Author Topic: Journal of Analytical Psychology (June 2009 issue)  (Read 5047 times)

Matt Koeske

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Journal of Analytical Psychology (June 2009 issue)
« on: June 21, 2009, 08:37:49 AM »
The below is a very general reaction to the current issue (June 2009) of The Journal of Analytical Psychology.  I excerpted this from a conversation with Keri, and although I had planned to post in more detail on this topic, I probably won't end up having enough time to do so.

You will find if you follow the link above that you cannot access the actual articles in the Journal unless you have a subscription or are accessing them from a university that has a subscription (or are willing to pay outrageous fees per article to download them).  I apologize for that inconvenience.  If anyone is interested in the articles, please feel free to PM me.

The theme of the June 2009 issue of the JAP is "Neuroscience and Analytical Psychology: Archetypes, Intentionality, Action and Symbols".  I should also warn that, as the discussion below came about in the context of conversation with someone who is familiar with my various arguments and theories, many assumptions and statements are not explained or elaborated on.  All of these elaborations have previously been made in various posts on this site, though . . . and if anyone is interested, I would be happy to elucidate or explain in more detail.


I've been working through the last two issues of the Journal of Analytical Psychology (June 2009 and the Richard Mizen article from April 2009, "The embodied mind").  The current issue is all about instinct, archetype, and neuroscience.  The JAP is a "developmentalist" Jungian journal that I have split feelings about.  On one hand, it is the most professional and technical of the Jungian journals, and it is the most likely to wonder out into the frontiers of depth psychology (which means science (-)laugh(-)!).

On the other hand, I see the developmentalist/psychoanalytic set of assumptions and lenses used by the Journal's editors and authors as skewed and foggy on certain issues (also, there is a sense of Bad Faith over-identification with "academic professionalism" exuded by the JAP that I believe is inherited from a kind of "father complex" that serves as the signature pathology of the psychoanalytic mindset).  They seem to very strongly believe that "salvation" for Jungianism lies in psychoanalytic ideas . . . which of course I see as somewhat pathological and probably complex-driven (not genuinely pioneering or data-valuating psychology).  Still, as a foil to argue against, the JAP offers a completely different level of "competition".  It makes me realize that my progress as a thinker over the last few years has had a great deal to do with rising above my own set of too-facile assumptions and artificial/inadequate obstacles and "opponents".  That is for instance, trying to develop ideas in previous online forums now seems an outrageously foolish enterprise to me.

I definitely have a problem with setting the bar too low.  Even as I came out of the forum stupor, I started engaging with professional Jungian thought and writing that influenced the lay-Jungian/forum mindset (e.g., New-Agey and spiritualistic "classical" Jungianism).  But this also caused me greater upset and affect, because the level of intellectual sophistication in many of the more "pop" and derivative Jungian writings is (I had to finally acknowledge) far below that of my own theories and theory-making . . . and presented a straw man to my flamethrower style of debate (which I spent much of the first year or so at Useless Science exercising).  The JAP made me recognize that there are other Jungians out there taking a serious and scholarly look at cutting edge sciences . . . and I had simply never encountered them before, because their use of science and innovation was significantly different than my own (where I had been revisioning and reinventing classical Jungian ideas, JAP developmentalists were taking a borrowed psychoanalytic tack, filtering Jungianism through a post-Freudian sieve . . . as opposed to an innovative/creative one).

One thing I like about the JAP crowd is that it is clearly not my tribe . . . but I respect aspects of its orientation.  Still, I suspect that my approach is too foreign for them to consider very seriously.  The JAP/SAP is still a tribal collective with a set of religious beliefs (even as these beliefs are more psychoanalytic and secular).  I'm not sure I really have religious beliefs . . . or if it is even possible to have religious beliefs without belonging to a tribe.

The current issue of the JAP explores archetypes in a similar (but in my opinion, much clunkier and more faux-academic) way as I have.  But they get hung up on what I would describe as "tribal issues".  For instance, there seems to be great concern over the rejection of any "a priori archetypal structure" in the psyche.  The latest JAP bandwagon holds that archetypes are wholly emergent and constructed from early infant/mother interactions and modelings.

If I had to pick between biologically "innate" and infant/mother constructed/emergent archetypes, I would probably pick the prior.  But more accurately, I would say both and more to boot.  The idea that archetypes can be constructed during the first year or even three years of mother/infant interaction is illogical, especially since it is clear that many archetypes bear 1.) adolescent themes, and 2.) signs of construction and elaboration that occur long after the first three years of life.

