Carl Jung and the Spiritual Problem of the Modern Individual
Posted: 24 November 2017 10:41 PM   [ Ignore ]
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Carl Jung and the Spiritual Problem of the Modern Individual
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vkoc0ltIBF4&feature=youtu.be

In this video we examine Carl Jung’s insights on what he called a spiritual problem, which afflicts many people today.
Jung believed the rise of State power is a by-product of the proliferation of the spiritual problem affecting the modern world.
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... Jung believed that the emergence of this spiritual problem coincided with the declining influence that traditional religions, most prominently Christianity, have had on Western societies over the last several centuries.

... an increase in uniformity and a drastic decrease in the importance of the individual.
Massification of Society

For in order to model and subsequently remake society based on scientific and rational principles, the uniqueness of the individual must be negated in favor of statistical averages and the redesign of society enacted by a group of elites, or Technocrats, who view humans as nothing but abstractions, homogenous social units to be managed and manipulated.

... it thrust aside the individual in favor of anonymous units that pile up into mass formations ... He can only play the role of an interchangeable unit of infinitesimal importance.

... The individuals feeling of weakness, indeed of non-existence, is compensated by the eruption of hitherto unknown desires for power. 
It is the revolt of the powerless, the insatiable greed of the “have-nots”

Seems to help explain some of today’s general dysfunction.

It’s a short video but worth it.

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Posted: 26 November 2017 08:38 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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Maybe he covers it elsewhere, but I don’t get what he’s saying about this inward journey. Where does he think we should all go? I don’t mean to be facetious, especially since I find nothing about raising up the individual in religion, especially Christianity. Seems to me he’s imagining something we had, then saying we lost it. In the entire Bible, you’re either someone who spoke to God, or you’re a “unit of infinitesimal importance”. Most women are just baby machines. The ones who follow Moses constantly complain, then get sent to fight wars. In the gospels, the bit parts are all lepers and sinners and just fall at the feet of Jesus when they see him. There is no inner reflection, no development of self.

When I left that and went on my own spiritual quest, what I found was my need to be with others. It’s a challenge to express myself without becoming part of some mass, but there’s safety in numbers and strength in numbers, so compromise is necessary. This seems more like Carl wants something for himself but doesn’t want to give up anything to get it.

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Posted: 26 November 2017 09:33 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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Citizenschallenge-v.3 - 24 November 2017 10:41 PM

Carl Jung and the Spiritual Problem of the Modern Individual
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vkoc0ltIBF4&feature=youtu.be
Academy of Ideas

Lausten - 26 November 2017 08:38 AM

...
When I left that and went on my own spiritual quest, what I found was my need to be with others. It’s a challenge to express myself without becoming part of some mass, but there’s safety in numbers and strength in numbers, so compromise is necessary. This seems more like Carl wants something for himself but doesn’t want to give up anything to get it.

I’m sure he did, his collected works fills shelves.

I claim no expertise on Jung, my affinity for him is founded on how much what little I’ve read by him resonates within me.  Thus I don’t presume to speak for him, but rather am sharing my interpretation according to my experiences and perceptions.  With that, lets look at the opening paragraphs from that video.

Carl Jung…
This spiritual problem continues to be an issue for many people in the modern world and it’s widespread existence poses a great threat to the freedom and prosperity of Western societies. 

For not only do those afflicted by it suffer as individuals but as more fall victim to it, the stability of a society falters and the potential for political and social unrest increases. 

Jung observed the social ramifications of this problem play out firsthand in the form of two world wars in the rise of numerous totalitarian States.  He was so appalled by these events that he tried his best to convey his insights to others in the hope of averting similar occurrences in the future.

Jung believed that the emergence of this spiritual problem coincided with the declining influence that traditional religions most prominently Christianity have had on Western societies over the past several centuries.  Casting aside these religions has had many effects but the one which Jung saw as most pressing was the fact that it forced countless people to face the existential dilemmas of human life without the helpful crutch of religious dogma. 

How totally different did the world appear to medieval man.  For him the earth was eternally fixed and at rest in the center of the universe men were all children of God under the loving care of the Most High who prepared them for eternal blessedness and all knew exactly what they should do and how they should conduct themselves, in order to rise from a corruptible world to an incorruptible and joyous existence.

Such a life no longer seems real to us even in our dreams in addition to the rise of secularism.  Jung suggested that the development of modern math society also played a significant role in the emergence of the spiritual problem modern society that came into existence during in the Industrial Revolution when large portions of the population were driven from small towns into big cities in search of work and opportunity, instigating the birth of a mass society.

