Author Topic: the Hero Archetype  (Read 37572 times)

Sealchan

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Re: the Hero Archetype
« Reply #30 on: February 19, 2008, 12:08:37 PM »
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The point is not that "some good" (perhaps 5%) comes from all that patriarchy produces.  The point is that, with greater responsibility and ethical and ecological determination, we could do a lot better.  We should strive to be self-sustaining within our environment without "externalities", without being dependent on the destruction and oppression of others.  The patriarchal attitude can't provide this kind of ethical responsibility to others and to environment.  Chances are much higher that our own patriarchalism and egomania will destroy us long before the proverbial asteroid comes.

Sure, but how did we come to hold the lofty position of being able to consider doing a lot better?  How can we learn to get along until we keep those who "don't want to participate" from plowing right over us?  Until we stave off or subsume the greater forces that may overwhelm us, how can we reliably take any self-directed action at all?  You can't protect a resource unless you control it.  I think that you miss the value of the "first half" of the process of becoming responsible for something which is, to obtain awareness and control over it. 

To me the entire point of the individuation process is to correct the imbalances we have struck up in the process of our prior, less self-conscious development.  We use the strengths we first developed to enable us to, with a necessary hubris, seek to change ourselves.  It is these very strengths which are our greatest weaknesses.  If we don't develop two eyes, or two ways of knowing, one of which is not dependent on the other, you will not have a vision sufficient to dismantle the position the ego finds itself in when it starts to "find itself". 

After the last eight years of "leadership" in the Oval office I would say our chances of survival have decreased.  But given the high level of participation on the part of registered Democrats in their primaries and the reluctance of the Republican party to back their presumed candidate, I suspect that our chances will improve significantly in just under a year's time from now.

I wouldn't blame "patriarchy" for the world's problems, I would blame people: individuals and groups of individuals.  Competition over scarce resources, unbridled greed (this is not patriarchal, this is just good ol' instinctual), lack of a fully supported international law and justice system.  Again the last eight years of "leadership" has failed because it has presumed that the U.S. can just unilaterally do what it wants, when it wants, how it wants and the amount of available "libido" = money be damned.  This isn't patriarchy, this is just good, ol' fashioned idiocy...enabled by a strong sense of the U.S. as the ego of the world as a separate power that can independently wield authority over all...but the big problem is that, given the right fool in charge, WE CAN!  We can take out this whole planet if we wanted to.  We can manipulate the world economic markets.  We are the greatest source of relief aid and other volunteer contributions to those in need.  We suck up the most energy and we give the most energy to this planet-wide eco-politic.

And if the ego didn't have a similar power within the psyche, how could it ever be "dangerous" for the ego to do or consider to do anything?  It would otherwise be an inconsequential force in a more powerful medium which controls it.






Sealchan

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Re: the Hero Archetype
« Reply #31 on: February 19, 2008, 01:24:45 PM »
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Chris, I've written a very long and detailed reply to your last post (which I'll break up more or less arbitrarily into multiple posts).  I'm not sure how much use there was in doing this, because I'm not sure there is a place of synthesis between our contrasting attitudes or philosophies.  Still, I am going to make my arguments.  Ideally, if either of our arguments can't bear fruit through reasoning alone, data could be provided to supplement a person's position.

Clearly this would be a huge process to reconcile our differing perspectives.  Alas if we were both scholars then perhaps we could take the time to do this.

I think that this conversation has been an enjoyable distraction from doing the dream interpretation.  But I should get back to a focus on that.  That is, after all, where the data lies and I will endeavor to decompose any assumptions I make in my terminology.  Also, when I apply some heavy and possibly personal theory to a dream, I will attempt to break it out into a separate topic and try to gather supporting scholarly and mythic references.  As usual, I will attempt to supply "dream references" within the dreaming container itself.

Then we could, perhaps, revisit any needed/desired debate in that context.

Until then please feel free to use your interpretive model on my dreams and I will do the same for you understanding that we will take or leave what we find useful. 

Matt Koeske

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Re: the Hero Archetype
« Reply #32 on: February 19, 2008, 03:06:48 PM »
To me it is both.  It is "don't try this at home" AND "it was worth the effort even though we didn't make it".  I have a basically mystical and positive outlook on what has come and where we are going although there is plenty of nastiness.  However, in focusing on what is wrong I think one gets caught up in the excesses of the time and doesn't see the underlying tidal forces. 

The point of tragedy is to pit the individual against the greater forces of the world and show simultaneously just how little and just how much we do and yet do not have great influence and control over the course of events in the greater collective-world.  And a tragedy is usually just one plot device away from what might be called a "glory" or a story of an overwhelming victory.  The best stories are probably a combination of both.  For example, Star Wars has the tragedy of Anakin Skywalker and the "glory" of Luke Skywalker.  Luke's identification with and need to indirectly kill his own father is a tragedy accept that his father forgives Luke with the words "you were right".  Then it becomes a glory of the progress obtained through great suffering.

I don't mean to say that literary tragedies are occasions for us to all sit around and cluck at impropriety and foolishness, to feel morally superior in comparison to the tragic protagonist.  We are meant to identify, to seen in the tragic figure some part of ourselves.  The shadow, or the ego that cannot see its shadow.  But the tragic figure is fully human, there's no doubt about that.  Still, as a "lesson" taken from the tragic story as a whole, I believe we are to learn or at least observe that the tragic attitude and its behavior leads ultimately to damnation of one kind of another.  The tragic figure may be pitied or even forgiven, but never, never reborn.  That is the key, that is the differentiation between the hero and the tragic figure.

But I don't think we are supposed to, for instance, look at Oedipus and say, "Cool, killing one's father and marrying one's mother is so right on!"  But we have to care and sympathize, because Oedipus is all of us, the fatal flaw or drive to self-destruction (through libidinous self-exaltation) in all of us.

As for Star Wars, Anakin/Darth is tragic, but his son Luke is a mythic hero.  These are two different stories and shouldn't be conflated.  Luke makes the right decisions in order to follow the Hero's Journey, but Anakin failed to make those heroic choices.  He has "heroic capabilities", but chose poorly.  He damned himself with those choices, with the way he interpreted his reality . . . the way we all undermine ourselves (our "better selves") again and again by failing to take the "heroic path" (and failing to see-through our egoic blinders).  It's like Albus Dumbledore says to Harry Potter (paraphrasing), "It isn't what we are born with that determines our worth, but the choices we make."

In other words, the difference between the tragic figure and the mythic hero is a matter of free will, not birthright.  This is a major theme in the Harry Potter books.  Voldemort misunderstands this and places all his trust in birthright . . . and that is the difference between him and Harry.