I see the JAP authors attempts to relocate archetypal origins in the first three years of life as a kind of complex-motivated colonization.  That is, this tribe obviously places enormous importance on those first three years.  It's whole belief system is focused on this period of development and whenever possible, adult psychology is reduced to a model drawn (and sometimes fantasized) from these first few years.

Moreover, the denial of "innatism" is actually an ongoing trend (since at least the 70s) in postmodernist literary theory . . . which has always gone hand in hand with psychoanalytical thought.  In other words, the postmodernist "constructionists" are another tribe to which the psychoanalysts and developmental Jungians have honorary membership.  To evaluate the issue of innatism vs. constructionism fairly, it must be removed from tribal ideologies and totem identifiers.  So, anti-innatism is a partially religious ideology for the postmodernists (and by extension the psychoanalysts).  Thus, they have always found Jungians (as well as many evolutionary biologists) to be kooks or poor deluded fools.

For psychoanalytic Jungians to take a radically anti-innatist stand requires them to sacrifice scientific persepctive for tribal ideology.  As far as I know and have read from writings of evolutionary psychologists and biologists, the field currently believes that there is a definite biological/innate/genetic factor in personality development.  The general opinion of these thinkers and scientists is that personality construction is about half biological and half culturally or environmentally constructed.  Percentages are unimportant and arbitrary.  What matters is that there is a definite biological component to personality formation and a definite environmental component.  Denying one or the other is a step away from the valid data collected so far.

To be more fair to the JAPs, their argument is not as simplistic as I have portrayed it . . . although some of its complexity is really just linguistic complication and unnecessary abstraction.  They are trying to skirt around the tribally divisive nature vs. nurture issue with academic tongue twisters.  They never come out to state directly that there is no innate/biological factor to personality . . . and if asked point blank, I'm sure they would deny any anti-innatism.  But they are putting all their eggs in the "emergence" basket.  It's one of those trendy buzzwords.  We can say something is "emergent" and that allows us to remain very vague about what we mean while still sounding semi-scientific.

I like emergence, too . . . and see it as evident in much systemic psychological formation.  But I try to be careful about using it as a power word to cloak my own ignorance or confusion.  To say something is "emergent" is not a sufficient definition.  Emergence in these psychological circumstances is merely one of many systemic qualities of psychological complexity.  It is like saying the sky is blue.  Well, why is the sky blue?  What is the sky made of?  Why does it look and function the way it does?  Saying the sky is blue does not define the sky scientifically.  And in the same sense, saying that archetypes are "emergent" does not provide any better theory of archetypes than to say they are biological or genetic.  In fact, although I don't think archetypes are truly biological (as they are represented in our constructions of them), the theory that they are biologically (or representations of inherited biological structures in the psyche) seems to me a sounder theory, scientifically speaking, than merely saying they are "emergent" and leaving it at that.

And yet, I don't think it is incorrect to say that archetypes are emergent phenomena.  When I have written about archetypes as constructions or abstractions, I am basically saying the same thing.  Still, it is no mere randomness or coincidence that, say, the animi archetypes or the Syzygy in general forms around a kind of "gravitational" or quantum field of possibility into a specific form that is not arbitrarily constructed.  Nor is it constructed in the first three years of life.  It's pretty clear (I think) when studying the Syzygy that it is triggered by changes in adolescence that have definite biological factors.  It is an archetypal construction governing transitions from pre-adolescent infantilism into post-adolescent adulthood and group/other responsibility.

The degree of biological influence is impossible to determine . . . and I suspect this influence takes place on a quantum level that has no recognizable higher-level form we might be able to study.  But we have good reasons to suspect it is there.  For instance, it is clear that modern society doesn't teach instinctual fitness.  We do not learn how to be complete and functional human beings from our modern socialization.  In fact, the level of dysfunction in us moderns is enormous.  We manage to survive in spite of these dysfunctions, not because of them.  And often, we just break down and have to find another orientation toward living.  That orientation is (if it is functional and not wholly pathological) more instinctual and usually involves some degree of either individuation or reconnection with a healthier, more instinctual tribe (or both).

