The Doors were a 1960s and early 70s rock band from Los Angeles, California, consisting of Ray Manzarek, Robby Krieger, John Densmore and lead man Jim Morrison.
Morrison was one of the bad boys of rock who also had poetic substance, charisma and exceptional singing ability. The group charted several classic tunes. Light my Fire, Hello I love you, L.A. Woman, Riders on the Storm and recorded other songs with lasting influence, such as Break on Through, Love Street, The Spy, The End, Soul Kitchen and the live epic Celebration of the Lizard.
Morrison is also a recognized poet, and his song lyrics advocate an inner journey to the psychological underworld, urging fans to “break on through to the other side.”
Morrison apparently had a photographic memory. Biographers Danny Sugarman and Jerry Hopkins say that Morrison would ask his friends to open up and tell him the page number of any book in his library. Morrison would then apparently recite from memory all the words on that particular page.¹ If this story is true, it’s conceivable that Morrison was remote viewing and not necessarily reading from memory.
Like his sometimes melancholic (and depressing?) contemporary Jimi Hendrix, Morrison’s drug induced mysticism ended up in tragedy. He died at age 27 in his Paris apartment bathtub, surrounded by rumors of ongoing substance abuse. Despite his bad end, his music, personal philosophy and raw energy still inspires young and older fans to this day.
¹ Jerry Hopkins and Danny Sugerman, No One Here Gets Out Alive, New York: Warner Books, 1980.
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Carl Gustav Jung (1875-1961) was a Swiss psychiatrist and man of letters whose cultural impact is second only, perhaps, to that of Sigmund Freud.
While Freud is cited in most scholarly textbooks and dictionaries about society and culture, Jung is only mentioned in some. That’s probably because Freud, with all his limitations, was the first to systematically conceptualize the so-called unconscious aspects of the psyche—at least, Freud was the first to do so on a grand scale.
Jung, on the other hand, was at one time Freud’s favored disciple. As such, his model of the unconscious, as useful as many may find it, builds on Freud’s work.
Another reason Freud might still be more popular than Jung is that Freud speaks to a level of awareness that most members of 21stC culture — or at least, visible culture — can appreciate. Freud still hits, as it were, because his theory reflects the status quo.
However, from the perspective of those who envision the spirit as something different from culture and nature, it appears that not a few people confuse the idea of grace with mere biochemical or sensory impulses. For example, if a long distance runner has only experienced endorphin rushes, or if a canoeist has only delighted at the aesthetics of nature, these people might not understand that grace is something entirely different from biochemically or naturally induced pleasures. So Freud makes sense to these people because, arguably, they haven’t experienced anything else that would demand a better and more complete explanation than Freud’s theory can afford.
From the spiritual person’s vantage point, on the other hand, Freud may have some valuable insights but he’s also terribly reductionist. Along these lines, Jungians will usually say that, as a visionary of sorts, Jung’s full impact is yet to be seen. Mankind just has to catch up with Jung’s forward looking insights. But until that time, Jung will always be number two to Freud. (The jury’s still out on this, of course).
In his early days, Jung distinguished himself with his work in developing a word-association technique, finalized in 1906, which apparently identified unconscious complexes.
In 1907, Jung visited Freud and quickly became part of Freud’s inner circle in the newly arising school of psychoanalysis. As Freud’s protégé, Jung began to formulate his own theories, especially in relation to the libido.
Fearing his professional differences with Freud would rupture their mentor-mentee relationship, Jung withheld his ideas until 1914, at which time he publicly split with Freud. After that, the two never spoke again.
From 1913-1919, Jung underwent what he envisioned as a creative illness. He minimized his activities and generally withdrew from society. During this period he explored the collective unconscious in a somewhat pioneering and (apparently) controlled flight into the psychological underworld.
