06-06-07, 07:29 AM #1
If you are saying this, I would argue that this is propaganda. In other words you are saying that religious experiences and myths and rituals are really only about the psyche and not about external reality - which was generally the Jungian position.
06-06-07, 07:47 AM #2
they are symbolic and not real desciptions of what happened in reality
It doesn't mean that a person can not act like a trickster or a be a redeeming hero, but the source of it is in the psyche, i.e., the deed first happens in the person's psyche and only then it is realized in the "external reality".
About other kinds, the seprent for example, the archetype developed in human psyche because of external factors, but it still is a part of psyche and how we see, interpret and act out the world.
And I don't see why you make the difference - internal or external reality, it's all reality, any other is just a concept and does not objectively exist.
06-07-07, 10:22 AM #3
religious people, in general, are mistaken.
Nor in Heaven, hell and so on.
Jesus and Buddha agree with me, so there:
But let us stay on topic, shall we?
06-08-07, 12:25 PM #4
Humans have something in common- we are humans. There are things that we all experience. Death. Birth. Sex. Food. Sleep. Nature. All those things are equal, throughout the world. Archetypes are created through those things. So, logically, archetypes are symbols of our shared experience on this planet.
06-09-07, 08:32 AM #5
06-09-07, 01:08 PM #6
"Archetype" was used by Jung in his analysis of the "collective unconscious".
You sound ignorant in your last post. Read some more: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carl_Jung
(Man... I've become quite bold in the past year. I must be losing my patience... LOL! )
06-09-07, 01:12 PM #7
06-09-07, 03:41 PM #8
I think there's no known medical/neurological proof of that - an actual common pool of information.
I think it's more to do with how our brains are hardwired - we interpret the world alike, therefore we create images/myths that are alike.
06-09-07, 10:51 PM #9
Nonetheless, Jung did not advocate atheism. He simply wanted humanity to understand and respect the distinction between faith and reason. It's very important for a person to know that he believes something with no proof, simply because he feels it in his heart, rather than connive himself into believing that there is in fact proof for it, and then start killing people who are too stupid to see that proof staring them in the face.
Archetypes are metaphors. They are neither true nor false. This is an important point. People who say Jesus lived and the bible is truth are missing the point. But so are people who say Jesus was a fairy tale and therefore the bible is worthless. Jesus is a metaphor, for hope and forgiveness and all the good that is inside each of us but we're not always strong enough to manifest it. Jesus is an ideal that we should all strive to emulate. Jesus reminds us that we can love each other and live in peace despite our differences. He shows us that we can suffer unjustly but that we can raise above it. He encourages us to think that even though we're going to die we can still make a difference. To debate his physical existence distracts us from the importance of his myth, especially when we start shooting each other over it and violate everything we claim he stands for.
Archetypes are simply instincts that are expressed as stories, visual images, dreams and other motifs, rather than in a more basic fashion like simpler instincts such as the desire to procreate or run away from a predator.
06-10-07, 02:52 AM #10
06-10-07, 05:47 AM #11
OK. Quoting me out of context where part of one of my sentences included
...religious people in general are mistaken
meaning that that is was an assertion YOU were making you say...
As you said on another thread where you felt I was propagandizing, this is unwelcome here.
Your use of archetypes, further strengthened by your assertion that these patterns (ideas) originate in the mind are athiestic assertions. You clearly mean that people do not experience an external god and so develop a belief in HIM, hER ,ETC. Religions have been projections, according to you.
Fine, that's a theory. But it does not seem appropriate to this forum.
You could raise the same issues of patterns in religions without couching it in this athiestic form.
As far as my being on topic, when others including you thought I was propagandizing there was little effort to stay on topic. As moderator I would have assumed you would adhere to the guidelines.
I am well aware that up to that last post you did not directly insult religious people, but the ideas you are putting forward are athiestic.
But do what you like.
I would prefer not to be piecemeal quoted in the manner you did above.
Thanks. (Oh, I'll drop it now, go on with your topic. Follow your own guidelines or not)
06-10-07, 05:58 AM #12
I am well aware that up to that last post you did not directly insult religious people, but the ideas you are putting forward are athiestic.