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Matt Koeske

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Re: the Hero Archetype
« Reply #33 on: February 19, 2008, 03:11:38 PM »
I found Wolfgang Giegerich's article on Erich Neumann online: ONTOGENY = PHYLOGENY?  A Fundamental Critique of Erich Neumann's Analytical Psychology.

I haven't reread it yet . . . but will as soon as I'm able.

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Matt Koeske

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Re: the Hero Archetype
« Reply #34 on: February 19, 2008, 03:43:33 PM »
Sure, but how did we come to hold the lofty position of being able to consider doing a lot better?  How can we learn to get along until we keep those who "don't want to participate" from plowing right over us?  Until we stave off or subsume the greater forces that may overwhelm us, how can we reliably take any self-directed action at all?  You can't protect a resource unless you control it.  I think that you miss the value of the "first half" of the process of becoming responsible for something which is, to obtain awareness and control over it. 

To me the entire point of the individuation process is to correct the imbalances we have struck up in the process of our prior, less self-conscious development.  We use the strengths we first developed to enable us to, with a necessary hubris, seek to change ourselves.  It is these very strengths which are our greatest weaknesses.  If we don't develop two eyes, or two ways of knowing, one of which is not dependent on the other, you will not have a vision sufficient to dismantle the position the ego finds itself in when it starts to "find itself".

My actual point relating to this is that we-as-egos don't "dismantle" the old position, we don't use any developed and hard-won strengths.  The Call to individuation, the beginning of the dissolution is a sucking down into hell by powers greater than us.  Nothing we have can stave them off  What we come to find is that it is the very things we devalued and didn't recognize that are our true strengths.  Egoic will perishes in the dissolution.  I don't mean "vanishes".  We will always be willful (and probably unaware of it), but it is specifically this will, these qualities we think are "heroic" that are the the first to go.  If they don't go (if we can relinquish them), we don't individuate, we do not go through the initiation.

It isn't "a necessary hubris" that drives individuation, but a sacrifice of this hubris in favor of a mere hope to survive the dissolution.  I see this all as guided by instinct, not intention, not consciousness.


I wouldn't blame "patriarchy" for the world's problems, I would blame people: individuals and groups of individuals.

It is not my intention to "blame" patriarchy, but to see-through it.  It has to be understood as "not essentially".

As for blaming individuals and groups, we have to be careful about righteousness.  Everyone always blames the Other.  But real justice is both very complex and fairly imperfect.  My suggestion is that we (as citizens, voters, people) need to stop empowering the people who are greedy, selfish, and unethical.  In America, even though our democracy is pretty shoddy, this is still technically possible.

So yes, Neocons, Bushites, free marketeers, zealous, bigoted fundamentalists of various stripes, fascists and fascist supporters . . . these people are unethical and can do damage because they hold power.  But we who don't support the ideals these people live by still do many things to empower them and enable them.  And primarily we do this unconsciously or because we aren't bearing necessary responsibilities for society and for others.  We are often more to blame for our dissatisfaction and the problems of our society than we realized.  I think we should start there.  Figure out what we are responsible for and how we can do a better job upholding those responsibilities.

Patriarchy is a style of social organization based in a particular psychological perspective.  If we can understand what it really is and how it works, we figure out how to stand against it.  But patriarchy isn't a literal bogeyman, something we can throw rocks at or picket.  It is a piece of our socialization that must be discarded in order to reconstruct an ethical social psychology (in the individual).


This isn't patriarchy, this is just good, ol' fashioned idiocy...enabled by a strong sense of the U.S. as the ego of the world as a separate power that can independently wield authority over all...but the big problem is that, given the right fool in charge, WE CAN!  We can take out this whole planet if we wanted to.  We can manipulate the world economic markets.  We are the greatest source of relief aid and other volunteer contributions to those in need.  We suck up the most energy and we give the most energy to this planet-wide eco-politic.

I'm not sure that these claims of American power and influence are really true.  If they were once true, they will soon no longer be.  Except the one about destroying the whole planet if we wanted to . . . that I think we could do.

And if the ego didn't have a similar power within the psyche, how could it ever be "dangerous" for the ego to do or consider to do anything?  It would otherwise be an inconsequential force in a more powerful medium which controls it.

The biggest danger egoic attitudes present is to others.  Egoism is generally self-protective and often narcissistic.  One of the cardinal lessons of individuation (and all world spiritualities) is that there is greater worth in valuing others than egotistical people realize.  Even human survival is achieved through a collective effort.  The egomaniacal ego doesn't truly understand this.  But we can also be "dangerous" to ourselves if our egoic attitude prevents us from connecting with others or valuing its own drive to live.  When we choose egomania, we lose one way or another.  The patriarchal ego is very lonely, very disconnected (dissociated).  After it grinds through the maternalistic resources it depends on, there is nothing left for it but despair.  That's why this is the archetypal characterization for tragedy.  Our egoism ultimately destroys us (or at least makes us miserable).






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Matt Koeske

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Re: the Hero Archetype
« Reply #35 on: February 19, 2008, 03:51:21 PM »
It would otherwise be an inconsequential force in a more powerful medium which controls it.

Oh, and in my opinion, this does indeed describe the ego's condition.  It is not really calling the shots it thinks it is.  The egotist is always being compelled to act (and to believe what s/he believes) unconsciously.  There is no real free will in this condition.  But there is such dissociation from the instincts, that the drives doing the compelling are often distorted and dysfunctional.  In other words the instincts are digging in their spurs to the ego's "body", but the ego is never responding with the gift of a functional and adaptable environment.  The ego gets kicked and spurred, but it doesn't know what to do about it (except get frustrated and try to desensitize itself . . . meaning it will probably just get kicked harder and harder).  It never gets to the "watering hole".
You can always come back, but you can’t come back all the way.

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Sealchan

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Re: the Hero Archetype
« Reply #36 on: February 19, 2008, 04:36:08 PM »
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As for Star Wars, Anakin/Darth is tragic, but his son Luke is a mythic hero.  These are two different stories and shouldn't be conflated.  Luke makes the right decisions in order to follow the Hero's Journey, but Anakin failed to make those heroic choices.  He has "heroic capabilities", but chose poorly.  He damned himself with those choices, with the way he interpreted his reality . . . the way we all undermine ourselves (our "better selves") again and again by failing to take the "heroic path" (and failing to see-through our egoic blinders).  It's like Albus Dumbledore says to Harry Potter (paraphrasing), "It isn't what we are born with that determines our worth, but the choices we make."

