Enantiodromia is a process outlined by the depth psychologist C. G. Jung in which one psychological modality is said to naturally flow into its apparent opposite or polar complementary.
Jung believed that nature, and by implication mankind, is self-directed toward a union of opposites. So he forwarded what could be regarded as a Jungian doctrine (some might say dogma) of psychological integration, balance and wholeness.
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- Carl Jung Depth Psychology: Knowledge with which you can bridle your thoughts.,, ~Carl Jung (carljungdepthpsychology.wordpress.com)
- Carl Jung Depth Psychology: Have you counted the murderers among the scholars? ~Carl Jung (carljungdepthpsychology.wordpress.com)
- Carl Jung Depth Psychology: The Return of the Dead (carljungdepthpsychology.wordpress.com)
- Mutus Liber – Vol. 1 No. 3 – Caduceus: The Hermetic Quarterly (carljungdepthpsychology.wordpress.com)
- Freud & Jung: Written Revelations (carljungdepthpsychology.wordpress.com)
- TEDxHamburg – John Perry Barlow – Enantiodromia (newsworldwide.wordpress.com)
The internet (a.k.a. WWW, World Wide Web, the web, the net) is changing so rapidly that every time I come back to update this entry (that is, every few years), I find it hopelessly outdated.
First developed by the USA military in response to the Russian Sputnik satellite of 1957, the web really came to maturity in the 1990s, but free Telnet access had been available in the US since 1975.
Since dominating the market in the 90s, the web remains relatively new and fast changing. And although it didn’t create a global utopia, the internet does represent a whole new vista for mankind’s ability to share information.
Not just a massive, worldwide encyclopedia, the web is a medium – some would say “space” – where those with access to a computer and an ISP (internet service provider) may create their own web sites to express personal views, share information, communicate or sell goods and services.
In its beginnings, many hailed the internet as the new organ of democracy, others saw it as the royal road to riches. Then came the so-called dot.com winter where a large number of internet businesses went bust. Early idealistic and get-rich-quick thinking about the internet was gradually replaced by a more realistic view of its tremendous potential.
Although an exciting media technology, the web operates within existing global structures. As such, its economic and transformational potential depends on a variety of factors and, at bottom, choices made by human beings and their governing bodies.
While the web continues to get bigger and faster, specialty features like customized headline search involving RSS (really simple syndication) and various applications (Apps), in combination with new wireless technologies have made the internet an even more effective tool for gathering information. And social media sites like YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Blogger, WordPress, Flickr and free software like Skype have pretty much changed the way we relate as a species.
All this change has taken place with a simultaneous growth in hardware. Computer processors are always getting speedier, and short and long term memories larger. So a good computer of just a few years ago is really just a mediocre one today. And anyone who surfs the web a lot will be able to tell the difference in less than two seconds flat!
- Celebrating Marshall McLuhan (sandmanhotelgroup.wordpress.com)
- Further Reflections on McLuhan, TV, and the Web (billives.typepad.com)
- Internet can be crucial to a teen’s psychological development (scienceblog.com)
- McLuhan At 100: Five Things To Read (huffingtonpost.ca)
- Addicted to the Internet (laurenlocks.wordpress.com)
- Early Media Prophet Is Now Getting His Due (nytimes.com)
- Minutes to a Healthier You: Walk Away From the Laptop (fitsugar.com)
- ‘Finding yourself’ on Facebook (eurekalert.org)
- Marshall McLuhan’s legacy: Don’t downplay the comic books (cbc.ca)
- Internet Addiction Quiz (mraybould.wordpress.com)
Not a few world mythologies and religions suggest that some beings and objects have the ability to change shape.
In ancient Greece, for example, Zeus transforms himself into a Swan to entice Leda. And in ancient Rome, Ovid‘s Metamorphosis is mostly about gods, animals, people and objects that continually change shape.
The idea is also found in Europe, Africa, South America, North America and China. Among these cultures, the wolf, tiger, fox and jaguar figure prominently as shapeshifters.
Traditionally, shapeshifting may involve transformations among people, spirits of the dead, gods or animals. Sometimes it involves a man or woman becoming a beast-man or beast-woman.
Ethically speaking, shapeshifters may be good, evil or something in-between, as with the Native American trickster.
The ancient Chinese distinguish between legal and illegal shapeshifting. Legal shapeshifting results from increased knowledge through the study of ancient classics. Illegal shapeshifting is gained through a form of tantric sex where female power is stolen by the male though the act of coitus reservatus—i.e. copulation without male ejaculation.
