Ep. 49 - Awakening from the Meaning Crisis - Corbin and Jung | Transcription

Transcription for the video titled "Ep. 49 - Awakening from the Meaning Crisis - Corbin and Jung".

1970-01-01T08:43:06.000Z

Note: This transcription is split and grouped by topics and subtopics. You can navigate through the Table of Contents on the left. It's interactive. All paragraphs are timed to the original video. Click on the time (e.g., 01:53) to jump to the specific portion of the video.


Introduction

Intro (00:00)

Welcome back to Awakening from the Meaning Crisis. So last time we followed Heidegger into the depths where we encountered Eckhart and this non-tereological relationship to the play of being and that led us very directly into Corbin and Corbin's core argument that Gnosis, as we've been using it, relates centrally the ability to engage in this serious play, relates centrally to the imagination. But Corbin is making use of this term in a new way.


Exploration Of Complex Metaphysical Concepts

The symbol of the Angel and Silberman, Straten, and Kilsleyard (00:35)

He makes the distinction between the imaginary, which is how we typically use the word the imagination and mental images in my head that are only subjective and have no objective reality. And the imaginal, the imaginal which mediates between the abstract, intelligible world and the concrete, sensible world and transjectively mediates between the subjective and the objective and that is not done statically. All of this mediation and mutual affordance is done in an ongoing transformative transforming and that the symbol captures all of this. And then I wanted to bring out Corbin's core symbol and it's a core symbol that relates directly to Gnosis because in Gnosis in this transformative participatory knowing and this goes up to the core of Heidegger's notion of Dazion, the being whose being is in question, we, right, have to see self knowledge and knowledge of the world as inextricably bound up together. In order to do that, we are pursuing Corbin's central symbol, the angel, which of course is immediately off putting to many people, including myself, but I've been trying to get away of articulating how Corbin is incorporating both Heidegger and Persian Sufism, Neoplatonic Sufism into this understanding of the symbol. And I recommended that we take a look at the work of first of all of Stang, the historical work, showing how throughout the ancient Mediterranean world and up and through the Hellenistic period and beyond up until the period of easily pseudodinesis around the fifth century of the common era, there's the pursuit of the divine double.


The divine plurality - the speculative consequences of the play of being. (02:26)

And then the idea is one that is deeply transgressive of our cultural cognitive grammar of decadent romanticism, where we have a, we're born with our true self that nearly needs to express itself, Allah Rousseau, and that the core virtue is authenticity, which is being right true to the true self that you have, you possess, rather than for example, a socratic model in which the true self is something towards which you are constantly aspiring. And then I recommended trying to make this, so what's the transgressive mythology, sort of the transgressive mythology is that the self that I have now is not my true self, my true self is my divine double. This is something that is superlative to me, it is bound to me, it is my double, it is superlative to me, it is both me and not me, it's me as I'm meant to be, as I should be, and that the existential project is not one of expressing a self that you have, but of transcending to become a self that is ecstatically ahead of you in an important way. And then I pointed out that for many of you, this would still be sort of like, okay, but I get the transgression, but I still find this notion of a divine double unpalatable, maybe for some of you, you don't, but nevertheless, I think there is an important way by picking up on, like, by asking the question, why did so many people for so long believe in this so deeply, picking up on the question of what's going on there and focusing on this aspirational process. And this takes us back into work that was core to the discussion I made about narcissism, and it has had a resounding impact at various places throughout this series, which is LA Paul's work on transformative experience, and then somebody from, who's from the same school, influenced by Paul, having a different view, whereas Paul is more, her transformations are more like insight, Agnes Kallard's notion of aspiration is much more developmental, but I argue that they can be, I think, readily reconciled together if you see development as a linked sequence of insights that bring about qualitative change in your competence. So we were zeroing in on this, right? I'm using LA Paul and Agnes Kallard to triangulate in to this relationship of aspiration, and picking up, first of all, on Kallard's important point that is not addressed, and this is an important point by LA Paul, the deep connections between aspiration and rationality, that rationality is itself a rational process, and if we make the process by which we become rational itself, not a rational or irrational process, we will get into serious a position that is seriously self undermining, similarly, if the way in which you become wise does not involve sort of wise acts and behavior, if the process itself is not itself wise, you're going to get into all kinds of difficulties, if it's not in some sense a rational process, again, last time I reminded you how broadly, but I think also deeply, I'm using the term rational, or being educated, I mean, we make ourselves better, maybe even more rational or wiser by going through an education, but education, at least a liberal education is a deeply aspirational process, if that itself is not part of what makes us rational, is that if it's not itself a rational process, then of course our rationality is again being undermined in a self contradictory fashion. So the basics of this argument is if we take, if we do not understand a kind of rationality, a colored called "proleptic rationality," that's the rationality of aspiration, the rationality that allows you, right, that is the rationality that emerges in education, that emerges in the cultivation of rationality, that emerges in the cultivation of wisdom, then a lot of human behavior is not going to be called rational, and that is going to render our notion of rationality, as I've said, self-contradictory, and self-undermining in some very fundamental ways. And so again, we see the rejoining of right love and reason that was originally talked about so deeply in Plato.