Jung apparently maintained his mental balance with the help of family ties, dream representation, inventive play and by developing the psychotherapeutic technique of active imagination. After recovering from his creative illness and returning to daily life, Jung began to make significant and lasting contributions to psychiatry and, more generally, to the history of human thought.
In the 1930′s, some controversy arose mainly because Jung headed the International Psychiatric Association, an organization that was funded by the Nazis in Germany. In his memoirs, Jung recounts that he was compelled to make a difficult ethical choice, deciding it best, in the long run, to work at advancing the field of psychiatry within the existing totalitarian political conditions in which he found himself. Scholars and writers still debate the ethics of his choice, their secondhand opinions being formed in hindsight.
Regardless of one’s take on Jung’s level of involvement with the Nazi’s, his work on synchronicity and numinosity are nothing short of groundbreaking. And his innovative work on personality types directly influenced the Myers-Briggs model (and its many offshoots) which are still used today. Moreover, Jung later openly criticized Nazi Germany, likening its sinister powers to the activation of the Teutonic Wotan archetype.
According to Jungian legend, at the time of Jung’s death, his favorite tree at Kusnacht was struck by lightning. And around this time, Jung’s old friend Laurens van der Post dreamed that Jung appeared to him saying, “I’ll be seeing you.”
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The Kraken is a huge sea monster apparently spotted off the coasts of Norway and Iceland. It is also known as sykraken, sea kraken, or krabben because of its flat, rounded shape and numerous arms.
Reports from sailors claim that it’s between a mile and two miles in circumference and creates a huge whirlpool when submerging, sucking even the largest seafaring vessels underwater.
Although the word Kraken never appears in the old Norse Sagas, the idea of sea monsters is certainly present.
The Norwegian Churchman Erik Pontoppidan first popularized the term Kraken in the “Natural History of Norway” in 1752-53.
In reality, the Kraken may be nothing more than large squids spied by weary and imaginative sailors suffering from the malnutrition that often came with sea voyages in those days (it’s now known that malnutrition can affect brain performance and thus proper perception and judgment).
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In Freudian theory, this is a defense mechanism where the ego divides into one or more parts to attempt to deal with anxiety.
One part remains fully conscious and is experienced as the real self, while the other may become unconscious and projected onto an object (a Freudian term that includes another person).
When a split-off aspect of the ego is projected, the object is often unrealistically seen as alternating between being “good” and “bad.”
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In Sigmund Freud’s classic work on dreams and the unconscious, The Interpretation of Dreams (German edition: 1899 & 1900), secondary revision is said to occur whenever we remember a dream’s content.
Freud says the original dream content is usually obscure, incoherent and highly symbolic, and our memory of it is fragmented at best.
On waking the conscious mind fills in the gaps to make some kind of sense out of the dream, even though our waking interpretation doesn’t necessarily fit with the actual dream content.
In his Dictionary of Psychology (Bantam: 1985) J. P. Chaplin calls this secondary elaboration, and says we essentially try to make a better “story” out of the dream content.
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Active Imagination An apparently therapeutic technique developed by C. G. Jung that uses some form of self-expression, such as a fantasy-image, to represent and analyze the contents of the hypothesized collective unconscious.
Active imagination may involve artistic representation but this is secondary to its essentially internal character.
Jung says imaginary changes within active imagination should be carefully observed and noted because they indicate underlying unconscious processes.
In advanced stages of active imagination, Jung suggests a more direct engagement with imaginary contents, where one puts oneself on the stage, as it were, of the unconscious and becomes one of the players.
Here, unconscious attitudes toward a person or situation may be explored by running imaginary trials – e.g. fantasy dialogue or interactions – which Jung says contribute to an overall integration of the unconscious within consciousness.
Jung, himself, practiced active imagination deeply, going as far to say that he was guided by a “ghost guru” called Philemon. When Jung became bored with Philemon, however, he cut him off.
We cannot know whether Jung was dealing with a spiritual being or a mere product of his imagination.