This is the science section of Sciforums.
Fine, that's a theory. But it does not seem appropriate to this forum.
I like this quote from Babylon 5
What is truth and what is god?
If I take a lamp and shine it toward the wall, a bright spot will appear on the wall. The lamp is our search for truth, for understanding. To often we assume that the light on the wall is god, but the light is not the goal of the search. It is the result of the search. The more intense the search, the brighter the light on the wall. The brighter the light on the wall, the greater the sense of revelation of what is seen.
Similarly someone who does not search, someone who does not bring a lantern with him sees nothing.
What we perceive as god is the by-product of our search for god. It may simply be an appreciation of the light - pure and unblemished - not understanding that it comes from us.
Sometimes we spend time in front of the light and assume that we are the center of the universe, god looks astonishingly like we do, or we turn to look at our shadow and assume that all is darkness.
If we allow ourselves to get in the way, we defeat the purpose, which is to use the light of the search to illuminate the wall in all its beauty and in all its flaws, and in so doing better understand the world around us.
06-10-07, 08:10 AM #13
I offered three possibilities (I DID NOT STATE MY OPINION OR CHOICE)
2. shared consciousness
I also stated that if none of these three were the cause and we were just talking about ‘shared common experience’ then we should Not use the word archetype.
Hope that makes my ignorance more clear !!
Here is that post I refer to again;
06-10-07, 03:42 PM #14
Hope that makes my ignorance more clear !!
There's a lot to archetypes. Just follow the links I posted on Jung and the collective unconscious and you will see....
06-11-07, 05:48 AM #15
If you are just saying that all human brains are physically constructed in a similar way, then I don’t think the word archetype is applicable.
Most of the emphasis is put on Jung on these threads, but Plato was talking about the same thing over 2000 years before, although he didn’t use the word archetype, he talked of the pre-existence of forms which are filtered through the mind, brain and body and out into the physical world; always as imperfect representations of the perfect pre-existing originals. I tend to prefer Plato’s ideas in this case…
06-11-07, 01:50 PM #16
Plato's world of ideas was an expression of meaning over form, rather then a shared collective pool of allegories...
They do seem similar, though....
06-11-07, 02:03 PM #17
Have you heard of Rupert Sheldrake?
While I disagree with Sheldrake's interpretation of "Morphogenic Fields" his research points to some sort of common consciousness or "pool of information" of some other mechanism of sharing information...
Memory And Morphogenetic Fields
by Robert Gilman
Originally published in IN CONTEXT #6, Summer 1984, Page 11 Copyright (c)1984, 1997 by Context Institute
In the meantime, the puzzles about memory have grown even stranger. This part of our story will take us to one of the most controversial frontiers of current science, although it actually starts back in 1920 when W. McDougall, a biologist at Harvard, began an experiment to see if animals (in this case white rats) could inherit learning. The procedure was to teach the rats a simple task (avoiding a lighted exit), record how fast they learned, breed another generation, teach them the same task, and see how their rate of learning compared with their elders. He carried the experiment through 34 generations and found that, indeed, each generation learned faster in flat contradiction to the usual Darwinian assumptions about heredity. Such a result naturally raised controversy, and similar experiments were run to prove or disprove the result. The last of these was done by W.E. Agar at Melbourne over a period of 20 years ending in 1954. Using the same general breed of rats, he found the same pattern of results that McDougall had but in addition he found that untrained rats used as a control group also learned faster in each new generation. (Curiously, he also found that his first generation of rats started at the same rate of learning as McDougall's last generation.) No one had a good explanation for why both trained and untrained should be learning faster, but since this result did not support the idea that learning was inherited, the biology community breathed a sigh of relief and considered the matter closed.
There it stayed until 1981 when another biologist, Rupert Sheldrake, proposed a radical new interpretation in his book, A New Science Of Life (Los Angeles: J.P. Tarcher, 1982). Sheldrake's larger concern was with what biologists have for years called "morphogenetic fields." Morphogenetic means "giving birth to form," and some biologists hypothesized that, in order to explain how plants and animals grow into the forms that they have, something more than just the usual rules of physics and chemistry was needed. They described this unknown something as a "morphogenetic field." Of course, other biologists thought this was all hogwash and were convinced that an appropriately detailed application of the rules of physics would explain all of biology. In recent decades most biologists held this second position, but Sheldrake may be changing all that.