Imaginal and Angelic Mediations. (07:11)

So now we come back to this problem. I gave you the example of somebody in a liberal education, and this is a colored example right here is the self at this time and the self at this time. And something I brought out that color doesn't, but important because it's a concise way of talking about the relationship between them and that there isn't a direct inferential relationship between these, which is non-logical identity, right? This is part and parcel.


The problem of non-logical (biological) and nonlogical (cultural/Rational) identity (08:02)

Like, think about what I said earlier, how if we broaden the notion of rationality outside of logic, if colored is right and we have to include rationality, proleptic rationality in our model of rationality, and involves its non-logical identity, then of course we're stepping beyond sort of a purely logical understanding of rationality, yet again for yet another reason. Okay, so what's the problem here? Well, the problem is the problem of non-logical identity. So I don't appreciate, always remember both meanings of that term, to deeply, and they're interwoven, the two sides of aspiration.


Aporia of upgrade (08:46)

I deeply understand it, and I'm deeply grateful for it, I value it, right? I don't appreciate classical music, I don't have the taste for it, I don't get it, and I want to be somebody who appreciates classical music. Now if I want to, if I do that because I want to satisfy a current desire I have, a current value, I have like, I value impressing my friends, or I value attracting members of the opposite sex, or something like that, then of course I'm not actually aspiring, because this person doesn't appreciate classical music, because it impresses their friends, or because it helps them in their dating life, or for whatever other reason. They appreciate it for a perspectival and participatory knowing that S1 doesn't have, that's the point. The appreciation that S2 has is bound to perspectival and participatory knowing, of which S1 is ignorant. And that of course is one of the central points, if you remember, of L.A. Paul's argument about transformative experience. So that looks like there's something, right, there's a fundamental discontinuity here.


On track, the conceptual boundary crisis (10:09)

Okay, now to bring out the problem that we need to sort of resolve and tie this back to the notion of the divine double, I want to talk about a way in which Calard shows us how this is problematic as we try to talk about it. And she makes use of the work of Strassen, Giddens Strassen, and he talks about a paradox of self-creation. Now Strassen points out that for self-creation, and doesn't this look like self-creation here's a self-creating itself, right? Right? For self-creation to be truly an instance of self and creation sort of emphasizing both sides of that double firm, two things are needed. One requirement, right, is a continuity requirement. There has to be something deeply continuous between S1 and S2, because, right, if they are not the same self, then it's not an act of self-creation, right? If they're not the same self, it's not an act of self-creation. So that's the continuity requirement. And so I'm going to represent it like this, right? S1 equals S2. So what this means is if, like, if S1 is hit by a motorcycle and their brain is damaged and, right, and they act and behave in a different way, that's not an act of self-creation. That is not an act of self-creation. S1 has to be totally responsible for S2 or else it's not an act of self-creation, putting an emphasis on the self. Okay? But now let's shift to the creation side, right? Which is that there has to be real novelty between them or else there's no creation involved. If S1 just develops a skill or ability they already have, that is not real novelty. That is just more of the same. That's quantitative development, not qualitative development. So, right, if all that happens is S1, you know, improves the skill, you know, deepens their capacity to acquire something that they already value, etc. That, right, is not real novelty. So real novelty means there has to be a fundamental difference between S1 and S2. Now, what Strassen does with this, right, is he points out, notice how, right, S1 and S2 for the continuity requirement have to be equal, but the real novelty means there has to be a real deep difference between S1 and S2, right, or it's not creation. And the, so what he argues is he argues that self-creation is paradoxical. In fact, the point he's trying to make is its self-contradictory.