Contemporary ET and UFO lore talks about alleged alien shapeshifters from another planet or dimension, living on Earth and masquerading as human beings. Some conspiracy theorists believe that ET shapeshifters are here to dominate and oppress humanity, others take a less alarming approach, saying they’re benevolent creatures trying to guide us to a brighter future.
In science fiction the shapeshifter theme is widespread. Actor René Auberjonois, for instance, plays Odo in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, a character who can assume any form he chooses.
» Loki, Odo, Tantra, Werewolf
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Thiering, Barbara (1930 – )
Australian author of several works, including the best-selling Jesus and The Riddle of the Dead Sea Scrolls.
Thiering is something of a naturalist and believes that the miraculous aspects of the New Testament are just codified political statements. She studied the Dead Sea Scrolls, which mention a “teacher of righteousness” and writes that this teacher existed in the Qumran community, somewhere between 200 BCE and the time of Jesus.
For Thiering the Dead Sea Scrolls reveal the social conditions and practices of that Qumran community. And she believes the New Testament writings about the nearby Early Christian community can be assessed from the perspective of that Qumran community. For instance, in Qumran all newcomers were apparently initiated, regardless of social standing, with a baptism of water. Members of the inner circle were also given “The Drink of the Community,” which Thiering says was wine.
She argues that Jesus’ first miracle of turning water into wine at the wedding ceremony at Canaan reveals the Gospel writer’s ingenious attempt to symbolically convey Christ’s true message–that is, group membership is not just for a select few, but for all types of people (John 2: 1-11).
Thiering likewise says that the miracles of the virgin birth (Matthew 1-18-25; Luke 1:26-38; Isaiah 7:14), walking on water (Matthew 14:25; Mark 6:48-51), the multiplication of loaves (Matthew 14:15-21; 15:32-38), the eating of miraculously obtained fish (John 21:1-11) and the raising of Lazarus from the dead (John 11:1-44) represent the Gospel writers’ use of symbolism to depict natural events and political motives on the part of Jesus.
Jesus, she claims, didn’t walk on water but walked on a “jetty” (i.e. a wharf or dock). She also sees the Gospel account of Peter getting “out of the boat” to “walk on the water” toward Jesus in metaphorical terms.
Peter’s becoming afraid and beginning to “sink” when the wind picked up is purely allegorical, as was Christ’s “outstretched hand” that rescued him (Matthew 14: 25-32).
Common sense dictates that we cannot “sink” while standing on a jetty. But for Thiering Peter’s symbolic sinking represents his fear of being “number two” to Christ. His sympathy with the rite of circumcision, which Paul abrogated, would make him “sink” in stature.
Citing another New Testament passage that says it’s better to drown in the sea with a millstone around your neck than suffer the consequences of putting a “stumbling block” before one God’s children (Matthew 18:6), Thiering says this passage adheres to and supports her interpretation of Peter’s sinking (Matthew 14:30) because “the same verb” is used (Jesus and The Riddle of the Dead Sea Scrolls, Toronto: Doubleday, 1992: 329).
But from a broader perspective, her argument seems questionable. Some scholars insist that portions of the Qumran scrolls were, in fact, imported from outside Qumran. Meanwhile others say that the scrolls might be commentaries on Old Testament scripture.
Randall Price says that Thiering’s logic sometimes contradicts itself. Price points out that Thiering’s use of the so-called “pesher technique,” that apparently gets at the “true meaning” of the scrolls, is a false attempt to legitimize what is nothing more than her own individual interpretation, weakly supported (as sometimes happens with overzealous researchers) by a vast amount of illogically applied data.
According to Price, “pesher” simply means commentary.
Florentino Garcia Martinez rather bluntly says:
Thiering’s work is a wholly artificial construction that not only disregards logic and distorts the meaning of events, but trespasses all reasonable boundaries of sound historical reconstruction (See Randall Price, Secrets of the Dead Sea Scrolls, Eugene, Oregon: Harvest House Publishers, 1996: 361-369).
Poststructural and semiotic approaches would suggest that the motif of sinking and being rescued connotes not just one, but a plethora of possible meanings (for instance, losing and regaining faith).
Meanwhile, many Christian writers say that the symbolic import of miraculous events need not conflict with their historicity. Instead of reducing the miraculous to the natural and political, the events and teachings in the life of Christ arguably serve a dual function: First, they are actual, for the benefit of those around Christ at the time. Second, they are symbolic for the pastoral benefit of subsequent generations.