What Sheldrake has done is threefold. He has linked the longstanding biological problems of form with similar problems in areas as diverse as crystal growth and psychology. He has proposed plausible rules for how morphogenetic fields might behave. And he has suggested how his theory could be tested and shown how existing experiments, like the McDougall-Agar series, support his theory.
In 1920 William McDougall of Harvard began training rats to learn to escape from a water maze by choosing the correct exit. While the brightly lit exit would give them an electric shock, when they picked the dimly-lit exit, they got out undisturbed. McDougall found that the first generation of rats had to endure 165 shocks before getting the message. But by the 30th generation, only 20 transgressions were necessary to persuade the rats of the error in their way. (McDougall, 1938. British Journal of Psychology 28:321-345.)
McDougall assumed the rats were passing on acquired characteristics. Wishing to disprove this "Lamarckian" (and Darwinian) interpretation of the data, F. A. E. Crew replicated the experiment in Edinburgh. Right from the get-go, Crew's rats needed only 25 errors to learn their lesson, as if picking up where the Harvard rats had left off. (Crew, 1936. Journal of Genetics 33:61-101.)
In Melbourne, W. E. Agar found the same effect. His trials went on for over twenty years, and even when he tested control subjects that weren't descended from trained rats, they still showed improvement over the performance of previous generations. So it couldn't have been coming from their parents. (Agar, 1954. Journal of Experimental Biology 31:307-321.)
Acquired traits have often been observed to pass throughout a species with no known means of direct transfer from individual to individual. For instance, in England in the 20s a small bird known as the blue tit learned to open milk bottles at doorsteps. When one bird learned the trick, others in the area learned it by simple imitation. But the blue tit doesn't fly more than a few miles, and this habit spread to several widely disparate areas in England by 1935 and continued popping up in faraway places throughout the forties, including Scandinavia and Holland. The habit appeared independently at least 89 times in the British Isles, and the spread of the habit accelerated as time went on. (Fisher and Hinde, 1949. British Birds 42:347-357.) Milk bottles practically disappeared in Holland during the war, and by the time they returned all the birds that had been opening them before the war could not have survived to see their return. Yet the habit rapidly returned when the bottles were re-introduced in 1947.
Arden Mahlberg, a psychologist, carried out a test of the ability to learn Morse Code. He had one group of subjects learn actual Morse Code, while another had to learn a newly-invented code that closely resembled it. He found that subjects were able to learn the actual code far more rapidly than the alternative, and he interpreted this as evidence that the subjects
were resonating with the millions of people who had already learned Morse code. Each time he replicated the experiment, he found that the difference in learning time between Morse code and the new one progressively decreased. This might mean that the initial results were false. But the fact that the decrease was progressive suggests that the morphic resonance of the new code was becoming progressively stronger as more and more students learned it. (Mahlberg, 1987. Journal of Analytical Psychology 32:23-34.)
There've been a few experiments roughly along the lines you suggest. For instance, Gary Schwartz, a psychology professor at Yale, selected 48 words from the Hebrew Old Testament. He then scrambled these words to produce 48 more, none of which were real words in Hebrew. He asked test subjects to guess their meaning in English and then rate on a scale of 0 to 4 how confident they felt about whether they'd guessed the meaning correctly. The subjects reported feeling confident about their guesses 75% more often with the real Hebrew words than with the fakes.
Alan Pickering of Hatfield Polytechnic in England came up with a list of authentic Persian words and then created another list of fake words also written in Persian script. He would show each word to the test subjects for ten seconds, after which they would try to duplicate the word on paper. He found that his students were able to duplicate real Persian words more accurately than fake ones 75% of the time. He noted that the odds of achieving this result were 10,000 to 1. Like Schwartz, Pickering concluded that his results confirmed morphic resonance.