In other words, the difference between the tragic figure and the mythic hero is a matter of free will, not birthright.  This is a major theme in the Harry Potter books.  Voldemort misunderstands this and places all his trust in birthright . . . and that is the difference between him and Harry.

You see free will is the modern myth...lol.

Certainly the Luke and the Anakin stories are not to be combined archetypally...or are they?  There is the tried and true Old King supplanted by New King motif.  But what if there is a cycle of New King devalues Old King (Neumann's slaying the father, Luke confronts "Vader") followed by New King redeems Old King (Star Wars, Campbell's Father Atonement)? Star Wars then becomes the ultimate "son provides the redemption to the father" story as Luke holds stubbornly (heroically) to the idea that "there is still good in him" and that his father might still choose good.

I think the birthright versus free will choice motif is a very important one and is at the core of our modern myth actually.  Those myths that take the hero's birth-given talents--those talents that put him in a mind to undertake (or be reluctantly saddled with the responsibility for) the heroic adventure--and strip them away until he is left with a profound polarized problem to which he must respond on the deepest level with a probably self-negating choice versus another supposedly easier choice seem to me to be the core of many of the myths that we find these days in anything from childrens TV series' to the most sophisticated movies and works of modern mythic literature. 

We want some abstracted sense of goodness to prevail over our given egoic natures at a crucial moment because a) we are all flawed but we want to believe that our flaws don't have a final say over our character and b) we want to believe in free will, that cognitive moment when we can just choose against whatever pattern of choices we may have made in the past because it is "the right thing to do".  But in order for this kind of story to work we must have a backstory of the hero's development, his strengths as a real power in the world over himself and others, otherwise the magical, mystical moment of free will and the good that comes from it, won't be as powerful. 

Sometimes the choice is to stick to one's nature against a persistant uncertainty that one has a valid voice.  Sometimes the choice is to wholeheartedly change one's mind.  Whenever there is a clear moral directive as the ultimate meaning, however, the story becomes "merely" a morality play.  The best ones go for that transcendent pitch and make it seem the most ambivalent as to the moral value of the choice.  For instance, in The Matrix we have Neo apparently make a selfish choice of trying to save Trinity.  Also, (I know I going on the science fiction way back machine here) in Star Trek: The Wrath of Khan there is the touching phrase "the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few or the one" which Spock states to justify his personal sacrifice.  However, Kirk firmly takes up the "selfish" perspective as he goes out in search of Spock in the next movie and I feel that this is also justified as we must build up the individual as having a value even rivalling that of the collective if we are to remain secure in our sense of our protecting our individualities.

But I say that the individual who makes the counter-egoic choice consciously does so with his or her ego and so, at the risk of inflation, (which should be well countered by the context into which the ego has just miraculously passed through) I would assign a definitely positive value to the ego for that choice on the one hand and to the relatively unconscious characters both aligned and counter-aligned that have risen compensatorily around the ego and helped to create the very situation that the ego has descended into.  In the end I see the ego and the unconscious that is constellated by that particular ego as two sides to the same coin, the ego-Self, which is a consciousness that cannot comprehend itself as one thing but must always separate itself from the world into which it, nonetheless, knows it is inextricably embedded. 

It is a particularly Christian habit to debase the self (= ego) as personal self and to praise the Self (= God) as other.  But I think that you have to do both in a balanced way.  So my whole thing here is to celebrate ego for its accomplishments and to suggest that if you don't you might end up sounding like you are worshipping an Other over and above the idea of personal development.

In other words, I may have projected (correctly or incorrectly) that you worship Self or even Shadow over ego.  I apply the old truism that "you can't love another better than you can love yourself" as applicable here.  I strongly sense and wish here to admit that I sense that are quite harsh on the role of the ego as in in an effort to elevate the status of the shadow or the Self to a superior figure in the inner landscape.  And I suspect that you feel that I am exalting the ego and am overly embracing what you would consider a dangerous inflation.

I'm just realizing this potential dynamic because I think we both have spent a lot of words but are still dancing around the central difference in our perspectives.

Its hard to resist a conversation that involves Star Wars, Star Trek or The Matrix.  :-)




Matt Koeske

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Re: the Hero Archetype
« Reply #37 on: February 20, 2008, 02:50:01 PM »
But I say that the individual who makes the counter-egoic choice consciously does so with his or her ego and so, at the risk of inflation, (which should be well countered by the context into which the ego has just miraculously passed through) I would assign a definitely positive value to the ego for that choice on the one hand and to the relatively unconscious characters both aligned and counter-aligned that have risen compensatorily around the ego and helped to create the very situation that the ego has descended into.  In the end I see the ego and the unconscious that is constellated by that particular ego as two sides to the same coin, the ego-Self, which is a consciousness that cannot comprehend itself as one thing but must always separate itself from the world into which it, nonetheless, knows it is inextricably embedded.

In my opinion, "counter-egoic" choice (that tries to uphold the Will of the instinctual Self at the expense of ego selfishness or egocentrism) is not really at risk of inflation.  If the ego makes some kind of a sacrifice and then feels righteous and empowered because of that sacrifice, then yes, that would be inflation.  But that inflation is at odds with real egoic sacrifice.  So I would say, to simplify, that inflation (in the more or less Jungian sense) is always characterized by the ego taking credit for some aspect of the archetypal/instinctual unconscious which it really has no influence over.  Inflation is a matter of the ego making some natural and autonomous process about egoic will . . . when in fact, the ego is really only a bystander or at best "raw material" for a "chemical" reaction.

I'm not 100% sure what you mean in the latter part of this paragraph, though.


It is a particularly Christian habit to debase the self (= ego) as personal self and to praise the Self (= God) as other.  But I think that you have to do both in a balanced way.  So my whole thing here is to celebrate ego for its accomplishments and to suggest that if you don't you might end up sounding like you are worshipping an Other over and above the idea of personal development.

I wouldn't consider it particularly Christian.  It is particularly "spiritual".  This choice to valuate Self over ego is the core of all spirituality or mysticism.  It's what defines spirituality.

The argument I've been putting forth is stating (and my personal experience has been) that the ego doesn't really "accomplish" the spiritual transformations or Work.  None of this is willed or can be dictated by egoic will.  That is the whole point of the idea of "spiritual surrender" to the Self/Other/God.  It is the same thing in Christianity, Islam, Judaism, Mystery religion, Buddhism, Voodoo, you name it.  Spiritual "ecstasy" (union with the god/instinct) is never triumphant or willed.  It is always a matter of surrender, sacrifice, dissolution, dismemberment, etc.  I'm not talking "Mattisms" here.  This is something the spiritualities of human history all agree on . . . and even as an atheist, I also agree.  In fact, it is the unconscious, ego-aggrandizement (the projection of ego onto God or the seeing of God as egoic and the egoic as Godlike) that is the root of my atheism.  Christianity (among its other problems) is especially egoic and ego-worshiping (as a product of both patriarchy and modernism, this is not surprising), so one of my main gripes with it is its diminished and perverted "gnostic Faith" (which is the very thing the Catholic Church designed itself to oppose).