Whether re-tribalization or individuation, the reorientation of attitude involves a paring away of social constructions to get at a more instinctually "pure" source of being.  The first three years of life, even in an ideal construction, cannot by themselves offer that model . . . as they represent a totally different environment to which the personality adapts.  The adult/collective environment has significantly different demands and principles of participation/co-existence.

Puzzling our way through this scenario, we come to recognize that there is some aspect of the "archetypal" psyche that is (at least in our fantasy of tracing it to its source) non-constructed.  That isn't to say (as too many Jungians have or have implied) that these archetypes are fully-formed in their innate state.  There is no animus or wise old woman or hero dressed to the nines in their archetypal regalia just waiting to pop out of some archetypal closet.  I think there are quantum dynamics, principles of organization, an innate quality of logic or structure to the psyche.  I see it as a complex system of "fluid dynamics" and massive interrelationality of parts.  The quantum innateness behind fully formed archetypes or archetypal images is a matter of dynamic flow . . . and the adolescent archetypal construct of the Syzygy forms or emerges out of the necessity of increasing instinctual psychic fluidity and interrealtionality.  There is thus an attitude that promotes the necessary reorganization of the dynamic system to increase this "flow" (the Syzygy) . . . and a construction of the principle of resistance to this new, reorganizational increase in flow/interrelationality (the Demon, fully realized as the nemesis of the hero).

The Demon only becomes the fully constructed Demon when we have developed an attitude that contradicts its principle of organization.  This either happens at the adolescent onset of individuation "Calling" or as the result of severe early trauma that dissociates the personality from its instinctual adaptivity and encourages egoic identification with the personal shadow (which is the tool of the Demon and the conduit of Demonic control over the personality).  These developments and many others are really traceable back to models of complex systemic flow of systemic efficiency.  The characterization of these archetypes is gathered and confabulated from our acculturation, but the dynamic, organizational principles driving their emergence are rooted in biological, genetically-derived structure.  It comes from an instinctual push not only to survive and adapt, but to do so in a specifically human pattern.

Regrettably, nothing more scientific can really be said or determined regarding this quantum level of "innatism".  All I can say is that I feel the data we have access to suggests some degree of innate structuring as opposed to either randomness or total environmental structuring.  To say otherwise is to forsake the trends in the data in favor of ideology.

Even more poetically or intuitively, I have felt that my individuation events have led me ever more deeply into a source of personality (or an awareness of that source) that is non-constructed.  The "shamanic journey" in individuation has the individuant go through a devastation or dissolution of culturally constructed personality/ego and a reorientation to a more instinctual and qualitatively valid or genuine source of personal being.  It feels like discovering and learning how to value something that is non-personal (as Jung rightly acknowledged).  But this non-personal source, though very evidently more-instinctual/biological than Demonic egoism, is still constructed from egoic or environmentally learned elements.  It is primarily the qualitative nature of these archetypal Self-constructs that is discernibly Other.

The question, then, is how much of these Other-seeming Self-constructs is truly innate and how much is actually confabulation or projective fantasy.  I don't know.  There are definitely some fantasy elements . . . but the phenomenon of Otherness in the egoic experience of the Self is undeniable . . . and it leads us to speculate about the nature of that Otherness.  Why are we part Other . . . and where does this Otherness come from?  Is it a construction of quantum biological/genetic factors and structural elements?  Do we really have a functional non-personal aspect to our personalities?

My guess is that it is impossible to say with ideal scientific clarity.  We are left with a limited means of perceiving such Otherness.  Namely, we can only perceive it in terms of our sense of self, our ego-ness, our familiarity.  It is evidently, though, something not truly or entirely egoic . . . as the egoic language and projection we give it is often ill-fitting.  And even as we continuously improve upon this language (via the construction of a viable Logos), we recognize that we will never capture the exact essence of the thing constructed . . . the thing in itself is pre-lingual (i.e., quantum and complex).

I feel this pre-linguial entity of personality we egoically imagine and linguistically construct is essentially a complex, dynamic system.  Complexity in all of its manifestations is the true Other to human egoism.  We cannot capture it wholly in our minds (we have to reduce it to metaphors and abstract paradigms).  We do not understand how emergent complexity produces what we qualitatively see as "intelligence".  We cannot connect the dots.  But I think that the non-personal Otherness of the psyche is this complex, systemic dynamism that defies precise languaging.  It is "animal" or even somewhat "mechanical" . . . but also vast, with iterations and interrelation of parts far too massive for us to consciously comprehend or need to comprehend in order to function effectively as members of the human species.