Last edited by one_raven; 06-11-07 at 02:17 PM. Reason: typo
06-11-07, 02:15 PM #18
Those are some interesting hypothesis, one_raven.
I see some flaws in them, but the idea is worth considering. Thanks! Really.
When I have completed my book reading experiment in two months I shall look into this, if I remember by then.
06-12-07, 01:35 PM #19
Reminds me of the "ether" hypothesis....
Anyways... this "pool of information" is what the mystics and religions around the globe call "god"...
10-07-07, 10:00 PM #20
This is my first post, and while I may not know a lot about the sciences, I do know a bit about Jung, so I thought that I'd clarify his concept of archetype and related concepts...
...sort of. I'm going to take the easy way out and let Jung speak for himself. The following comes from Daryl Sharp's The Jung Lexicon, and since the forum powers-that-be don't yet allow me to include links, any copyright issues are all yours, Avatar.
Archetype. Primordial, structural elements of the human psyche. (See also archetypal image and instinct.)
Archetypes are systems of readiness for action, and at the same time images and emotions. They are inherited with the brain structure-indeed they are its psychic aspect. They represent, on the one hand, a very strong instinctive conservatism, while on the other hand they are the most effective means conceivable of instinctive adaptation. They are thus, essentially, the chthonic portion of the psyche . . . that portion through which the psyche is attached to nature.["Mind and Earth," CW 10, par. 53.]
It is not . . . a question of inherited ideas but of inherited possibilities of ideas. Nor are they individual acquisitions but, in the main, common to all, as can be seen from [their] universal occurrence.["Concerning the Archetypes and the Anima Concept," CW 9i, par. 136.]
Archetypes are irrepresentable in themselves but their effects are discernible in archetypal images and motifs.
Archetypes . . . present themselves as ideas and images, like everything else that becomes a content of consciousness.["On the Nature of the Psyche," CW 8, par. 435.]
Archetypes are, by definition, factors and motifs that arrange the psychic elements into certain images, characterized as archetypal, but in such a way that they can be recognized only from the effects they produce.["A Psychological Approach to the Trinity," CW 11, par. 222, note 2.]
Jung also described archetypes as "instinctual images," the forms which the instincts assume. He illustrated this using the simile of the spectrum.
The dynamism of instinct is lodged as it were in the infra-red part of the spectrum, whereas the instinctual image lies in the ultra-violet part. . . . The realization and assimilation of instinct never take place at the red end, i.e., by absorption into the instinctual sphere, but only through integration of the image which signifies and at the same time evokes the instinct, although in a form quite different from the one we meet on the biological level.["On the Nature of the Psyche," CW 8, par. 414.]
(Sorry, but I couldn't link to the nifty diagram that goes here.)
Psychologically . . . the archetype as an image of instinct is a spiritual goal toward which the whole nature of man strives; it is the sea to which all rivers wend their way, the prize which the hero wrests from the fight with the dragon.[Ibid., par. 415.]
Archetypes manifest both on a personal level, through complexes, and collectively, as characteristics of whole cultures. Jung believed it was the task of each age to understand anew their content and their effects.
We can never legitimately cut loose from our archetypal foundations unless we are prepared to pay the price of a neurosis, any more than we can rid ourselves of our body and its organs without committing suicide. If we cannot deny the archetypes or otherwise neutralize them, we are confronted, at every new stage in the differentiation of consciousness to which civilization attains, with the task of finding a new interpretation appropriate to this stage, in order to connect the life of the past that still exists in us with the life of the present, which threatens to slip away from it.["The Psychology of the Child Archetype," CW 9i, par. 267.]
Archetypal image. The form or representation of an archetype in consciousness. (See also collective unconscious.)
[The archetype is] a dynamism which makes itself felt in the numinosity and fascinating power of the archetypal image.["On the Nature of the Psyche," CW 8, par. 414.]
Archetypal images, as universal patterns or motifs which come from the collective unconscious, are the basic content of religions, mythologies, legends and fairy tales.
