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Monthly Archives: July 2015

50. Perhaps there is a thinking which is more sober-minded than the incessant frenzy of rationalization and the intoxicating quality of cybernetics. One might aver that it is precisely this intoxication that is extremely irrational. Perhaps there is a thinking outside of the distinction of rational and irrational, more sober-minded still than scientific technology, more sober-minded and hence removed, without effect, yet having its own necessity. When we ask about the task of this thinking, then not only this thinking but also the question concerning it is first made questionable. In view of the whole philosophical tradition this means:  

51. We all still need an education in thinking, and first of all, before that, knowledge of what being educated and uneducated in thinking means. In this respect Aristotle gives us a hint in Book IV of his Metaphysics (1006a if.): . . – “For it is uneducated not to have an eye for when it is necessary to look for a proof and when this is not necessary.”This sentence demands careful reflection. For it is not yet decided in what way that which needs no proof in order to become accessible to thinking is to be experienced. Is it dialectical mediation or originarily giving intuition or neither of the two? Only the peculiar quality of what demands of us above all else to be admitted can decide about that. But how is this to make the decision possible for us when we have not yet admitted it? In what circle are we moving here, indeed, inevitably?

52. Is it the eukukleos Aletheia, well-rounded unconcealment itself, thought as the opening?
Does the title for the task of thinking then read instead of Being and Time: Opening and Presence?
But where does the opening come from and how is it given? What speaks in the “There is / It gives”?
The task of thinking would then be the surrender of previous thinking to the determination of the matter for thinking.

– Heidegger (The End of Philosophy and the Task of Thinking)

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“A psychic depression, for example, is characterized by an abaissement du niveau mental, by a loss of libido in the consciousness, expressed in lack of enthusiasm and initiative, weakness of will, fatigue, incapacity for concentration and work, and in “negative” contents, such as thoughts of death and failure, weariness of life, suicidal leanings, and so on. Often, however, this psychic process also becomes visible; that is to say, it appears in the familiar symbolism of the light, the sun, the moon, or the hero being swallowed up by darkness in the form of night, the abyss, hell, monsters. A deep psychological analysis then reveals the irruption of an archetype, e.g., the Terrible Devouring Mother, whose psychic attraction is so great because of its energetic charge that the charge of the ego complex, unable to withstand it, “sinks” and is “swallowed up.”
A contrary movement may be represented symbolically as follows: the hero devoured by the monster cuts off a piece of its heart and so slays it. This symbolic process corresponds, on the image plane, to a conscious realization. A corresponding process takes place on the plane of consciousness when, through the “splitting up of the archetype,” the ego achieves a rise to consciousness; that is, consciousness comes to “understand” parts of the archetypal contents and incorporates them in itself. When this happens, the ego is strengthened and consciousness broadened. Consciousness not only recovers from the archetype the libido it had lost to it, but in addition takes new libido from the “split-off” or “cut-off” part of the archetype by “assimilating,” i.e., digesting, it.”
-Erich Neumann (The Great Mother, pg. 27)

Consciousness is always attached to masculine symbolism and in the arts some of the oldest symbols or representations of it are the knife and the lamp…the light shines and so shows, illuminates what is…the knife cuts, dissects, opens up…again revealing what is and allowing it to be integrated…digested. And, if one contemplates this they can come to a deeper understanding of Consciousness itself.

When moments like these occur, and as the tales speak, the “hero” can be male or female, has to be devoured, so to speak, we have to fall into the darkness. But in that darkness which is supposed to be scary and dangerous there arises consciousness, the lamp and the knife, and the ability to break down the experience and incorporate it into one self. So doing, in my experience, which I still go through from time to time, decreases the amount of time spent in that state and relieves it of its most “negative” characteristics. That is to say that while I will feel a need to be alone and may have thoughts of failure, suicidal leanings do not truly emerge or take over. Slowly I come back to myself and recover the vitality I had temporarily lost. However, I also do not run from the experience, I seek out a quiet space to be alone and allow myself to go through the process.

It also appears that these states can be aroused by lack of balance. As in a person being too Extraverted or too Introverted. For each have their specific dangers and therefore can lead to a devouring of consciousness or disintegration of the personality.