Not interested in either fig loved or sorry (#37C) (13:24)

There can be no such thing as self-creation, right? So, another way of thinking about this is if you remember when we talked about this in connection with transformative experience, we can invoke voters notion of the idea that you can't, you can't sort of create a stronger logic by logically manipulating a weaker logic. No matter how much I manipulate the machinery of predicate logic, I won't get modal logic. Because what I have to do, right, is I have to introduce axioms that are outside, for gadelian reasons, ultimately, are outside the system of predicate logic. So, putting it this way, right, in order to get the real novelty between S1 and S2, I have to introduce something that's outside the logic of S1, the logic of its values and beliefs, right, that will then make it into S2. But if it comes from outside of S1, it is foreign and strange and right, and therefore it, right, is not an act of self-creation. What that shows, voters idea about you can't infer a stronger logic from a weaker logic, and then goes back to a point we've made before, there is no inferential way. There's no way you can sort of infer yourself from S1 to S2. And this, of course, is part of Kierkegaard's whole point about the leap and the leap of faith. The leap of faith is to leap into a process of development that is going to put you through this kind of qualitative change in your identity. But Strassen makes this very problematic by saying, right, this makes absolutely no sense, right? And so we're caught between two things. Either we're caught, we can break this by saying, right, there is ultimately no self, we could go rapidly empiricist, I'm just a blank slate, and all that happens is stuff from the outside changes me.


Betwixt two options on subjectivity (#37D) (15:26)

And then I go for the novelty, but there's no underlying self, or I can just do the continuity requirement, I can become sort of a russellian romantic, and myself is identical throughout, right? And all I'm doing is expressing what was already within myself, that's all that's happening. You see empiricism and romanticism choose one of the two over the other. And what Strassen says is you have to make such a choice because self creation is itself self-contradictory. Calard says this is all a mistake, and I agree with her. She argues that this is both the empiricism and the romanticism, at least the russellian decadent romanticism, right, is not adequate or accurate of our experiment of developmental change. What breaks this, I argue, helping her I believe, is that the relationship between S1 and S2 is one of non-logical identity. Something, of course, we practice the narrative practice hypothesis by engaging in narrative all the time and making ourselves into temporally extended selves that have a non-logical identity through time and through development. So I think both the romantic expressionism and the empiricist writing upon the blank slate do not capture what's happening between S1 and two. It's not that S1 is just changed randomly into S2 from the outside. Neither is it the case that S1 simply makes S2. The first self does not make it, right? It's neither pure passivity nor pure activity. This, of course, is why I've continually emphasized the notion of participation. We'll see how Barfield is trying also to step above both making and completely active making and completely passive reception in his notion of participation. A better way of describing the relationship is S1 does not receive nor make S2, but participates in S is two's emergence. S2 emerges out of S1 to the point that S1 disappears into S2. It's an emergence. We participate in an emergence. So aspiration is colored's name for that process by which S1 participates in the emergence of S2 out of S1 such that S1 has disappeared into S2. Self-one has disappeared into, has become S2. So, colored now reformulates the problem that remains. Once we acknowledge this, there is a problem that remains because it, again, thwarts our usual cognitive cultural grammar. What's the problem that remains? Well, here's the problem. S1, in some important sense, causes S2. My actions now are necessary and perhaps in some important sense sufficient for setting forth a course of development that is going to result in S2. But although S1 is therefore temporally prior, it's before S2, right? In the in the arrow of causation, the opposite is the case, normatively. S1 normatively depends on S2. All of S1's actions only make sense, can only be justified once S2 comes into existence because only S2 appreciates the music. Only S2 is rational. Only S2 can understand and justifies the value of rationality, the value of the classical music.