The whole point of spirituality is to "worship" (or at least accept and engage with) an Other over and above the idea of personal development.  When we aren't doing this, we are not really being "spiritual".  We are not pursuing spirituality.


In other words, I may have projected (correctly or incorrectly) that you worship Self or even Shadow over ego.

That is correct . . . i.e., not a projection.  That is my attitude.  And I see Self and Shadow as the same thing on a deep enough level.  That's why I call it the Self-as-Other or the Shadow-Self.  That would be the instinctual Self that has been accurately differentiated from the ego.

I apply the old truism that "you can't love another better than you can love yourself" as applicable here.  I strongly sense and wish here to admit that I sense that are quite harsh on the role of the ego as in in an effort to elevate the status of the shadow or the Self to a superior figure in the inner landscape.

But you are still speaking in a fallacious language here.  One doesn't truly "elevate" the Self or the shadow.  It is not within the power of the ego to do this.  The ego can only valuate egoic attitudes that recognize the that the Self/Other is larger, more "powerful, more essential to living and survival than the ego . . . and that the ego is only a tool or organ of the Self's Will to live and adapt to the environment.

There is no doubt that the Self is "superior" to the ego once we have differentiated the ego from the Self.  The ego, as both Freud and Jung clearly stated, is very, very small in comparison with the rest of the "unconscious" and autonomous psyche.  We are not responsible for dictating our behaviors or thoughts in the way we imagine (I would even say that our inclination to focus valuation on our identity is governed unconsciously by instinct and is adaptive, at least within the environment of evolutionary adaptedness; we don't value our egos or identities consciously, we are compelled to do so for a non-intentioned purpose . . . but we believe in the fiction of our identity and this belief is intentioned by our instincts, our biology).  Psychoanalysis as an intellectual movement or idea is all about the devaluation of the ego and of conscious will.  It is the idea that says, "Sorry folks, but we are not as in-control as we like to believe."  It's a relocation of the Darwinian bomb dropped in the human psyche or spirit.  This is also the same idea behind the world's religions and spiritualities . . . which bask in the numinousness of the Other/God, whereas the psychoanalysts have a more demonic notion of instinct as "id".  Jung revised this to say that "id" is actually the same thing as God and should be valuated.  Even Freud wrote passages in which he described the id like Jung's collective unconscious . . . giving it a sense of mystery and spiritual numinousness and "Truth".

The point of spirituality is not to damn the ego to Hell (although Christianity sometimes seems to react this way), but merely to see the ego for what it is: an organ of the Self.  This organ can try to resist its intended purpose, but it can never really be free of the role of organ.  Even in its resistance, it becomes unconscious of its purpose (loses free will) and is affected and determined unconsciously.  The psyche (through the ego) uses rationalization to decrease cognitive dissonance . . . because the psyche just wants the individual to live in equilibrium, to survive and reproduce or perpetuate the group.  Rationalization decreases anxiety and encourages the individual to do and not be distracted by contemplation or doubt.  So the ego might favor a paradigm that seems to it to "make sense of" a behavior or belief, but the behavior or belief itself is really being driven by instinctual forces.  This is a well-established fact of human consciousness clarified by scientific testing.

The notion of not being able to love another more than oneself is (although distinctly questionable in itself) not really relevant, I think.  We (as egos) are instinctually reinforced in the love of the Self.  The love is reciprocal.  I would say, in contrast to your statement, that the only way we can really love ourselves is by loving our Selves.  Egoic self-love is narcissism.  It's the love of an idea of oneself . . . and an incomplete idea at that.  Narcissism is never a truly satisfying love, which is why the narcissistic personality is always trying to coerce others into affirming its identity.

And I suspect that you feel that I am exalting the ego and am overly embracing what you would consider a dangerous inflation.

That is my concern, indeed.  Although I don't see the inflation inherent in this as truly "dangerous".  I've seen some pretty pathological inflations in my life.  "Dangerous" inflations appear as psychoses to outside observers.  They are deeply delusional.  I think of your valuation of the conquering ego as more or less normal.  You are just building (in my opinion) a more intellectual and detailed language around the state of patriarchal egoism that we all inherit.  You rightfully see its ubiquity (and this reinforces your sense that the paradigm you are constructing is correct).  My feeling, though, is that the egoic or patriarchal condition is Maya.  It's isn't essential.  Yes, it's what we are acculturated into . . . but it is really the spike that nails Oedipus's ("swollen foot") foot to the ground.  As Freud noted.  But Freud also saw this as inevitable, as biological, as the human condition . . . and your paradigm is in many ways more Freudian than Jungian.  Just as Neumann's thinking leans more "back" toward Freud than "forward" toward Jung.

Freud (like Neumann) was more of a "paradigmist" than Jung.  Jung was a phenomenologist.  He observed phenomena and gave names to the categories these phenomena seemed to naturally sort themselves into (i.e., he didn't sort the categories himself).  Freud had an intuitive stroke of genius (the Oedipus complex) and tried to fit all phenomena into that intuited paradigm.  This was the fundamental difference in the way the two men thought.

The problem with being a paradigmist is that one loses consciousness of "Otherness" and becomes unable to see and valuate data that suggests contradiction to the paradigm.  This is why Freud is conventionally considered "reductive" today.  He reduces all the various data to his paradigm.  Today, most psychologists don't think Freud's paradigmatic reductionism is tenable.  There is more to life and to humanness than the Oedipus complex.  The data, like an eruption from the id, eventually overwhelmed the Freudian paradigm.  This is perhaps why Freud wanted Jung and his other disciples to make "an unshakable bulwark" of the "sexual theory" (the Freudian paradigm).  That is, Freud was not ultimately driven by the truth or by the actual.  He was not dedicated to the understanding of phenomena.  He was more dedicated to his paradigm and to evangelizing for it (which he considered a good in itself . . . as if the paradigm were given to him like the Commandments were given to Moses, directly from God himself).

My concern in your case is not that you are pathologically inflated or an "egomaniac".  I just think your paradigm is limiting.  It's not big enough for you to fully live through.  And the ultimate function and purpose of a paradigm is to facilitate life (instinctual life).  If the paradigm restricts instinctual living rather than facilitates it, then I think we should question the design of the paradigm.  It may need to be revised. 