Perhaps it is my own glimmer of religiosity, but I do not think that this complex, dynamic Otherness should be reduced to or substituted with a model of absolutely environmental construction.  We should not merely egoize what we cannot egoically understand with absolute precision . . . not in any claim to scientific validity, at least.  Science is a matter of stepping out of the egoic perspective to some degree, not glorifying it as unequivocally correct.

But the most precise we can be about the matter (of the innate Self) is to say that there is significant and clear construction involved in our notions of the Self, whereas the biological/innate factors are not accessible directly to egoic languaging/understanding.  Rather than saying these biological factors are imaginary or wholly constructed, I think it is more reasonable to see them as quantum and complex . . . where we can only identify them in higher-level formulations and constructions we know to be environmentally or egoically influenced.  I don't think it is a declaration of faith to assert a quantum and potential innateness to psyche.  In fact, it seems much more religious and ideological to me to assert total egoic/environmental colonization of personality development.  That's much more of a leap of faith, as it implies a belief that ego is the sole or dominant reality-maker.  It places ego in a place of supremacy or godlikeness that doesn't sit well with me and my experience.  Humanity has had a long run of overemphasizing its egoic power to determine reality . . . but despite this tendency, humans have continued to behave like humans, like the biological animals we are.  Even in modernity, where our instinctuality has few remaining functional imprinting possibilities, instinct (distorted, dysfunctional, sometimes perverted) still rages behind our behavior and organizes it into a semblance of tribal/instinctual social and developmental dynamics.

I would never say that we don't need cultural to become what we are (innately/biologically), but we need culture to satisfy various innate species-specific criteria fairly well in order to function adaptively and without excessive anxiety, dissociation, or dysfunction.  I disagree on this issue with the JAPs in that I see the necessity for a functional imprinting environment extending well beyond the first three years of life and the mother/infant dyad.  All life in modernity is potentially sick-making and demands extensive conceptual adaptation to navigate effectively (where effectiveness is a measure of instinctual engagement in our behavior . . . and not to be assessed based on a social construction of "normality" or success).

You can always come back, but you can’t come back all the way.

   [Bob Dylan,"Mississippi]

The Old Spirit

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    • rajivmudgal
Re: Journal of Analytical Psychology (June 2009 issue)
« Reply #1 on: June 25, 2009, 01:36:52 AM »
Quote
I would never say that we don't need cultural to become what we are (innately/biologically),
'innate' and 'culture' are unfortunate usages and as usual locks us into the vacha and vachak (signifier and signified) complex. Man and environment are generally untranslatable into definitions though it has been unsuccessfully attempted by Maurice Merleau-Ponty via the neologism 'flesh', 'chasms' etc as [em]bodied, but I think he could not see that it is not a 'thing' that can then be broken down into its constituent parts and their attributes, in the precise sense as Goethe experienced 'it' in his Italian journey where he calls them 'worlds"and reinforced by the study of Feral child and the problem of language.
It seems entering into "Archetypes, Intentionality, Action and Symbols" JAP is headed no where. 
The 'whole' it seems is not only more then the sum of it parts but the parts itself often turn out to be nothing more than interesting conventional usages contingent to time and world, and should not be taken any more seriously then a fine story.
I think the key to our modern conundrums can be traced to the Grand Father of Analytic Aristotle and his 'Physica' Book i and book ii where he thinks he has solved once and for all the Parmenides challenge and proceeds on his on in book iv 10-14.

Matt Koeske

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Re: Journal of Analytical Psychology (June 2009 issue)
« Reply #2 on: June 27, 2009, 01:05:54 AM »
'innate' and 'culture' are unfortunate usages and as usual locks us into the vacha and vachak (signifier and signified) complex. Man and environment are generally untranslatable into definitions though it has been unsuccessfully attempted by Maurice Merleau-Ponty . . . .

It seems entering into "Archetypes, Intentionality, Action and Symbols" JAP is headed no where. 
The 'whole' it seems is not only more then the sum of it parts but the parts itself often turn out to be nothing more than interesting conventional usages contingent to time and world, and should not be taken any more seriously then a fine story.