An archetypal content expresses itself, first and foremost, in metaphors. If such a content should speak of the sun and identify with it the lion, the king, the hoard of gold guarded by the dragon, or the power that makes for the life and health of man, it is neither the one thing nor the other, but the unknown third thing that finds more or less adequate expression in all these similes, yet-to the perpetual vexation of the intellect-remains unknown and not to be fitted into a formula.["The Psychology of the Child Archetype," CW 9i, par. 267]
On a personal level, archetypal motifs are patterns of thought or behavior that are common to humanity at all times and in all places.
For years I have been observing and investigating the products of the unconscious in the widest sense of the word, namely dreams, fantasies, visions, and delusions of the insane. I have not been able to avoid recognizing certain regularities, that is, types. There are types of situations and types of figures that repeat themselves frequently and have a corresponding meaning. I therefore employ the term "motif" to designate these repetitions. Thus there are not only typical dreams but typical motifs in dreams. . . . [These] can be arranged under a series of archetypes, the chief of them being . . . the shadow, the wise old man, the child (including the child hero), the mother ("Primordial Mother" and "Earth Mother") as a supraordinate personality ("daemonic" because supraordinate), and her counterpart the maiden, and lastly the anima in man and the animus in woman.["The Psychological Aspects of the Kore," ibid., par. 309.]
Collective unconscious. A structural layer of the human psyche containing inherited elements, distinct from the personal unconscious*. (See also archetype and archetypal image.) (*Jung's personal unconscious is similar to Freud's preconscious.)
The collective unconscious contains the whole spiritual heritage of mankind's evolution, born anew in the brain structure of every individual.[The Structure of the Psyche," CW 8, par. 342.]
Jung derived his theory of the collective unconscious from the ubiquity of psychological phenomena that could not be explained on the basis of personal experience. Unconscious fantasy activity, for instance, falls into two categories.
First, fantasies (including dreams) of a personal character, which go back unquestionably to personal experiences, things forgotten or repressed, and can thus be completely explained by individual anamnesis. Second, fantasies (including dreams) of an impersonal character, which cannot be reduced to experiences in the individual's past, and thus cannot be explained as something individually acquired. These fantasy-images undoubtedly have their closest analogues in mythological types. . . . These cases are so numerous that we are obliged to assume the existence of a collective psychic substratum. I have called this the collective unconscious.[The Psychology of the Child Archetype," CW 9i, par. 262.]
The collective unconscious-so far as we can say anything about it at all-appears to consist of mythological motifs or primordial images, for which reason the myths of all nations are its real exponents. In fact, the whole of mythology could be taken as a sort of projection of the collective unconscious. . . . We can therefore study the collective unconscious in two ways, either in mythology or in the analysis of the individual.["The Structure of the Psyche," CW 8, par. 325.]
The more one becomes aware of the contents of the personal unconscious, the more is revealed of the rich layer of images and motifs that comprise the collective unconscious. This has the effect of enlarging the personality.
In this way there arises a consciousness which is no longer imprisoned in the petty, oversensitive, personal world of the ego, but participates freely in the wider world of objective interests. This widened consciousness is no longer that touchy, egotistical bundle of personal wishes, fears, hopes, and ambitions which always has to be compensated or corrected by unconscious counter-tendencies; instead, it is a function of relationship to the world of objects, bringing the individual into absolute, binding, and indissoluble communion with the world at large.["The Function of the Unconscious," CW 7, par. 275.]
Instinct. An involuntary drive toward certain activities. (See also archetype and archetypal image.)
All psychic processes whose energies are not under conscious control are instinctive.[Definitions," CW 6, par. 765.]
Instincts in their original strength can render social adaptation almost impossible.["The Transcendent Function," CW 8, par. 161.]
Instinct is not an isolated thing, nor can it be isolated in practice. It always brings in its train archetypal contents of a spiritual nature, which are at once its foundation and its limitation. In other words, an instinct is always and inevitably coupled with something like a philosophy of life, however archaic, unclear, and hazy this may be. Instinct stimulates thought, and if a man does not think of his own free will, then you get compulsive thinking, for the two poles of the psyche, the physiological and the mental, are indissolubly connected. ["Psychotherapy and a Philosophy of Life," CW 16, par. 185.]