My role in S2s Ontogenesis (20:26)

So, although S1 causes S2 and temporally prior, S1 is normatively dependent on S2. In terms of normativity, S1 is not primary. It's secondary to S2. The first self, everything that the first self is doing ultimately only makes sense when the second self has come into existence. It's only after the aspirational transformation that S1's behavior can be made sense of, can be justified, can be understood. It's interesting because the state that justifies S1's action is the state of S1 having disappeared into and through the emergence of S2 because only S2 understands and appreciates rationality, understands and appreciates classical music, understands and appreciates what it is to be apparent, understands and appreciates what it is to be a spouse. So, this goes against our normal way of doing things, right? Because we've got, this is temporally prior but this is normatively primary. So, this S1 is temporally prior but S2 is normatively primary in that it's where we find the justification, explanation, right, legitimation of the aspirational process, that the person that has become in S2. And that's weird for us because normally the thing that is temporally prior and causes is also the thing that is the source of justification and explanation. Now, the temptation here of course is to be teleological, to think that in some sense, S2 pre-exists us and causes S1. And I think that's partially what's coming out in the mythos of the divine double. Trying to deal with this really difficult way of thinking, an easy way of thinking about it is well the divine double pre-exists is already there fully formed and they're drawing me out teleological until I eventually become S1, right? But we've already, I've already argued last time in the time before and earlier on in the series is that the teleological explanations are often thwarting us in important ways and they're certainly thwarting what Heidegger was talking about. So let's try and do this a little bit more slowly. I want to say S1 has the causal power but S2 has the normative authority. So S1 has the causal power but S2 has the normal authority. So how do we relate to the self to which we were as part of it? So when I'm S1 and I'm aspiring to being more like Socrates, more rational, how do I now relate to this S2 that doesn't yet exist but has authority over me? How do I how do I do that? Well, I sort of slipped it in there, right?


The aspirational force of a self and its developmental identity (23:55)

I sort of slipped it in there when I talked about aspiring to be like Socrates. So let's take this take by step. I need, I'm relating to this the aspired force self, the self that I aspire to, there's a non-logical identity between myself now and that self then. That self that I'm aspiring to is not logically accessible to me and those two reasons are deeply, those two points are deeply connected. I can't infer my way to it, right? And my representation of that future self, my current representation to me now has to afford me somehow tapping into this non-logical identity, this non-logical process and that representation has to actually afford the transformation of me into the aspired to self. It has to actually help me become a more rational person. Now notice of course what this means, what kind of thing does this for me? And this is Corbin's point. It's a symbol, not in the imaginary sense but in the imaginal sense. It's only a symbol that, right, puts these two together in the right way. It's a kind of relationship that, right between things that are non-logically identical. It is not something that is processed in a purely logical fashion. It is a representation that is participatory and it's supposed to help to actually afford you going through the transformative process. Now let's add a little bit more. My representation of the aspired to self is, it's a symbolic self. It's a symbolic self that I can internalize into my current self, anagogically, right? This is, remember we talked about this, we become, we transcend ourselves by internalizing how other people's perspectives are being directed on us, right? So, member Spencer internalizes my perspective so that he becomes metacognitive. The stoic aspirant internalizes Socrates so that he can self-transcend and become more socratic, right? So, the symbolic self has to be internalized. And notice what's happening in internalization. Internalization is something other than you, yet it becomes something that is completely identified as you. Not just as an idea, right? It becomes part of your metacognitive, reflective rationality in the case of internalizing Socrates. It becomes part of the very guts of the machinery of yourself. Why, anagogically? Because what I'm doing, right, is I'm internalizing this symbolic self. And what it's doing is it's reordering my psyche so that I see different ways of being in the world. And as I inhabit those new ways of being in the world, they allow me to then re-internalize. Remember this, I internalize Socrates and then I indwell the world in a more socratic fashion which allows me to better internalize Socrates so that I indwell the world in a more socratic fashion or perhaps for the Christian, right? Christ comes to live within them until they live more Christ-like so that Christ comes to live within them more. So, there's more internalization, more indwelling in that anagogic process takes off of its own accord. But it's not something that is, you're just passively happening to you, that coupled loop. It's not something you're just making happen. It's something that transcends receiving and making. It is participating. So, what we're doing is that you have this symbolic self that internalizes other people's perspectives, others who live a way they make viable to you, the self you aspire to. But as you internalize them and that self is transformed, the world is anagogically transformed. Also, the world is playing an important role in this. So, what I'm suggesting to you is the divine double is a mythos way of trying to capture this dynamic process which we've discussed at length in this series. And what it does is it represents this process in kind of a linear narrative and therefore, it simplifies it into a simple kind of teleology. But there's a sense in which I think that teleology is overly simplistic. It's not capturing the participatory nature. The danger with the teleology of course is it tends to overemphasize the passive receptivity on the part of S1 in the face of S2. So, the divine double, I think what people were trying to say with the mythos of the divine double, the divine, it's an imaginal symbol that affords the dynamic coupling of anagoguet that allows you to participate in the act of self creation, the act or a better way of putting it, the act of aspiration. The divine double is you, but it's not you. It's the advanced others that you've internalized into you, but it eventually becomes you.