In my experience and throughout what I call the Work, I have had to constantly revise and discard old paradigms.  Most recently, I've been discarding and revising aspects of Jung's paradigms.  And I'm driven to do this because his paradigms ceased to facilitate my process of instinctual ("spiritual") living and ceased to make sense of my spiritual/psychological experiences.

What concerns me is that I don't see this process of revising and discarding old paradigms as as highly prioritized for you.  I worry that you have become more concerned with walling out the Other and its irksome questions (which often manifest as anima or shadow in dreams) brick by brick just to protect your paradigm . . . and aren't realizing that you are simultaneously walling yourself into an unlivably tight space.

I don't mean to say that I can offer you the "right paradigm" or that I want to "convert" you to my Self-valuating/ego-devaluing theories.  But like any Jungian (phenomenologist), I am leery of "maniacal" paradigm building . . . and as a friend and dream work companion, I worry that it could be self-destructive for you.

But, of course, I simultaneously worry that you will see my arguments and expressed concerns in a defensive way, i.e., as "masculine aggressive" attempts to break down your city walls and invade/conquer you.  I can only try to convince you that this is not my motivation.  But I fear that the structure of your paradigm may prevent you from seeing my arguments in any other light.  Essentially, I fear that there is an unexpressed asking of me to either 1.) admit I am a roving conquerer who wants to invade your city and add your population to the "Empire", or 2.) go away and admit that your walls/paradigm are too great for me to be able to penetrate (thereby affording you and your paradigm a "victory").

But there is no room in the perspective of such a paradigm for a concerned friend's opinions or for genuine care/Eros.  That is, by constructing the paradigm walls in the way you seem to have prevents Eros/connection/penetration and leaves no room to differentiate between "hostile" penetration" and "comradely influence/connection".

I don't know what the best thing is for me to do.  If my opinions and assessments are wrong, then I can't see how or why . . . and in that case, I am helpless to react differently.  If my opinions are right (or at least "right enough" in the given circumstance), then I have to worry that either too much or too little "knocking at the door" will have a negative impact on you (i.e., too much = hostile invasion, too little = reinforcement of your paradigmatic fortitude/defensiveness).  That leaves me with almost no ground whatsoever to stand on in the act of relating to you.  But the way you have built your city, I have to squeeze into a tiny space and balance on a slippery slope in order to relate to you (as perhaps you yourself are well aware).  This allows you as king and architect of your city to have a high degree of determination and control over anyone who might try to relate to you.

Which is to say that, if I or anyone else wants to relate to you, we must grant you near absolute power over the relationship (although I expect that you set different relational roles for women than for men; the women get more space, but it may ultimately be just as much a prison for the Other).

I am also trying to see that we are both essentially in the same position, deadlocked.  Perhaps, of the two of us, I tend to be the more feeling-/Eros-oriented . . . and so my theoretical arguments have more of a tone of "therapeutic concern".  Which, I have to consider, is potentially perceived as more threatening.  That's why I tried to situate this discussion initially in the theoretical realm.  But I am what I am.  I have tried logos by differentiating modes of "heroism" and deducing where each mode leads to ("tragedy" or "rebirth").  I have tried ethos by bringing in examples from mythology and by evoking Jungian ideas and suggesting that your take on Campbell's archetypal hero was incomplete or misinterpreted.  But I am ultimately a creature of pathos . . . and so feeling is at the root of all my arguing.  Which is perhaps, in this case the self-damning root, because you intuitively detect pathos and distrust it.

So maybe the core of our disagreement and difference here is that I am not willing to (or able to) sacrifice my "pathetic" stance . . . and you are not willing to entertain even a residual level of pathos in argument (i.e., see pathos as compatible with logos).  Any amount of pathos contaminates and occludes logos and ethos?  But if this is the case, how can you ever change or grow or connect with another?

It seems to me that you do not recognize or consider the logos and the ethos I have injected in to my argument . . . and your detection of pathos is my guess as to why this is.  But to me this anti-pathos (antipathy) seems like an abdication of logos and ethos, too.  You seem to define yourself more by logos and ethos . . . and yet, it is you, ultimately, who have raised pathos to the highest, judging position in your decision-making.  But you have done this shadow-wise and maybe even unconsciously(?).  That is, pathos/feeling has been imbued with so much negative valuation that it has become for you the ultimate judge in your idea-making.  It's the shadow pathos that builds such marvelous and impenetrable walls . . . not logos or ethos.  But that shadow pathos is your real master in this situation, not theory or paradigm.

My intention is to leave this package of ideas at your gate.  I don't want to go on knocking if it will only serve to polarize us or encourage you to reinforce the gate.  Perhaps there will be a chocolate in this box that proves, eventually, palatable.
You can always come back, but you can’t come back all the way.

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Sealchan

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Re: the Hero Archetype
« Reply #38 on: February 20, 2008, 07:05:47 PM »
Quote
My intention is to leave this package of ideas at your gate.  I don't want to go on knocking if it will only serve to polarize us or encourage you to reinforce the gate.  Perhaps there will be a chocolate in this box that proves, eventually, palatable.

I appreciate your concern over how I might be taking this conversation.  I want to reassure you that no hard feelings are building and, actually, not even frustration.  Perhaps, I should apologize for not somehow meeting you halfway.  I suspect that there is some maniacal trickster God to which I have sold my soul in that I dance around changing my hat like Edshu for whom "spreading strife is my greatest joy".  Not that I am intentionally trying to be difficult.

I suspect that the way in which I relate to others is to argue and debate ideas.  Not to determine agreement or whatnot but to get a sense of someone by finding out what ideas they stick to and which one's they might reconsider given an additional argument or piece of information.  I look at my own allegiance to ideas as context driven given how I feel in a given context. 

For instance, I have been defending the ego as if I practically worship it, but I am now realizing that if I were I in a room full of hedonists or people whose logical philosophy made no room for the unconscious, I would be all about showing up the ego's limitations and the need to reflect as if the ego was not the center of the universe.  At some point I usually just toss up my hands and say, "I believe in both".  But I will tend to argue in a one sided way given the context I am in.  I guess you could say I am a professional devil's advocate.  That is probably more true of my interactions with men than with women. 

My real stance is usually to say "both are true...but I'm feeling this side of both right now."  So if I think you are coming down to one side of a polarity I will probably polarize in an opposite direction and argue that side as if I believed that side more than the one you are arguing.  I don't stop to consider the time and effor the other person might be giving or the concern about how I am taking the discussion come into the picture.  So now, if I stop and reflect, I wonder if I should just stop discussing this topic in this mode because I am being more argumentative than anything. 