Psychic processes which ordinarily are consciously controlled can become instinctive when imbued with unconscious energy. This is liable to occur when the level of consciousness is low, due to fatigue, intoxication, depression, etc. Conversely, instincts can be modified according to the extent that they are civilized and under conscious control, a process Jung called psychization.
An instinct which has undergone too much psychization can take its revenge in the form of an autonomous complex. This is one of the chief causes of neurosis.["Psychological Factors in Human Behaviour," CW 8, par. 255.]
Too much of the animal distorts the civilized man, too much civilization makes sick animals.["The Eros Theory," CW 7, par. 32.]
Jung identified five prominent groups of instinctive factors: creativity, reflection, activity, sexuality and hunger. Hunger is a primary instinct of self-preservation, perhaps the most fundamental of all drives. Sexuality is a close second, particularly prone to psychization, which makes it possible to divert its purely biological energy into other channels. The urge to activity manifests in travel, love of change, restlessness and play. Under reflection, Jung included the religious urge and the search for meaning. Creativity was for Jung in a class by itself. His descriptions of it refer specifically to the impulse to create art.
Though we cannot classify it with a high degree of accuracy, the creative instinct is something that deserves special mention. I do not know if "instinct" is the correct word. We use the term "creative instinct" because this factor behaves at least dynamically, like an instinct. Like instinct it is compulsive, but it is not common, and it is not a fixed and invariably inherited organization. Therefore I prefer to designate the creative impulse as a psychic factor similar in nature to instinct, having indeed a very close connection with the instincts, but without being identical with any one of them. Its connections with sexuality are a much discussed problem and, furthermore, it has much in common with the drive to activity and the reflective instinct. But it can also suppress them, or make them serve it to the point of the self-destruction of the individual. Creation is as much destruction as construction.["Psychological Factors in Human Behaviour," CW 8, par. 245.]
Jung also believed that true creativity could only be enhanced by the analytic process.
Creative power is mightier than its possessor. If it is not so, then it is a feeble thing, and given favourable conditions will nourish an endearing talent, but no more. If, on the other hand, it is a neurosis, it often takes only a word or a look for the illusion to go up in smoke. . . . Disease has never yet fostered creative work; on the contrary, it is the most formidable obstacle to creation. No breaking down of repressions can ever destroy true creativeness, just as no analysis can ever exhaust the unconscious.["Analytical Psychology and Education," CW 17, par. 206.]
Instinct and archetype are a pair of opposites, inextricably linked and therefore often difficult to tell apart.
Psychic processes seem to be balances of energy flowing between spirit and instinct, though the question of whether a process is to be described as spiritual or as instinctual remains shrouded in darkness. Such evaluation or interpretation depends entirely upon the standpoint or state of the conscious mind.["On the Nature of the Psyche," CW 8, par. 407.]
When consciousness become overspiritualized, straying too far from its instinctual foundation, self-regulating processes within the psyche become active in an attempt to correct the balance. This is often signaled in dreams by animal symbols, particularly snakes.
The snake is the representative of the world of instinct, especially of those vital processes which are psychologically the least accessible of all. Snake dreams always indicate a discrepancy between the attitude of the conscious mind and instinct, the snake being a personification of the threatening aspect of that conflict.["The Sacrifice," CW 5, par. 615.]
So, if you've read this far, what I hope will be taken away from this is that from the Jungian perspective, mythology, religion, science, culture, etc. all arise from the same instinctual, archetypal source. The human psyche's collective unconscious and its contents, the archetypes, are what make us distinctly "human," and this whether one sees him/herself primarily as homo sapiens or homo religioso/mysticus since, indeed, we are essentially both.
Have a great one!
P.S. And one_raven, I don't know a lot about Sheldrake, but I do know that he, too, has linked his concept of morphic fields to Jung's concept of the collective unconscious. Again, I can't include web links for you, but if you're interested, try googling Rupert Sheldrake and these article titles:
Mind, Memory, and Archetype: Morphic Resonance and the Collective Unconscious (Part I)
Society, Spirit & Ritual: Morphic Resonance and the Collective Unconscious (Part II)
Society, Spirit & Ritual: Morphic Resonance and the Collective Unconscious (Part III)