Integration, metarepresentational thinking, representation flow and feedback (29:58)

And so, you live differently in that in a new world. A way of being becomes viable to you. It is the self you will be, not the self you are now, but if there is no inkling in your current self of, if there's no inkling of an identity possible and already beginning to be actualized between your current self and the future self, then of course it's not going to be part of that aspirational process. Here's you. You're in this frame. You're trying to move to this one. I'm going to separate them just so I have room to write. Normally this one is round and encompassing, so please allow me this is just so I have room to write. The divine double allows you to internalize from this more encompassing frame into your current frame. But that is simultaneously, and here's the shining in. Here's the shining in through the divine double. Angels are glorious. They shine. Here's the shining through, right into your frame. But that shining, that internalization affords you moving towards indwelling that more expanded world. It engenders a trans framing so that you can come to indwell this more expanded frame. The agent and the arena are simultaneously transformed. Here's, right, so the divine double shines the greater frame into the current frame, but it also draws you out by the way it withdraws into the more encompassing frame. It gives you a sense, of the closing into your relevance, but the opening into the greater self. See the gnosis? The divine double allows you to conform, conform in process to the very play of being itself. The way being is shining, but also withdrawing. And how that affords your radical self transcendence, which is always a process also of becoming a greater or better self. So, what I'm suggesting to you, right, is that the divine double is a central example of the imaginal, and that that is often represented in the mythos of angels. So we see how the divine double is transjective, how it's trans framing, how it's integrating the abstract form or concept of the better self. I have some act, fact sense of the better self, but it's, it's integrating that with my concrete, the concrete actions of causal actions of my current self. There being the abstract and the concrete are being drawn together. Is the divine double subjective? No, that's not right. Is it part of just the objective part of my world? No, that's not right either. It's, it's deeply symbolic in nature and in action. And although it is a symbol, it is not just imaginary. It is imaginal in nature. It, it makes, it affords, right, the true development. It affords the core of the being mode. The being mode is not about having things. It is about becoming someone. There's a deep interconnection between the imaginal, the divine double, gnosis, and the being mode. So the angel in Corbin is a representation of the divine double for, and now the thing to note is that for Corbin, every, everything has an angel, right? Because it's not only the agent that is being transformed, it is also the arena. Your world is also being opened up and aspects of being are disclosing themselves that otherwise would not disclose themselves. Every object is shining and is also withdrawing into its mystery. Everything is a thing beyond itself. And so you are a thing beyond yourself as an agent coupled to sets of things beyond themselves as an arena, and you are both going through this coupled process. That's what Corbin means by the angelic aspect or the angelic order of being. Now, given the way I've tried to interpret, and I think explain, but not, I hope, dismissively explain away Corbin, I would want to make, I want to note, as I said, there's deep connections between gnosis and this divine double, between the being mode, between self transcendence, between all of this. I'm a little bit unhappy with Stang's term though, the divine double, because it seems to bind us a little too much to the mythos and the teleological simple narrative structure that I think doesn't adequately capture everything that we can see in the work of L.A. Paul and Kallard in the response to Strossen's problem. And also the notion of divine seems to bind this to theism, which is problematic, given its deep connections to gnosis and the gnostics. And also it precludes non-theistic cultures or sets of religions from having something like this, whereas I think you can readily see the divine double in Buddhism, where it's talked about the Buddha nature. And the Buddha nature is very much the aspired self, but things have a Buddha nature. The Buddha nature is both their ultimate real nature, but not their conventional nature. Or you can see the same thing in Vedanta when there is a deep identity perhaps, between the Atman and Brahman. What I'm pointing out is that this way of talking about aspiration can be seen clearly in non-theistic religions.


