodities and exploit the physical resources of the planet while neglecting, to our own detriment, the spiritual resources of the Self. The only remedy for our civilization's 'loss of soul' was a massive reinvestment in the inner life of the individual, so as to re-establish a personal connection with 'the mythic world in which we were once at home by right of birth'. Deprived from the symbolism of myth and religion, people were cut off from meaning, and society was doomed to die.
Campbell also formulated the proposition about being cut off from the mythic symbolism and its importance to a healthy society.

This is 2012, 50 years after the death of Jung. Yet his words ring so true. Our god is materialism, economics the barometer for which we gauge all things. We have completely neglected the needs of the planet, the its spiritual barometer. I take from Jung the only hope is in the individual path of going 'inward' and the discovery of Self. In my world it has been the Monomyth journey of the hero that has supported my discovery. I do feel so strongly this concept that Jung proposes is not only viable but essential.

But I also feel as a 'whole' it is too late, we have passed the tipping point of environmental balance and with that we are 'doomed to die as a species'. Instead of heeding the obvious warning signals the 'Great Mother' is giving us, we are only continuing to follow the path of economics over the planet's health. The question may not be saving ourselves but whether how many other species do we doom in the process of our demise? Perhaps in the end all we can hold to is what Campbell expressed about the sorrows of the world.

“Participate joyfully in the sorrows of the world. We cannot cure the world of sorrows, but we can choose to live in joy.”

Jerry The God Within You A Prayer For You




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