I share some of your apprehension about language, but I'm not ready to follow that apprehension all the way into a kind of nihilism that rejects all ability to describe.  Language is all we have to make sense of our experience . . . and even our dismissals of its value are, of course, linguistic constructions or even contrivances.  In other words, I think it is more likely that we arbitrarily cordon off potentially valuable usages of language with ideological abstractions.  Language is imperfect.  That, at least for me, is a practical reality.  Various schools of postmodernism do not, it seems, follow that same attitude.  There is a perhaps not really confessed to belief in "perfect language" among these postmodernists that is expressed nihilistically rather than idealistically.  That is, to believe that language is so hopelessly flawed that it cannot serve a useful function is to believe that language is or should be potentially capable of perfectly conveying a truth . . . a kind of union of signifier and signified.

That is really a very extreme and perhaps even romantic belief . . . and very intellectual (rather than practical).  Of course, the old adage has it that frustrated romanticism breeds cynicism.  And that's pretty much what I see in postmodernist theories of language.  In other words, I approach language and language theorists like a psychologist and choose to ask why people develop the attitudes toward language that they do . . . rather than asking if language can or can't do X or Y.  Language, from what I've seen, is more versatile and capable than human ego psychology usually is.  The weak links in our explorations into meaning and self are formed more by the attitudes we hold (unquestioningly) than by the language we use . . . although, of course, our attitudes will tend to mold language into something that stands against our better comprehension.

As for the JAP's interest in archetypes, I wouldn't say that the whole line of inquiry is hopeless.  Archetypal phenomena have always proved illusive and fundamentally mysterious.  And yet, they surround us constantly and don't go away.  The arguments I've seen that dismiss archetypal phenomena do so by heavy-handedly misinterpreting archetypal phenomena and setting up a straw man to knock down.  In Jung's original constructions of archetypal theory, there is more subtlety and complexity than critics of Jungianism and post-Jungians alike have managed to produce or recognize.  I still see many problems with Jung's construction, but it strikes me as relatively impressive nonetheless because it manages to hold a biological notion together with a constructionist notion without wholly advocating one over the other.

The flaw I see in the JAP's handling of archetypes is mostly a matter of failing to take up an attitude toward the phenomena that is as sophisticated as Jung's original one.  This failure is coupled with a slight sense of arrogance that attempts to look at Jung as an outdated Lamarkian, while the JAP's psychoanalytic post-Jungianism is promoted as somehow cutting edge.  But what I saw was a failure to incorporate modern evolutionary biology and psychology effectively with a more contemporary and post-postmodern concept of language.  As post-postmodern theorists of language the JAP authors tend to be a bit behind the pack . . . and as evolutionary biologists, they strike me as not so much uninformed as sloppy.  They think more like language theorists than scientists, but too many of these analysts are second-rate language theorists, to boot.

I don't mean to turn my nose up at them intellectually or imply that they are stupid.  Not at all.  But they are borrowing ideas from language theory, evolutionary biology, psychoanalysis, this field and that field.  It results in a bit of a mush.  I think the JAP analysts would be better served by a stronger creative or innovate streak than by the academic scholarship they so adore.  Admittedly, it would require a very careful balance.  I like the innovative streak in Jungians like Hillman and Giegerich, but these thinkers tend to not be able to keep their feet on the ground at all and float off into their signature puer escapades.  Still, they add a much needed shadow/puer element, a kind of ingenuous and fertile tricksterism (when they are at their best) to Jungian thought.  The problem is that this fertile tricksterism remains dissociated from the more staid, academic thinking of tribes like the JAP/SAP.  Jungians have not figured out yet how to put the puer trickster in their shadow to work in the name of developing Jungian thinking.

The JAP/SAP is essentially a tribe that hopes to exorcise its own link to the puer trickster.  But in my opinion, it is an ideologically flawed movement, because it is striving for this exorcism out of Bad Faith.  It is ashamed of its shadow, of the puer within, and of Jung's shadowy imperfections.  But this shame is not consciously recognized, meaning the JAP/SAP's have no idea what is fueling their ideological drive away from Jung and toward psychoanalysis.  As psychoanalysts the SAP's are probably fairing adequately, but as Jungians, they are sick and have no diagnosis, no treatment (other than steady abandonment of the challenging depths of Jungianism).  To the degree they sense this sickness, they are only encouraged to move farther away from "shameful" Jungianism.