The symbolic self & the sacred second self (36:51)

It's clearly in Gnosticism, which I think is very much should not be interpreted theistically. I've tried to show you that. It's clearly the case in Neoplatonism. Staying makes this case for it, both in Plotinus and at least the Neoplatonic aspects of Dionysus. And that's clearly not theistic. So I'm not going to use the term divine double anymore, because I want to try and separate this idea from its commitment to theism. And so I'm going to call this symbolic self. I'm going to call it the sacred second self. The sacred second self. It gives me even more alliterations in divine double, so I win. So the idea of the sacred second self. Perhaps this is a way, wow, I don't know. I don't know what I'm going to do right now. But I'm going to do it because I have an inkling of its value. Perhaps the notion of the sacred second self is a way of bringing back the idea of having a soul. In fact, that's even the wrong way of putting it. Perhaps that's part of what I'm trying to transgress against. Your sacred second self is the soul that you are becoming, the soul that you are aspiring through and to. And perhaps that is a way of bringing it back. The reason I raise this is because that will allow us to make a bridge to another one of the prophets, Carl Gustav Jung. Because this notion of a relationship to a sacred second self that is perhaps what we were always talking about when we invoke the word soul is central to Jung's work. One of Jung's crucial texts for representing the meaning crisis and linking it to his particular psychology is the book Modern Man in Search of a Soul. So the response to the meaning crisis is that Modern Man has lost his soul. Now that doesn't mean that a ghost has slipped free of a person's corpus and is somehow floating around untethered. Jung is trying to talk about the, I'm going to argue, the loss of a real relationship to the sacred second self that is needed for responding to the meaning crisis. And there are deep connections therefore between Jung and Corbin. And this is not just similarity of argumentation. Jung and Corbin had deep, had a deep interaction, a deep influence on each other.


Understanding Jungian Therapy

The example of Jungian therapy (39:41)