So the funny thing is that whenever you say you feel my position might be limiting me I am always thinking, "but I believe both sides, how can my position be limiting" until I realize that I have been making a one-sided argument.   This is something that I am coming into an awareness of even as I type.  This may be the first time I have called myself on this.

If it can make any sense that I have a high comfort level with two oppositional perspectives both being true at the same time then I say, "I whole-heartedly half agree with you and half disagree with you."  That is the position from which I feel I argue about all this stuff and anything philosophical.

So the hero figure who starts off aggressively (separative) finds he or she must give up, on some level, an egoic stubbornness of attitude as other, unaccounted for aspects of the psyche assert themselves under the direction of the Self as archetype of the whole psyche until the ego lets go of those limiting assumptions.  The hero figure who starts off passively (connective bias) is cajoled into a more assertive stance and finds him or herself more empowered after the adventure than before because it realizes that in its connection to the Self it is an empowered center with influence reaching from inner horizon to inner horizon. 

I have a differing view of the ego-Self as two sides of the same coin rather than ego as an organ of the Self.  The ego, in its objective, universal characteristics, realized as such, will probably be encountered as a powerful or omniscient Other while the ego in its subjective, particular characteristics will probably be seen as small and ignorant Me when seen against the diverse, complex and adaptive wonder that is the greater psyche.  One analogy might be the valuation of the Earth and the human race which is, to the extent that we are the greatest, most adaptive expression of the Universe central and powerful and to the extent that we can affect the vastness of the space in which we live, we are tiny, inconsequential and largely unnoticed.

But to the extent that the creation of consciousness and self-consciousness is the goal, the ego is the center of that process and consciousness carries the value for an undeveloped, undifferentiated mind is less valuable to him or herself and the collective than is one with a more developed ego-consciousness.  The Self as prefigured or developed in process is co-important in that a Self with an undeveloped ego is not much more than an ego unrelated to the Self.  I also don't hold the adaptation to the inner world as a higher one than the adaptation to the outer world as I believe the two worlds are two sides of the same coin as well.  The Self is the indispensible guide and support for the development of the ego, it is the God-like potential whereas the ego is the matter-like realization.  My hats off to both which, as I believe, are really One.   (-)howdy(-)

I guess what I do is take any given view, try to imagine a mirror image of it and keep both in mind for looking at potentially archetypal content.  Where I feel the danger lies mostly is in pairing polarities together (masculine-feminine to separative-connective) and thereby not considering a potential counter alignment.  However, noticing these polarities and their mutual potential alignments is indispensible to the Work.

Matt Koeske

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Re: the Hero Archetype
« Reply #39 on: February 21, 2008, 03:23:30 PM »
I appreciate your concern over how I might be taking this conversation.  I want to reassure you that no hard feelings are building and, actually, not even frustration.  Perhaps, I should apologize for not somehow meeting you halfway.  I suspect that there is some maniacal trickster God to which I have sold my soul in that I dance around changing my hat like Edshu for whom "spreading strife is my greatest joy".  Not that I am intentionally trying to be difficult.

(-)laugh(-)

I have been feeling very conflicted about "pushing" you on these things.  I had a dream relating to it last night that I only partially remember.  I am writing it up now and will post it soon.  I wish I could say that I have been frustration-free, too, but alas.  Still, I'm glad to hear you say this.  It makes me feel less anxious.

I suspect that the way in which I relate to others is to argue and debate ideas.  Not to determine agreement or whatnot but to get a sense of someone by finding out what ideas they stick to and which one's they might reconsider given an additional argument or piece of information.  I look at my own allegiance to ideas as context driven given how I feel in a given context.

You could be describing me here as well   (-)howdy(-).  I understand and respect this.

For instance, I have been defending the ego as if I practically worship it, but I am now realizing that if I were I in a room full of hedonists or people whose logical philosophy made no room for the unconscious, I would be all about showing up the ego's limitations and the need to reflect as if the ego was not the center of the universe.  At some point I usually just toss up my hands and say, "I believe in both".  But I will tend to argue in a one sided way given the context I am in.  I guess you could say I am a professional devil's advocate.  That is probably more true of my interactions with men than with women.

Devil's advocacy is an ancient and honorable tradition  (-)dvgrn(-).  I'm used to playing that role, so perhaps my confusion and concern is a matter of both of us mirroring back the other?

I have felt that in your argument on behalf of the ego that you seemed a bit "Demonic", that you were really pushing a perspective that I didn't think you were as much a "true believer" in as you were acting.  I have been confused about why you would do this.  If it is merely a matter of my proposed undervaluation of the ego, then that's more comforting to me.  My position (and the Jungian position in general) is quite challengeable on the whole "down with the ego, up with the Self" attitude.  In fact, the Jungians have received their fair share of criticism from others on this very point.  I have generally felt this criticism was well-deserved, even if not always well-constructed in itself.

A good topic to discuss this would be one that examines what effects "Self-worship" has on the development and functionality of the ego.  Maybe one of the problems is that the Hero archetype is not the best venue for an examination of the ego/Self relationship.  The hero (or heroic ego) represents an ideal attitude of the ego toward the Self . . . but it's an attitude that is not always attainable or maintainable.  We egos are not heroes.  We can put our money on the hero or we can bet it elsewhere.  But the hero is in the ring while we are always in the stands.  In reality, we fail to be heroic more often than we succeed.  And sometimes forgiving ourselves for our lapses, failures, and stumbles is the most difficult part of backing the heroic ego.  At least, that's the hardest part for me.

My ultimate position is not meant to throw the ego on the dung heap.  Just as you were accentuating your pro-ego stance, I was accentuated my anti-ego stance.  My genuine opinion on the ego is that it is (despite its limitations) the key to living.  The Self knows this, and that's why it is "so concerned" with the way the ego thinks and behaves (why in the Old Testament, God is always so annoyed at and involved with his creation).  My core feeling is that the ego doesn't need to stand against the Self or the unconscious . . . that there is no "healthiness" or functionality in that.  Yet it is impossible not to stand against the Self some of the time, because (especially in the modern) our culture, the main source of ego-determination, stands against the individual Self much of the time, trying to conform individuals to collective standards.  But in coordination with instinct, the ego can rise to a "heroic" status in the psyche . . . and it deserves the respect it gets.  Initiation is a "ceremony" (today, more often a psychic event) that eventually gives ego its due (with the award of spirit animal and True Name and a seat at the personality negotiating table).  But if that respect gets to its head too much . . . back down it goes into the mud.  And the Self pushes against it again.