While the development of a mass society generated benefits through the intensification of the division of labor, it also brought perilous problems this new form of existence.  Jung wrote, produced an individual who was unstable insecure and suggestible, the insecurity of the individual in a mass society is partly a function of the sheer quantity of people which surround him. 

The bigger the crowd the more nullified the individual feels.

Sums up today’s situation.

Lausten - 26 November 2017 08:38 AM

Maybe he covers it elsewhere, but I don’t get what he’s saying about this inward journey. Where does he think we should all go? I don’t mean to be facetious, especially since I find nothing about raising up the individual in religion, especially Christianity. Seems to me he’s imagining something we had, then saying we lost it. In the entire Bible, you’re either someone who spoke to God, or you’re a “unit of infinitesimal importance”. Most women are just baby machines. The ones who follow Moses constantly complain, then get sent to fight wars. In the gospels, the bit parts are all lepers and sinners and just fall at the feet of Jesus when they see him. There is no inner reflection, no development of self.

Christianity provides all the answers, if you believe, if you commit yourself to Jesus and believe everything priest’s tell you, then heaven will be your reward. 

I can relate because from about 9ish to early teens I bought into that Christian story with all my heart and soul.
Then when the entire dishonesty of the Bible and what religious elders were telling us became too obvious to ignore I jettisoned all that.  But I remember real well not just the elation of being set free and in charge of my own life, but also the emptiness, the aloneness in the huge universe, and dealing with the reality of mortality and the void after I die.  What did it all mean?  What was the point?

Where else can you go with such a “spiritual struggle” but inward?
That’s the place I needed to go, inward to face and wrestle with my own death, and yes my individual-ness in the universe, the primal loneness.  Into this world alone I was born and out of this world alone I will die.  How to find peace in that?  That can only be accomplished through a serious inner search, which in my case eventually I had me winding up with a vision of my own religious myth based on my woo interpretation of real life facts as I understood them at the time.  Here goes:

I envisioned my(everyone’s) birth, as union between an egg, a sperm, and a passing cosmic spark of energy. (one of many holy trinities).  It is the healthy union of these three entities that brings about a living thriving baby, rather than a miscarriage (that’s probably a later embellishment wink )

In any event, as we live and grow and thrive, our spirit changes in step with the rest of our being.  You are today the sum total of all your previous days, and tomorrow you’ll be that much different from today.  Our bodies, our lives, our spirit all are a reflection of one’s life and what it dished out to you, and what you put into it, and what you get out of it, and so on and so forth.  Then when I die, the sum total of who I was gets reflected in that departing spark of life (soul, spirit smile which leaves me to emanate throughout and rejoin the all. (the white light)  Then perhaps somewhere a sliver of my departing spirit will meet with an egg and sperm and the whole cycle starts again. 

I used to invest that with a lot more gravitas, now it’s a charming kid’s story that’s close to my heart.  It’s not true, but it’s close enough to satisfy this mere mortal’s late night insecurities. 

Besides since those days my understanding of evolution has blossomed a thousand fold. 
These days given my appreciation for Deep-Time and Evolution’s fantastical story,
I have a spiritual foundation and solidity that no silly holy book worm can touch.

I believe this is sort of what Jung was trying to convey.

Lausten - 26 November 2017 08:38 AM

When I left that and went on my own spiritual quest, what I found was my need to be with others.

I think you’re right.  It’s a deeply personal journey, a loner’s journey.
I myself am by nature introspective and have aways been a bit of an inscrutable outsider, content to make my own observations and be with my own thoughts.
Though like-minded folk sure are fun for company, just haven’t been many along my way.

[ Edited: 01 December 2017 10:57 PM by Citizenschallenge-v.3 ]
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Posted: 27 November 2017 09:36 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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The bone I’m picking here is that religion does not provide all the answers. It only says that it does. And then some people say they have confirmed that it does. But those are always the insiders. They are the ones who are manipulating the culture to get people to defend it, or they are just comfortable enough to not want to question it.

The studies that have shown improved health from religion are getting a second look. They are seeing that if you have achieved some status in your church, made enough friends, then you report a high degree of happiness. But if you just show up, and no one greets you, and you smell funny, you remain on the outside and have the same self-reported happiness level as a non-member. You’re better off finding something else you like where you are welcomed.

Why do you think there are so many stories about religious icons helping those in need. It’s to reinforce that it’s the group you are in. I go to these things, they just keep “helping” the same people in their own community over and over. They buy the ingredients for cookies, sell them to each other and the church gets the money, which it needs to keep the lights on so they can have the next bake sale. All that time counts as volunteering, but they didn’t do anything.