Due to the hypothesized interconnectedness of all things, some depth psychologists and New Age enthusiasts believe that the internal dialogue of active imagination has real effects on other people and the visible world.
The psychologist and philosopher William James similarly wrote in The Varieties of Religious Experience about ‘thought insertion’–where the power of thought apparently influences another person at a distance.
Today the archaic idea of ‘thought insertion’ is sometimes called Remote Influence within parapsychological circles.
Jung mentioned but didn’t emphasize this possibility in his published works, perhaps to avoid negative repercussions from the skeptics and “medical materialists,” as he put it, of his time.
However, Jung did speak of belonging to an alleged “inner circle” of prominent, mystically inclined thinkers such as the novelist Herman Hesse and the Chilean diplomat Miguel Serrano.
Active imagination is similar to Shakti Gawain’s notion of creative visualization but is more about developing psychological balance instead of achieving external goals. » Channeling
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The archetypal images symbolize and mediate to everyday consciousness the psychological power of the collective unconscious.
Through various modes of expression (e.g. works of art and architecture) mankind translates these hidden archetypal forces into the realm of human culture.
Some contemporary and ancient examples of archetypal images would be figures like Godzilla, the Klingons, The Cylons, Luke Skywalker, the Magician, the Witch, the Angel, Yahweh and the Devil.
Jung believes that the ancients did not always view the archetypal images as mere symbols, but as actual things in themselves. The Indian sun god, Surya, for instance, was not a symbol but a real deity, diurnally traveling across and lighting the heavens in a splendid chariot.
Likewise, many American Indian cultures firmly believe that their myths tell of actual ancient events and heroic ancestors.
Meanwhile, contemporary Catholics believe that the Eucharist is not a symbol but the real presence – in essence but not form – of the body and blood of Jesus Christ.†
On the topic of UFOs, Jung regarded the rounded saucers of the 1950s as archetypal images of the human self, not unlike the mandala. But Jung didn’t rule out the possibility of actual UFOs.
However, Jung was not quite so open-minded with regard to Christian religious truth-claims, choosing to adapt them into his own theoretical structures. At times he speaks of the crucifixion of Jesus, for instance, as producing a mere “skewed symbol of the self” (i.e. the crucifix) instead of seeing Jesus’ death as a saving sacrifice, as most Christians would believe. » Archetype
Resized from “Benzaiten” by colodio at http://www.flickr.com/photos/colodio/1420007024/in/set-72157602055544339, Creative Commons License
†Belief alone does not necessarily render truth out of falsehood. But as Plato pointed out, a true belief does relate to an actual truth (if not knowledge of that truth).
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For Jung the archetypes are inherited patterns encoded in the body, universally shared by mankind.
Not unlike the gods and goddesses of ancient times, archetypes apparently have a psychic life of their own.
In fact, Jung often likens the archetypes to ancient deities, saying that the word “archetype” is a scientific-sounding update for a very old idea.
When the conscious ego encounters the archetype, the individual is said to experience a sense of the numinous.
According to Jung, this encounter may be psychologically constructive or destructive, healing or disorienting. The effect of the numinous on consciousness depends on the psychological stability and maturity of the individual, as well as the character and intensity of the numinosity encountered.
The experience of the numinous is often mediated by a meaningful visual symbol (e.g. a mandala) or ecstatic activity (e.g. chanting, music-listening or dancing).
For Jung, the self is also an archetype–one of wholeness.
Visible manifestations of the archetypes appear as archetypal images. Jung distinguishes these recognizable images from the archetype proper, which Jung says can never be fully known.
This distinction between the unknowable archetype and its recognizable image is sometimes overlooked in casual commentaries about Jung. » Hero, Mandala, Otto (Rudolf), Psychoid, Trickster
“Kohenet Archetype Wheel” by Carly & Art at http://www.flickr.com/photos/wiredwitch/365378131/, Creative Commons Share Alike License
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