I see "consciousness" (as process and way of being) as a constant motion like this.  We, as egos, do what we think or believe is best, and sometimes we get the nod from the Self, and sometimes we don't.  When we don't, we wrestle with our "better angel" until some new perspective (Logos) is created.  But in my opinion, this is always a negotiation between "powers".  There is no dictation on either side.  Sometimes the Self seems to be asking us to do something that we know would just wipe us out, something we couldn't recover from.  And so we bargain for a compromise.  The Self is not very compromising, but it is not entirely unreasonable.  These negotiations are the way to live consciously.  There is no "attainment" reached in which we are genuinely "righteous" and always know the answer off the top of our heads.  We earn ourselves a seat at the negotiation table, and then we do the best we can to come to a "living solution".


So the funny thing is that whenever you say you feel my position might be limiting me I am always thinking, "but I believe both sides, how can my position be limiting" until I realize that I have been making a one-sided argument.   This is something that I am coming into an awareness of even as I type.  This may be the first time I have called myself on this.

I would see it as limiting to the degree that you were living by the ideas you were arguing for.  One of the reasons I've been pushing you on this is that I didn't think you really wanted to live by those ideas (alone).  I.e., I didn't believe you were stating these things in Good Faith or were fighting for a position that you really wanted to live through (as your position seemed more extreme than anything you had declared before).  In other words, I felt a change in your attitude and behavior . . . but one that seemed more one-sided than the "old you".  I was trying to apply pressure on the other side that seemed to be neglected (just as you were resisting my one-sided valuation  (-)laugh(-)).

If it can make any sense that I have a high comfort level with two oppositional perspectives both being true at the same time then I say, "I whole-heartedly half agree with you and half disagree with you."

 (-)laugh2(-)

Quote
That is the position from which I feel I argue about all this stuff and anything philosophical.

That's completely fine with me.  I understand and relate to that.  I think the tricky thing is that my style of argument may seem to be identical to this on the surface (and I have often said very similar things to what you are saying) . . . but I have "ulterior motives".  Namely, it is some kind of feeling-level engagement that I am looking for.  Not a "my ideas vs. your ideas" . . . but a "how are you and I alike and on what ground or in what language can we build a bridge between us?"  With that bridge we would be able to say, "we know how we think and feel and how these feelings and thoughts relate to and reflect off of one another."  It's a process of self-definition (in relation to the Other).  Because only when we understand our true similarities and true differences can we genuinely relate to one another (i.e., relate without projections and so forth).

It's just like the engagement of knights in the medieval romances.  Originally two wills "meet in the woods" and stand in one another's ways.  Battle ensues, but in that battle, the true nature, strength, and honor of the individuals is revealed.  The battle ends when each party has come to understand who the opponent really is and what s/he is made of.  Therefore, ritually, the "true name" is shared with the other . . . and the two are bonded together in fraternal love and camaraderie.

I have been worrying though, that you would "fight to the death" rather than to the point of recognition of and respect for the Other.  But we may have a "mirror within a mirror" reaction going on here.

So the hero figure who starts off aggressively (separative) finds he or she must give up, on some level, an egoic stubbornness of attitude as other, unaccounted for aspects of the psyche assert themselves under the direction of the Self as archetype of the whole psyche until the ego lets go of those limiting assumptions.  The hero figure who starts off passively (connective bias) is cajoled into a more assertive stance and finds him or herself more empowered after the adventure than before because it realizes that in its connection to the Self it is an empowered center with influence reaching from inner horizon to inner horizon.

I would generally agree that the input from the Self is compensatory.  But we are complex creatures.  We are many things at once, and many of these things are contradictory with one another.  So the Self may encourage certain kinds of heroism in an ego that doesn't recognize its own aptitude for such heroism.  But this same ego may believe it is "heroic" in other ways, and the Self may stand against that. Both happen simultaneously, and that is confusing.

This has been, at least, my personal experience.  But inflation is very devilish.  That is, those times when we believe in our own heroism even against the compensatory Will of the Self.  It's hard to recognize when this is and hard to let go even after we recognize it.

I have a differing view of the ego-Self as two sides of the same coin rather than ego as an organ of the Self.  The ego, in its objective, universal characteristics, realized as such, will probably be encountered as a powerful or omniscient Other while the ego in its subjective, particular characteristics will probably be seen as small and ignorant Me when seen against the diverse, complex and adaptive wonder that is the greater psyche.  One analogy might be the valuation of the Earth and the human race which is, to the extent that we are the greatest, most adaptive expression of the Universe central and powerful and to the extent that we can affect the vastness of the space in which we live, we are tiny, inconsequential and largely unnoticed.

Yes.  And taking this analogy, I would be the kind of person who says, "We live in the universe" . . . not "we live on the Earth".  Also, "Even though we think we are living as the masters of the Earth, we are actually living within the vast universe, making our sense of mastery an illusion."  I think we become better beings, more ethical, more connected, when we recognize that we live in the universe and not on our throne, the Earth.  Even illusory power corrupts.

I would also make the analogy (although it is, I think partially a scientific fact, too) that the ego is to the psyche as short-term or working memory is to long-term memory.  We get the feeling that when we think, we are creating, constructing, controlling . . . but really, most of what we "think" just comes into consciousness (step back for a second and observe your thought process if you disagree).  We call for memories to come and they come (sometimes, not all the time).  We do not go down to get them and we do not recreate them in consciousness.  I see the ego as like looking at a slide under a microscope.  It is a point of focus, our consciousness.  But we do not prepare the slides or switch them around or file the stored contents away on a shelf, or create the "specimens" we are studying, etc.  We, as egos, just see through the microscope.  What goes on beyond the view of that microscope is only intuited.  It is "context" to consciousness . . . and we have no control over that context.


The Self as prefigured or developed in process is co-important in that a Self with an undeveloped ego is not much more than an ego unrelated to the Self.

The Self is dependent on the ego to get libido into and out of the environment, in order to live.  I see the ego's relationship to the Self (as the alchemists did, too) as akin to the redemption of God by the son (or daughter).  The abstract parent god can't live in the world.  The child/hero (the heroic ego) seeks to bring the god into the world, sacrificing his or her dependence on the providence of that parent god.  In other words, God is lost and maybe dying.  If we don't harness consciousness to the task of saving and redeeming God, then God will die.  This is essentially what the alchemists believed, as well.

