I wrote about this twice! Will be combining it but for now…
Let’s break it down paragraph by paragraph but I want to begin by talking about the Self and what I learned from Dr Adriana Mazzarella, the Jungian analyst who was my ESL student and the author of a Jungian interpretation of Dante’s Divine Comedy.
The symbiotic group is always based on egocentrism, on the neurotic override of the Self. The neurotic override of the Self is what you get or bring about within yourself when under trauma and excessive discipline or neglect you learned to accommodate your abuser and the abusive environment you were being raised in.
Jung’s Self (which I always capitalize to distinguish it from its everyday meaning as one’s self) is essentially the “Cross” on which we live or should live. The intersection of the interpretive process or “thinking” with the somatic experience or “sensation” would be the person conducting the Self into the world. According to Dr. Mazzarella, the Cross is one of the oldest symbols in human history.
A person does not have much choice about this. To be whole, you must be that conductor. There is no being in the world without it, as it were.
Dr. Mazzarella further said that the Cross can rotate two ways. The clockwise direction being the one that represents the person acceding to the Cross’s direction and possession, whereas the counter-clockwise Cross represents the demonic. Note that it has always appeared to me that German fascists preferred the counter-clockwise Swastika.
The doctor pointed out that in Hinduism, gods and goddesses had both normal and demonic forms. I would say that the demonic form represented a self-divinization process with self-exaltation. History and literature of full of such examples.
On the other hand, the person who lives out the reality of the Cross’s intersection, accepts his experience as real and limiting and contributes back to the Universe or God. A lot more to be said here.
When hunters killed buffalo by the tens of thousands in the nineteenth century, this was demonic. The killing provided a high. A moment of exaltation. The native population also killed buffalo but usually as needed and with gratitude.
All manner of activity has this dimension of the holier aspect and the demonic aspect. Sex, for example. When sex is not contextualized with love and conscience but sought as a high, that easily moves one to the demonic.
The telling aspect would be when you become unable to let go. This is accompanied by feelings of inferiority and/or exaltation. You are then an addict.
I am going to go round and round on this topic. The developmental process just has too many aspects and I cannot reduce it to a few paragraphs no matter how hard I try.
This point of view would be based on the notion or paradigm that the child has a real identity at birth and that the parents and others involved in the child’s development are there to help bring out what is legitimately within the child in such as way as to accommodate the child’s environment, his family, religious or ethnic group.
If the parents lack balance, the very sense that the child seeks what is taboo will send off alarm bells. Once damage is done, the child develops along a neurotic line, as it were. That is, the child will have too much or too little control over himself. If the feelings and behaviors that had to be repressed are really excessive, even a child could have headaches and stomachaches. I did. More likely there will be acting out behavior wise. Parents will say that they cannot understand why their child acts this way. My own father would actually ask us if we were possessed.
This human being, having experienced stunting of his personal expression, will seek out approval and reproduce the exaggerated one-sided attitudes and behaviors of his parents.
That lasting sense of incompleteness will prompt hero worship and the attempt to embody the neurotic ideal that wounded the child in the first place. A neurotic ideal would be one that had no balance or limitation from a complementary or opposing ideal.
We’ll talk about Oedipus and the Jungian point of view regarding the child, especially, the boy, in relation to his mother as he attempt to embody his father and get that approval.
The real problem is the control system. Once the child has to override his inherent sense of himself, he has lost “the kingdom of heaven”. That is, he can no longer express his total psyche.
In my case I had specific dreams in which I found the “ghost” of a relative I admired in the basement of my parents’ house and my sister was “afraid of him”.
The control is now in the transplanted overriding values that are held in the cerebral cortex. My contention for decades is that “to enter the kingdom of heaven you have to be like a child again” means you have to return the control of expression and your identity to what was inborn.
Yes, there is no “tabula rosa” or “blank sheet” at birth. We are born with major interests and tendencies and preferences. Some are not so good, but then the point would be to modify, not eliminate them.
I am not done talking about this. I think I will have to go forward and then back recapitulating to make effective progress. Sorry.
The lack of wholeness can cause you to seek external approval and to seek it compulsively. The neurotic will demand a certain attitude toward himself that is out of line. Or the person will get caught up in seeking approval excessively.
This leads to being “co-dependent”, ie, the worship of some exterior entity that represents the higher power aspect of the psyche within one’s self, but, not available or walled off and difficult to appreciate in more direct terms from within one’s own self.
You will identify with your team, political figure or cultural/moral hero. If he wins, you win.
These concepts I learned literally over decades, and I cannot reasonably expect them to be so readily taken in by people, even those sympathetic to my point of view. I hope that does not sound pompous. I know that groups of people have “complementary knowledge” and find themselves drawn to each other precisely to further their own knowledge and perspective on the world. So, the reality that I am just trying to do my job.
Most of us are boxed in by what I like to call the “Cartesian Mindset”. It’s the mindset of the West’s thinkers and analyzers. To explain this well, I need to go through a bit of personal history regarding Descartes’ “Cogito ergo Sum”...which translates out to “I think therefore I am”.
I had heard it a number of times, but it was not until the eighth grade that I ran across it written in one of the chapters of Mr. Kempner’s Latin book. Mr. Kempner was, in fact, our teacher. I have a few bones to pick regarding his attitude toward the Romans and, e.g., the Delphic Oracle and what we could call the “transcendent” in general. He was, in other words, an atheist Harvard grad in a Quaker school with all the intellectual accoutrements you could expect. I got particularly bothered by his denigration of the Delphic Oracle.
All connected. Yes, indeed. How so? Getting to that.