They met regularly together at the Uranus conferences and discussed. As I mentioned, I find that Corbin is more responsible for that relationship than Jung. Corbin talks more often about it explicitly whereas I do not see Jung given enough credit to the influence of Corbin on his thinking. Nevertheless, we can move between Corbin and Jung by picking up on this idea of your relationship to your sacred second self. And I think this is the best way to understanding the process that is central to Jung's whole notion of, it's both a notion of development and a notion of self-transformation and a notion of how to fundamentally respond to the meaning crisis. This is Jung's notion of course of individuation. So how do we get to this notion? Well, we're going to get to this notion. Notice each thinker gets into it in a different way. And what Jung is doing, he's picking up on something that is not, it's not really present in Heidegger. It's present in Corbin but it's present more implicitly than explicitly. And this is psychology, right? The processes within that psyche that are conducive to responding to the meaning crisis. And by individuation Jung, and he clearly uses this adjective to describe it, describes this as a psychological process. Now the way to get a little bit clearer about how Jung is using the notion of psychological is to contrast him to the most important influence on him, his progenitor Freud. And I'm not going to get into a deep analysis of Freud. That would be too far afield. Freud is a Titan. Even if 90% of what Freud has said is wrong, it doesn't matter. He gets to be in the hall of the immortals because he came up with the idea of the unconscious. He comes up with the idea of that it's neither nature nor nurture but the interaction between them in stages of development. These are all just, they become so deeply interwoven with our fundamental way of trying to understand and theorize about ourselves. Like I said, so Freud is a Titanic figure. However, let's pick up on the difference. In what fundamental way did Jung's model of the psyche different from Freud's? So here I'm picking up on work done by Paul Ricour in his book on Freud and some work done by Thor, Anthony Thor in his work on Jung in an important contrast. So Freud ultimately has what has been called a hydraulic model of the psyche. So the psyche is basically a Newtonian machine like a steam engine. Things are under pressure and the pressure has to be relieved and it drives and sort of pushes various processes into operation. So Freud, and of course this makes perfect sense, Freud has a Newtonian machine hydraulic model of the psyche. Jung ultimately rejects that and this is more in store than in record because of course primarily concentrating on Freud. But what Thor argues is that, and this becomes clear in the language in the metaphors that Jung used, Jung replaces that hydraulic metaphor with an organic metaphor. He sees the psyche as a self-organizing dynamical system ultimately as an autopoetic being. So he sees the psyche as going through sort of a complex process of self-organization and that you have to understand individualization as this kind of organic, self-organizing, organic, self-organizing process that you neither make nor receive but you participate in. Okay, so this takes us to one of the quintessential notions from Jung. Jung gives a psychological analog of Plato's idea of the form, a structural functional organization. This is the archetypes, the arcade typos. These, right, people should go back, arcade, foundational, like in archeology, getting to the origins and the foundations, tip-offs, the patterns. So the archetypes are the formative founding patterns of the psyche. These are the ways in which these are the structural functional organizations by which the selfie, by which the psyche self-organizes. The archetypes are therefore very much psychological versions of the platonic forms and Jung is much better at acknowledging Plato's influence than Freud is, for example. So the archetypes are not images, right? The archetypes are not images, right? You have to take the images and treat them in an imaginal fashion, not as imaginary things you possess in your mind but as imaginal things that are leading you into, into the aspirational process of individuation. Think of the archetypes more the way we talked about earlier. They are systems of constraints. They are virtual engines that regulate the self-organization of what is salient to us. So if the hero archetype is active in me, it's not, it doesn't mean that I have, I'm carrying around in my head images of the hero. It means that, right, this is an imaginal relationship in which I'm anagog, my salient landscaping is being transformed. So I'm anagogically interacting with the world and undergoing aspirational self-transformation so that I'm becoming more and more heroic. Think of the archetypes much more adverbally than you, than adjectivaly. An archetype is a way in which you are anagogically coming to be, not something in you, right, that you possess and reflect upon. So, Young argues that all of these, like the psyche as a whole, these archetypes insofar as they are virtual engines of self-organizing processes are autopoetic. They have a life to them, a life to them. These archetypes are the way, here this word deeply, way is method and path of development. The archetypes are the way that psyche makes itself as a living organism. That's what I mean. Think of archetypes in a deeply adverbial fashion rather than archetypal, sort of, adjectival. So that was a mistake. Where's the sacred second self? Well, let's talk about the ego and what Young called the self. And he's influenced by Vedanta. This is the egoic self and this is Atman, right? And the notion of the self with the, see, that was such a bad choice in some ways because unless you've done all the stuff we've just done and talked about the relation between like self-one and self-two and all, right, you don't, unless you've got the aspirational sense of what itself is, if you, if you come to Young with just decadent romanticism, you're going to hear, ah, but this, this is my, this is my inner true self that I have to be true to. You're going to relate to the, the self-agitivally from the having mode, very great temptation to get into, right, narcissism, right? I understand why Young did this because he, he capitalizes the S because he's trying to point towards, I would argue, the sacred second self, right? So the ego is the archetype of the conscious mind. The ego is the virtual engine that regulates the self-organization of the conscious mind. What's the self? Well, it's kind of the archetype of the archetype. It's like Plato's notion of the good, which is the form for how to be a form, the idos of the idos. It is the virtual engine regulating the self-organization of the psyche as a whole. It is the principle, the self is the principle of auto-poecis itself. It's the ultimate virtual engine that constellates all the other virtual engines so that the psyche can continue its process of auto-poetic self-organization. Remember, when a system is self-organizing, its function and its development are completely merged. It develops by functions and it functions by developing. So this functional model is simultaneously a developmental model. That's what makes it aspirational. It is simultaneously functional and developmental. So one of the things you can do is you can set up an interaction with these imaginal symbolic entities, the archetypes, and that interaction can be internalized into the perspective so I can interact with the hero archetype or the shadow archetype and that will actually be internalized into the way the ego self-organizes. Ultimately, that can become part of this, the dialogue between the ego and the self, what Jung calls the axis mundi, the axis of the world.