Another, partially related view from the area of depth psychology differs somewhat from Thiering’s as well as from orthodox Christian perspectives.
Depth psychology emphasizes the mythic instead of the historical dimension of Christ. Although contemporary individuals don’t undergo physical crucifixion, death and visible resurrection, Carl Jung, Joseph Campbell and others like James Hillman the Christ story depicts an archetypal truth about psychological transformation.
Individuals sometimes undergo a symbolic death of outmoded, inappropriate ego-attitudes. In the best case scenario, these are replaced by newer, more comprehensive realizations–a symbolic type of resurrection. » Christology, Language
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Alchemy In everyday usage the word alchemy describes a psychological interplay among people.
Its etymology points to the actual practice of alchemy–derived via Arabic from the Greek chemeia.
Historically, alchemy involved the heating and mixing of chemicals and mineral substances with a view toward artificially transforming base metals into gold.
The ancient Greeks in Alexandria around 300 BCE practiced the art, as did the Arabs and Chinese.
During the Middle Ages numerous shams posing as alchemists arose in England.
Few realize that Sir Isaac Newton (1642-1727) wrote on alchemy. His writings remained unpublished in his lifetime.
The theologian St. Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274) also wrote on alchemy.
In the sixteenth-century the Swiss physician Paracelsus wrote extensively on alchemy.
Poet John Donne claimed “some can finde out Alchimy” in the Bible.
C. G. Jung says alchemists not only transformed substances but also practiced a psycho-spiritual technique. Jung claims that, because of the alchemists’ intimate relation to their work, the transmutation of substances paralleled their psychological development.
Raw sulfur (prima materia) was transformed into gold (the philosopher’s stone) through various boiling and chemical treatments. Thus baser aspects of the psyche were likewise transmuted to a higher state.
This involved stages, culminating in a ‘mystical union’ of the man’s anima and woman’s animus archetypes within the self, which Jung suggests are universal.
In medieval Europe twelve alchemical stages were associated with the twelve astrological houses of the zodiac.
Discounting the many historical frauds who knowingly faked the creation of gold in order to profit from aristocrats, for Jungians the alchemical quest is a personal search for immortality necessitating a sequence of a psychological deaths and rebirths.
For Jung these are not merely symbolic because positive and negative psychological states accompy each stage in the process.
Depth psychologists and some mythographers tend to see the mythic theme of dismemberment and restoration (exemplified by the Egyptian Osiris) as a parallel to the alchemical process.
The Romanian scholar of religion Mircea Eliade maintains that the alchemists quickened the natural pace of geological change–that is, they were altering time.
Eliade is not so much referring to the subjective experience of time but rather to cheating the laws of nature. Transforming raw elements into refined forms (such as carbon to diamond) requires precise geological conditions and a definite duration. By quickening the process, Eliade says the alchemists overcame a natural process and thus mastered time, itself.
Eliade’s view here seems confusing and perhaps underdeveloped. A similar type of argument could be presented in the context of buying a fast food burger instead of farming, slaughtering cows and cooking the meat for oneself. One might say that Eliade is merely playing word games as the nature of time is not truly altered in either instance.
While the alchemical process perhaps accelerates the geological rate, the Jungian Marie-Louise Von-Franz claims that the numerous stages in alchemy follow their own temporal logic, representing general phases in a process of psychological transformation.
Although often painful, Von-Franz says the alchemical stages cannot be quickened. The mythic and yet subtly visceral ‘boilings’ and ‘dismemberments’ of the psyche undergoing these transitions must be patiently endured, with the ultimate hope that maturity and wisdom – what the alchemists call the elixir of life – will eventually rise from the fire.
Jung also extends the metaphor of alchemy by likening the dynamic of human relationship to chemical interactions. Accordingly he wrote a piece called “Marriage as a Psychological Relationship” (1925). » Bhagavad Gita, Magnetizers, Ramakrishna (Sri)
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Aurobindo took the bellicose message of the Bhagavad Gita – that Arjuna must fight to fulfil his apparently holy duty – very seriously.
Sri Aurobindo constructed explosive bombs in a Calcutta home while resisting the British in India.
Placed in jail, he began a difficult spiritual path, culminating in his unique views and the founding of an ashram at the French settlement of Pondicherry, India.
His “integral yoga” aims to infuse what he believes is the highest “supramental” level of reality into the lowest, physical and “subconcient” level of physical existence.
Aurobindo apparently mysically foresaw his future spiritual partner, the French woman Mirra Alfassa, while she was residing in France, and well before she arrived in India, where she was renamed “The Mother.”
