Consciousness

Consciousness: Articulating the Archimedean Point (part 2: metaconsciousness)

This is part two of Consciousness: Articulating the Archimedean Point. Click on this link to read Part 1 It is difficult to overemphasise this polarising dynamic of consciousness. Consciousness, for Jung, means consciousness of the opposites: ‘There is no consciousness without the discrimination of opposites’.[1] Jung’s preferred image here is the Ouroboros, an image of the opposites facing each other in conscious awareness, illustrating the birth of (meta) consciousness.  Against this Jung considered ‘involuntary one-sidedness, i.e., the inability to be anything but...

Consciousness: Articulating the Archimedean Point (Part 1)

I do not know whether it is desirable that consciousness should alter the eternal laws; I only know that occasionally it does alter them. (Jung, 1928/1966, ¶ 389) Consciousness is central to Jungian theory and application, both academically and clinically, this being the metaphorical Archimedean Point of the Jungian psyche[1], notwithstanding Jung’s perceived focus on the unconscious and the archetypal processes invoked by Jung to expand, amplify, and generally increase the vistas of the personality. Most importantly, for Jung a personality that...

Confession: secundus

As explained in my last post The Psychological Practice of Confession I have committed to an annual public confession. My first such confession was made at the end of last year (2018)[1]. This is my second annual confession. I won’t restate the reasoning behind these confessions here, which would be redundant given my prior post. However, there are a few issues I want to emphasise prior to the confession. This is done both for the purposes of providing an example of confession to students commencing on the...

Problems, dilemmas, predicaments: a Jungian approach

As long as one is alive, sane and living in the world you can be sure of having to face and negotiate problems. Much like death and taxes, problems come with the territory. To quote the Bard, To be, or not to be, that is the question: Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune, Or to take Arms against a Sea of troubles, And by opposing end them: to die, to sleep No more; and by a sleep,...

Finding Lacan in Argentina

This is a Guest Blog by Dr. Leslee Brown, owner of the MindBodyPassport company that organises educational programmes for people interested in Psychodynamics and travelling.     On my last trip to Argentina, the Argentinians told me, “When it comes to choosing a psychoanalyst, we are like women searching for the perfect perfume. We try a bit of this and a bit of that before eventually arriving at the right fit.” There are more psychoanalysts per capita in Argentina than anywhere else in...

The Painful Experience of Free Will

After Stephen wrote his blog The birth of self, I felt compelled to add my 2 cents worth to the topic. It is quite a hard one to understand, yet very interesting and we have discussed it many times over the years. Does Free Will really exist? Philosophers have been debating the concept of free will for centuries. The main question is, do we have free will? This may sound ridiculous, but let's use the simple example of you deciding to drink a...

Why Compassion is so important

I am currently busy with my  MSc in Consciousness, Spirituality and Transpersonal Psychology. My most recent assignment requires a group of us to produce a presentation and paper on one of the lectures available on the Science and Medical Network. We chose lectures by Professor Paul Gilbert who is the Head of the Mental Health research unit at the University of Derby. His research into the processes that underpin shame has led him to incorporate compassion meditation in the treatment of...

This Meaning Making Business

Anja is currently reading Les Lancaster’s Approaches to Consciousness[1] and she told me that, according to Les, we have all been “Jewish-ified” :-)[2]. This idea is based on a claim that in bringing psychoanalysis to the world, Freud was really re-imagining the Jewish tradition of the spoken Torah. As I understand it, the Rabbi’s business was (is) not only the transmission of teaching contained in the Torah, but also an ongoing exposition of his dialectical relationship with the Torah. This...

Consciousness and Freedom: Jung, Sartre, Steiner.

Freedom, that is the idea of freedom, the possibility of freedom, is a topic which strikes me as worth considering. It is, after all, arguably, the most important question philosophy can ask; and a defining parameter in our understanding of what it means to be a human being. The question simply put is this: Can an individual make choices which are not wholly determined by a prior casual chain? Is it possible, like Kant’s hypothetical God, to initiate a first act, an...

On the Nature of Love: an unromantic critique

When you love someone what is it that you love? Let me tell you why I ask. I think that often when we relate to other people we objectify them. This is most noticeable on virtual social networks such as facebook. The term facebook friend long ago started meaning something different from a friend in the real world. A friend on facebook means something like – a member of my virtual community. And much like those that follow you on Twitter a facebook friend...