So the importance of the ego (perhaps not really a "co-importance") is not a matter of its ability to "be God", but its ability to redeem or heal God (by bringing God into the world . . . not pretending to be God in the world).  The key difference is between facilitating and pretending to be God.  Facilitation requires great sacrifice and humility ("he who would be first must be last", etc.)  This is what the Gnostic Christian story is all about.  Not righteousness, but honor.

I also don't hold the adaptation to the inner world as a higher one than the adaptation to the outer world as I believe the two worlds are two sides of the same coin as well.  The Self is the indispensible guide and support for the development of the ego, it is the God-like potential whereas the ego is the matter-like realization.  My hats off to both which, as I believe, are really One.   (-)howdy(-)

I completely agree.  I read this into the alchemical opus or opera.  The first/Lunar/White opus is about adapting the ego to the Self and defining/differentiating ego and Self through the construction of a Logos (the filius philosophorum).  The second/Solar/Red opus is about learning how to facilitate the Self's adaptation to the world, to the outer environment (by continuing to develop an outwardly directed Logos and allowing the filius philosophorum to grow to adulthood).  The problem is that we can't pursue the second opus in Good Faith until we have completed the first.  They are sequential.  If we think we are doing "second opus Work" when we haven't completed the first opus, we will become inflated and live in Bad Faith, in delusion and self-aggrandizement.  We cannot do second-opus Work in Good Faith until we have functionally differentiated ego from Self.  Until we accomplish that, we really don't know who is calling the shots.  We can't tell God from "the Me".  And this is precisely how (in my opinion) our ideas of God so often get invested with egoic and anthropic characteristics.


I guess what I do is take any given view, try to imagine a mirror image of it and keep both in mind for looking at potentially archetypal content.  Where I feel the danger lies mostly is in pairing polarities together (masculine-feminine to separative-connective) and thereby not considering a potential counter alignment.  However, noticing these polarities and their mutual potential alignments is indispensible to the Work.

Jung's thinking on this kind of thing (as I expect you know) was that, in order to be/become conscious, we have to take a position on something.  Then, we can come to recognize the antithesis of that position and how these Opposites relate to one another.  Then we can work to make a synthesis of the Opposites.  But even in synthesis, there is a position to maintain.  The idea that we can or should maintain "positionlessness" is what the Jungians would consider a "puer notion".  That is, it remains nebulous, undefined, but only because it anchors itself to some kind of parental ground that enables this attitude or provides a safe space for it.  We can't really deal with others or with the world, though, when we opt for puer positionlessness.  We might imagine we are "relating" and that we "float in the Unus Mundus" or are one with the anima mundi, but really we are only umbilically tied to the maternal unconscious, which is our all-provident lifeline.  If we go out "into the world" or engage with a genuine Other, we must either take up a position of be blown away.  Puer positionlessness is maladaptive, in other words.  It cannot relate, because it cannot endure Otherness.

There can't be a heroic attitude without moral differentiation: this is what I stand against, and this is what I stand for.  We can't sacrifice this kind of attitude and still be ethical or connected to others.  So we need to have some way of bringing justice or fairness into our judgments and positions . . . which is what I think "honor" is for.  Honor is a code for or a way of valuating and relating to the Other, of seeing oneself in the Other . . . but also knowing the differences.  Honor tempers judgment.  But the perpetuation of Opposites never ends . . . the honorable, after all, opposes the dishonorable.  There is never any positionlessness in consciousness.  We can keep synthesizing and synthesizing, but this still leads us to a thesis.  And for every thesis there is an antithesis.  Maybe not a credible or "sane" antithesis . . . but much of life seems to be a matter of dealing with incredible and insane people.

I certainly don't think of you as one of those.  But I did feel like your proposed antithesis (or the thesis I opposed with my antithesis (-)ball(-)) was not entirely "sane" . . . as in livable, a livable philosophy.  For some reason it didn't occur to me that you would be accentuating your position in reflection of my own.  I mean I sensed a "defense" (as I said in the post above) . . . but I didn't fully consider a reflection, a mutual reflection, that is.

I'm sorry about that.  Always the "analyst", I worried that what I sensed as "defense" was complex-driven (thinking of the situation in terms of your more recent dreams with shadow figures in them).  I worried that I was driving you into the grip of the Demon when I really wanted to say, "Watch out!  There's the Demon!  Back away slowly."

Well, I'm still pretty confused . . . but glad to hear what you wrote in this post, as it makes a lot more sense to me.  Still . . . Watch out for the Demon!  The Deeeeemonnnn!!  (-)922(-)  (-)laugh(-)

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

   [Bob Dylan,"Mississippi]

Sealchan

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Re: the Hero Archetype
« Reply #40 on: February 21, 2008, 05:33:34 PM »
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Well, I'm still pretty confused . . . but glad to hear what you wrote in this post, as it makes a lot more sense to me.  Still . . . Watch out for the Demon!  The Deeeeemonnnn!!   

Well, the little odyssey that we have been on has been, I believe, at least in part due to an argumentativeness that I "fell" into here.  It is not like those situations where I get much more strongly possessed as if I am fighting for my life or something.  Those seem to have to do with logistics and other inconsequential choices which tie me up in knots.  I am a very habitual person who finds interruptions or the unexpected, especially after work or the end of a work week, to be maddening.

But this argumentativeness, this has mainly been an issue in my relationship with my wife.  It may be an aggressive response to a stronger feeling function.  If this is true then it would fit in with my sense that my tertiary function is feeling and my inferior function is sensation.   I have a mild form of possession (and after reading your last post and finding that I just about completely agree with you, I does feel like it was a possession) with the tertiary feeling function and a more extreme possession of the unconscious with my inferior sensation function.

As such this is all been building in that it is a familiar pattern of behavior but for me to come out of it spontaneously is unusual.  Maybe I have made the swim to the resort...

So maybe my dream work is helping and my consciousness and self-consciousness is growing.  I have long thought that the possession by a mood even a fairly mild (argumentative one) is one of the orienting arrows for where one should take the next step...this is the path of "follow your suffering" which I imagine is the compliment to "follow your bliss".

Thanks for the therapy session!  lol

Matt Koeske

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Re: the Hero Archetype
« Reply #41 on: February 22, 2008, 10:37:19 AM »
Thanks for the therapy session!  lol

It's been a two-way therapy (like any constructive relationship).  I am grateful, too.

Please don't think I ever had any idea what I was doing  (-).?!.(-)  (-)laugh(-).  It's just like in alchemy, you put two different types of wills into the vessel together . . . dissolve, apply heat . . . and what happens is "Nature", not individual intention.

I'm still finishing up my dream write-up that relates to our conversation.  Should be posted today.

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

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