After establishing the ashram in Pondicherry, Aurobindo became increasingly in need of solitary meditation and eventually stopped appearing before gathered disciples (darshan).
He translated and wrote extensively on Hindu scriptures, expounded his ideas in works like The Life Divine and composed poetry such as Savitri.
Unlike Plato, Aurobindo believed that poetry is the best medium for communicating spiritual ideas.
In The Riddle of this World he tried to answer central religious problems (such as the existence of evil) and wrote about several different types of evil beings (asuras) whose sole intent apparently is to torment, confuse and detain those on a spiritual quest towards the allegedly highest, supramental level of awareness.
Aurobindo says an intermediary state, a midpoint between mundane imperfect and sacred true knowledge, exists in which
“one may go astray…follow false voices…that ends in spiritual disaster.”
These voices arise from the imperfect guidance of
“little Gods…[or from] the well-known danger of actually hostile beings whose sole purpose is to create confusion, falsehood, corruption”
(Aurobindo Ghose, The Riddle of This World, Calcutta: Arya Publishing House, 1933, pp. 56-57).
Aurobindo claims to have been divinely provided with funds for his spiritual duty but added that the Lord has a “maddening habit” of waiting until the last moment before providing for one’s needs.
He also believed that he helped the Allies win WW-II by virtue of his meditative intercession.
The ashram book publisher, Sabda, prints and binds Aurobindo’s writings.
Some of his contemporary followers reside in Auroville, an experimental town lying just outside of Pondicherry.
Lonely Planet’s TV host Justine Shapiro visited Auroville and seemed to imply that it was a haven for foreigners seeking enlightenment while exploiting local laborers.
On visiting the Sri Aurobindo ashram the author of this entry was asked to follow the Indian custom of removing one’s sandals at the entrance.
On returning to the ashram entrance at the end of his visit, he found that his sandals had disappeared.
Riding a bicycle barefoot back to his hotel made him realize the huge gulf existing in India between those who do and do not have shoes–perhaps the most important spiritual lesson learned that day. » Asura, Auroville, Clairaudience, Demons, Fallen Angels, Guru, Hinduism, Intercession, Jnana-yoga, Kabbala, Numinous, Pollution, Psychic Spies, Spiritual Attack, Underhill (Evelyn), Yoga
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2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) Science-fiction novel by Arthur C. Clarke, as well as a film with screenplay by Clarke and Stanley Kubrick, starring Keir Dullea and Gary Lockwood.
While the novel helps to flesh out the enigmatic film, it’s a bit pedantic. The film, on the other hand, is regarded as a cinematic classic.
In the film two interconnected themes are explored with a bare minimum of dialogue: (1) Mankind vs. Machine, and (2) Mankind in Evolution.
The machine, a HAL 9000 computer, malfunctions and murders astronaut Frank Pool and several others traveling in suspended animation en route to Jupiter (Saturn in the novel). The lone survivor, Dave Bowman, disconnects HAL’s higher processing modules, despite HAL’s advice to “take a stress pill, relax, and think it over.”
Bowman is then transported through an alien gateway to a distant world. Dying, he is reborn a Star Child.
In Clarke’s original story the child-god returns to Earth to safely detonate an orbiting hydrogen bomb. Unsure what to do next, he will “think of something.”
The catalyst for the Jupiter mission (and eventual transformation of Bowman) is a strange signal emanating from an anomalous, rectangular object discovered just underneath the Moon’s surface.
The film tells us that another, identical object was present on Earth at the dawn of mankind. The novel explains that the object, often called the monolith, was planted by aliens in order to guide the evolution of mankind.
The screenplay is far more open-ended than the novel. But both portray astronaut Dave Bowman’s metamorphosis in a way consistent with various mythic cycles relating to the theme of death and transformation.
Subsequent novels like 2010 (also a film), 2064 and 3001 use the literary device of retroactive continuity. That is, certain plot and setting details are modified by Clarke but not at the expense of a greater, more holistic sense of coherence. For instance, in the sequel film 2010 we learn that the HAL 9000 was told to lie by Washington, which was incompatible with HAL’s programming. So the computer’s somewhat sinister ‘malfunction’ of 2001 becomes something more of an unavoidable and forgivable psychosis ultimately caused by human error, as HAL ironically indicated in the original film.
3001 explores an intriguing idea where consciousness of human origin (Dave Bowman) unites with a computer program (HAL) to create a new kind of hybrid named Halman. » Cylons
Official 2001: A Space Odyssey Trailer
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