What I found especially interesting about the recent JAP treatment of archetypes is that it was ideologically very psychoanalytic and barely Jungian at all.  There was really no serious counterpoint from a perspective of innatist/essentialist geneticism.  I think Anthony Stevens (who developed an archetypal theory based on evolutionary biology) was mentioned briefly in one of the articles.  I think Steven's theory has a number of flaws and his application of evolutionary biology is, although well researched, still skewed toward Jungian ideology too much.  But if we just stick to very broad strokes, archetypal theory would seem to have great support from modern evolutionary biology's research.

And yet, the JAP authors seem to ignore and not be concerned with this.  This is odd and suspicious, because in order to make a solid case for the high degree of emergence and constructionism they see in archetypal phenomena, these authors would have to develop credible arguments against the research of evolutionary biologists that suggests distinct innateness and genetic influence in personality development.  As this reasonable and necessary line of argument was no adequately pursued, the promotinon of archetypes as constructed/emergent phenomena reads (to a non-tribe member) as little more than tribal propaganda and flag-waving.

That is, the psychoanalytic tribe has always had ties to postmodern academic language theories and literary criticism.  At least among the post-Freudians, constructionism has always been a familiar dialect.  It is really Jungianism (not psychoanalysis) that has had logical ties with biology and innatism.  So for the Jung-ashamed, psychoanalytic JAP authors, further chest-beating and effigy burning in contradiction to classical Jungianism must be read (at least in part) as overt tribal rallying.  I.e., there are no real arguments being made (despite the seeming conflicts in the exchange of letters I will quote from in the post after this one).  There are merely declarations of faith dressed up as intellectual theorizing.

It's a shame that both the JAP developmentalists and the classical (and fundamentalist) Jungians are each so stuck in their own way, because I don't think Jungianism is whole so long as this division lasts.  The JAP needs to showcase classical Jungian criticism of developmentalism along side its rallying cries in order to achieve greater credibility.  I can only assume that such anti-developmentalist criticism exists somewhere.  I know there was some (usually not published) crit like this in the early years of the split (50s-70s) . . . but I haven't read anything but bandwagon sing-a-longs about developmental Jungianism in the last few years.

It sometimes seems to me like I'm the only one criticizing the developmentalists . . . and I'm at least as critical of the classicalsists.  Essentially, I'm non-partisan . . . which makes it a bit too easy for me to criticize all and sundry.  It would mean a lot more to see tribally affiliated Jungians trying to engage with their opponent tribe.  Intellectually and constructively, that is.  But still critically.  Developmental Jungians seem to have positioned themselves so that they have no one to answer to . . . and they don't seem inclined to play their own devil's advocate.  There has been tremendous criticism of classical Jungian ideas and values in the developmentalist JAP literature I've read.  So stones are being cast . . . if only passive aggressively in the literature.  But these tribes do not seem to spur each other on to self-improvement.
You can always come back, but you can’t come back all the way.

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The Old Spirit

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Re: Journal of Analytical Psychology (June 2009 issue)
« Reply #3 on: June 27, 2009, 03:23:46 AM »
I think Jung too has his fair share of the devils bargain. After stumbling on the fantastic “The Miller Fantasies” which held within it explosive potentials, He spends the rest of his life in feverish attempt to create a framework to understand and master the mystery of Man's 'Self' through Freudian categories (Archetypes/spell/curse) or lets say Technophileses of German Witchcraft.
I always wondered as to why the German potty is elongated (unlike French, British and American), till I was told that they like to diagnose fluctuations in health by studying it. He said, it comes with tradition and every German carries within his head an unwritten Typology of potty.

Coming back to the topic, It is no coincidence that the conclusions reached by Jung in his “The Miller Fantasies” is almost paraphrased by Neuroscience when it says “A final body of evidence on illusory will has to do with the cognitive distortions that operate to protect the illusion. Studies of the confabulation of intention following action show that people often invent or distort thoughts of action in order to conform to their conception of ideal agency. People who are led to do odd actions through post-hypnotic suggestion, for example, often confabulate reasons for their action. Such invention of intentions is the basis for a variety of empirical demonstrations associated with theories of cognitive dissonance (Festinger 1957) and the left-brain interpretation of action (Gazzaniga 1983). Operating on the assumption that they are agents leads people to presume that they intended actions even when this could not have been the case, to misperceive their actions as being consistent with their intentions, and to experience conscious will whenever their intentions and actions happen to coincide.”