I’m sure Jung has something to say about getting outside your own head and doing something that makes a difference. But this is not it. He may have identified a problem with culture, but I don’t think it is unique to modern culture. It certainly won’t be solved by going backwards into insular religious communities.

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Posted: 27 November 2017 09:24 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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Lausten - 27 November 2017 09:36 AM

The bone I’m picking here is that religion does not provide all the answers. It only says that it does. And then some people say they have confirmed that it does. But those are always the insiders. They are the ones who are manipulating the culture to get people to defend it, or they are just comfortable enough to not want to question it.

The studies that have shown improved health from religion are getting a second look. They are seeing that if you have achieved some status in your church, made enough friends, then you report a high degree of happiness. But if you just show up, and no one greets you, and you smell funny, you remain on the outside and have the same self-reported happiness level as a non-member. You’re better off finding something else you like where you are welcomed.

Why do you think there are so many stories about religious icons helping those in need. It’s to reinforce that it’s the group you are in. I go to these things, they just keep “helping” the same people in their own community over and over. They buy the ingredients for cookies, sell them to each other and the church gets the money, which it needs to keep the lights on so they can have the next bake sale. All that time counts as volunteering, but they didn’t do anything.

I’m sure Jung has something to say about getting outside your own head and doing something that makes a difference. But this is not it. He may have identified a problem with culture, but I don’t think it is unique to modern culture. It certainly won’t be solved by going backwards into insular religious communities.

Okay, I’m with you on that.

As for perscriptive spiritual belief the only one I think makes any realistic sense in a Deep Understanding of Deep Time and Evolution - that’s where you really learn what your place in the universe is.  Of course some are horrified by being an insignificant blink, but that reality doesn’t need to be horrifying.  To imagine DNA sequences that make me healthy and functioning, were originally pioneered millions, some billions of years ago and handed down ever since.  That is amazing.  Or to imagine that often the difference between life and geologic rock is only time.  Many wonders await those who seek in learn about evolution.

Back to the drift of what you wrote - after writing that I wound up listening to a lecture by

Jordan Peterson: “Jung (Depth Psychology)”
Feb 16, 2016
University of Toronto professor and clinical psychologist, Jordan Peterson, delivers Part 6 of his lecture series entitled Personality & Its Transformations.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hw7NvWvwVCA

Interesting provocative talker, seemed to be all over the place.  Besides considered Jung perhaps the smartest person of the 20th century, he also feels Jung was profoundly dangerous, his crime at 19:40 -  “Jung was trying to bring the primordial imagination back into the world, and to make people conscious of it.”

Like I said I’m only casually familiar with Jung and this guys vehemence really surprised me - something I was totally unfamiliar with.
It brought home with a vengeance my musing about being the sum total of all the days that come before and tomorrow being different from today.
And indeed, considering how much Jung has been a sort of intellectual hero for me, it rattled me in a wake up sort of way.
Never thought of the primitive mind as a profound danger to a modern man, but chewing on it, the notion is making sense.

I’ll probably listen to some of his other lectures, though I don’t think I like him,
I’m thinking he’s too full on into religion as the only underpinning for a sane human. 
Which brings me full circle to what you wrote up there.
and rejecting the egomaniacal notion of personal gods and religions with all their contrived edicts, at least for us, even if the sheople can’t pull themselves free.

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Posted: 04 December 2017 09:16 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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Jordan can be intriguing, but in the end, I think he just has an ability to weave a lot of things together and make them sound good. He hits on enough profound insight to make you think something is there, but he skips quickly over pure speculation too often. Sam Harris interviewed him and compared him to a little experiment he (Sam) did. Sam went into a bookstore and randomly picked up a book, then interpreted it spiritually. It happened to be a cook book. Jordan rarely references historical data when claiming a symbolic meaning of something.

I get the deep time sense of reality. It was the solid ground that I found after dropping the religious narrative. I’m not sure what sense you are taking the “dangerous” part of that. If “primordial imagination” is just seeing patterns in nature and connecting them to our psyche, that can be good or bad. If we see our connection to the world and realize we are part of it, not the dominator of it, that could be bad for short sighted capitalism, and good for the long term health of the planet and humanity. If nihilism becomes the dominant thinking, I suppose that could be bad. I think it’s what Nietzsche was saying. But Nietzsche didn’t recognize humanity’s infinite ability to care each other as a value in itself.

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Posted: 09 December 2017 04:28 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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There is a very dangerous Biblical spiritual problem. The real danger is it exits at all in the minds of some of our species. Proves how primitive we still are.

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