Friday, January 06, 2006

Emotion and Logic

Carl Jung – The Collective Unconscious

It has occurred to me that I have been pretty hard on the rational science community and the comment Freud made about connections being the hope for the end of war led me to read Stephen Hawking’s book Black Holes and Baby Universes.  He is in search of a Grand Unifying Theory that will allow him to see into the mind of God.  He sees technology and science as inevitably proceeding.  He is also very excited and fascinated by the universe he is discovering and wants to share his discoveries with the rest of humanity.  

Hawking as a man of science provides an interesting contrast to Jung.  Jung shows postulates that there is a collective unconsciousness that everyone possess from birth.  This collective unconsciousness is much like instincts that are inherited and influence behaviour.  They combine the collective knowledge of all previous humanity and evolutionary changes.  This knowledge is contained in archetypes.  When these archetypes do not find expression in a person’s life then these archetypes have a negative impact on the person.  One application of this is when a child grows up without a father that type of relationship is sought out in other authority figures.  

Jung’s accusation is that rationalism has set up walls that separate humanity from the eternity of nature.  Reading Hawking I can understand this.  Hawking tries to explain everything without standing in awe of what he is trying to explain.  This sense of awe was not lost on Pascal who stood in wonder at the place of humanity in the continuum of the unimaginably small and large.  Jung is saying that we need to look at not only the unimaginably small and large, but also the sense of awe that inspires us.  Jung leads into ourselves, guiding us with emotion and intuition instead of just rational thought, because ultimately intelligence involves intuition, emotion, and rationalism.  

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