“The third type of hero does not seek to change the world through his struggle with inside or outside, but to transform the personality. Self-transformation is his true aim, and the liberating effect this has upon the world is only secondary. His self-transformation may be held up as a human ideal, but his consciousness is not directed in the narrower sense to the collective; for in him centroversion expresses a natural and fundamental trend of the human psyche, which is operative from the very beginning and which forms the basis not only of self-preservation, but of self-formation as well.
We have followed the birth of ego consciousness and of the individual all through the archetypal stages whose climax was reached in the hero’s fight with the dragon. In this development a constant increase of centroversion can be detected, tending toward consolidation of the ego and the stabilization of consciousness. It gives rise to a standpoint, indeed a rallying point, from which to combat the dangerous fascination of the world and the unconscious–a fascination that lowers the level of consciousness and disintegrates the personality. Both attitudes types, introversion as well as extroversion, can easily succumb to this danger. Centroversion, by building up the conscious ego and by strengthening the personality, tries to protect them and to counteract the danger of disintegration. In this sense, the growth of individuality and its development are mankind’s answer to the “perils of the soul” that threaten from within, and to the “perils of the world” that threaten from without. Magic and religion, art, science, and technics are man’s creative efforts to cope with this threat on two fronts. At the center of all these endeavors stands the creative individual as the hero, who in the name of the collective–even when he is a lonely figure standing out against it–molds it into shape by molding himself.”
– Erich Neumann (The Origin and History of Consciousness, p.220-1)

In this we can come to see the importance of the age old imperative to “know thyself.” As in to grasp the inner workings of your mind and consciousness. But also the need, the necessity, to build up things outside of one self. One, given more power over the other, leads to disintegration due to the weakness of the opposing and equally important other half. In today’s present we, generally, over value the extrovert. This can be seen in the overall powerful fear of being alone. It is easier to be with someone who takes us away from ourselves. And when we are young, as I experienced myself, it is painful and scary being alone. Now, of course, I almost enjoy it more than being with people (it changes, fluctuates). But people like that seem to be few and far between. And there is also, for the Introvert, the weakness that comes from spending too much time with one self and being weak or fearful when it comes to losing one self. As in, to loosen up and go with the flow as an Extrovert might say. But again, doesn’t the ancient Greek saying: Know Thyself, still speak to both the extro and introvert? Can you know thyself if you haven’t both lost your self to society and found your self forever renewed within?

Here is a passage from Jung’s Red Book and it deals with this problem:

“The tension of the future is unbearable in us. It must break
through narrow cracks, it must force new ways. You want to cast
off the burden, you want to escape the inescapable. Running away
is deception and detour. Shut your eyes so that you do not see the
manifold, the outwardly plural, the tearing away and the tempting.
There is only one way and that is your way; there is only one salvation
and that is your salvation. Why are you looking around for
help? Do you believe that help will come from outside? What is to
come is created in you and from you. Hence look into yourself. Do
not compare, do not measure. No other way is like yours. All other
ways deceive and tempt you. You must fulfill the way that is in you.

Oh, that all men and all their ways become strange to you!
Thus might you find them again within yourself and recognize
their ways. But what weakness! What doubt! What fear! You will
not bear going your way. You always want to have at least one foot
on paths not your own to avoid the great solitude! So that maternal
comfort is always with you! So that someone acknowledges you,
recognizes you, bestows trust in you, comforts you, encourages
you. So that someone pulls you over onto their path, where you
stray from yourself and where it is easier for you to set yourself
aside. As if you were not yourself! Who should accomplish your
deeds? Who should carry your virtues and your vices? You do not
come to an end with your life, and the dead will besiege you
terribly to live your unlived life. Everything must be fulfilled.
Time is of the essence, so why do you want to pile up the lived
and let the unlived rot?”
– Jung ( The Red Book, p.308)

solitudinus

A psychic depression, for example, is characterized by an abaissement du niveau mental, by a loss of libido in the consciousness, expressed in lack of enthusiasm and initiative, weakness of will, fatigue, incapacity for concentration and work, and in “negative” contents, such as thoughts of death and failure, weariness of life, suicidal leanings, and so on. Often, however, this psychic process also becomes visible; that is to say, it appears in the familiar symbolism of the light, the sun, the moon, or the hero being swallowed up by darkness in the form of night, the abyss, hell, monsters. A deep psychological analysis then reveals the irruption of an archetype, e.g., the Terrible Devouring Mother, whose psychic attraction is so great because of its energetic charge that the charge of the ego complex, unable to withstand it, “sinks” and is “swallowed up.”

A contrary movement may be represented symbolically as follows: the hero devoured by the monster cuts off a piece of its heart and so slays it. This symbolic process corresponds, on the image plane, to a conscious realization. A corresponding process takes place on the plane of consciousness when, through the “splitting up of the archetype,” the ego achieves a rise to consciousness; that is, consciousness comes to “understand” parts of the archetypal contents and incorporates them in itself. When this happens, the ego is strengthened and consciousness broadened. Consciousness not only recovers from the archetype the libido it had lost to it, but in addition takes new libido from the “split-off” or “cut-off” part of the archetype by “assimilating,” i.e., digesting, it.

-Erich Neumann (The Great Mother, pg. 27)

“…and really I am bound by a law too narrow if I am not permitted to criticize and improve myself and my friends.”

– John of Salisbury