Friday, January 06, 2006


Carl Jung – Approaching the Unconscious

We have lost the emotional connection to the world we live in.  Jung uses the superstition of the number 13 to show that everything in our world holds a logical explanation.  There is no longer any room for an emotional response to the world that surrounds us because everything demands an explanation.  Knowing why frees us from wonder.  

I think it also has to do with how we know why things happen.  We miss the connections, take nature for instance.  In biology a person learns all about all the different categories of species and where everything fits in a linear order.  It makes it pretty handy to memorize, but what use is it outside of the classroom?  Everything interacts outside the classroom and ecology is the only place we learn about the interactions.  

Maybe if a person could recognize all the complex connections between animals and plants and human culture I think it might show that the stupid myths are not so stupid after all, that they show some insight into things that are written off by science and modern culture.  

Getting back to Freud, I think science has become the protective father figure that God used to be.  Myth is not lost; it is just made rational and emotionally detached.  Jung would say that the protective father is an archetype and has manifested itself in both God and science for different people.  

People need enough mystery to keep life interesting but enough explanation to be able to go on with life.  It doesn’t make sense that all of life and the suffering people must endure would happen for no reason.  It has to be because of barometric pressure or that God was angry.  People need reasons.  

The difference is that explaining things with God takes emotional involvement and science doesn’t.    Jung isn’t arguing for or against science or God, he is just saying that life has changed from an emotionally involved explanation to an unemotional explanation.  But the fact still remains that humans have an unconscious emotion that still needs an explanation.  

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