The conscious-the unconscious dichotomy (50:04)

Very maybe overwrought way of putting it, but in some ways I understand what he's trying to get at. This is the process as I dialogue through the archetypes with the self, the ego's perspectival knowing and its participatory being is being fundamentally altered. This is the individuation of the ego. The ego individuates through its dialogue. Notice that anagogic resonant way of talking. It's dialogue with the sacred second self. I notice ultimately how that falls back to Plato and Socrates, this notion of dialogue. This of course is the basis of Jung and notice the similarity here again, of Jung's deep, deep criticism of literalism and fundamentalism because of course the imaginal, the archetype as imaginal sits right here, it mediates between these. Why is Jung so critical of literalism and fundamentalism? Because it is to reduce the imaginal nature of the archetypes into simply being imaginary. It is to lose the being mode and simply having subjective representations rather than engaging in the process of individuation. It's a form of inflation in which the ego pretends that it is sufficient unto itself and tries to take on the complete role of the self, tries to just have an identity rather than continually becoming in the process of individuation. It is deeply disturbing to see someone who is would claim to be committed to a Jungian approach being deeply enmeshed or involved with proponents of literalism or fundamentalism. This would be a deep form of self-contradiction. What's my main criticism of Jung which will then allow me a counter criticism to Corbin? Both. This is a criticism that Corbin makes of Jung but it's also independently a criticism that Boober, the existentialist, the person who talked about Aye-e-e-thou and picked up on the difference between the being mode and the having mode as well.


The Jungian Perception of Imagination (52:40)

There's also conversions with the criticism that Boober made of Jung. Jung understands all of this and that's how I've explained it to you as intra-psychically happening within the psyche. Now my friend and colleague Anderson Todd tells me that towards the end Jung seems to be breaking out of this purely psychological way of talking. But for most of his writing Jung understands all of this and this is of course this is problematic and this is what Corbin was trying to get him to see. He was understanding all of this as subjectively. His Kantianism was making him see this as all happening in a very deep sense within the mind. The archetypes are understood ultimately for a very long time in Jung as subjectively rather than transjectively. And because of this and then this is where Boober's criticism bites into Jung, Jung misses all of the existential modes that Boober wants to talk about. Jung can't talk about the having and the being modes because he doesn't have a way of representing the transjective relationship. For Corbin Jung seems to be reducing the imaginal to the imaginary. And for Corbin this is a mistake because the mystical for Corbin doesn't just disclose the depths of the psyche. The mystical also discloses the depths of the world in an integrated coordinated fashion. That's because Corbin is ultimately the neo-platonic and not Kantian. This is why I said if you don't understand Kant you don't get Jung. Now in fairness to Jung, Jung can say but what's missing from Corbin is a psychology. What's missing from Heinegger is a psychology. How does all of this existential ontological neo-platonic stuff play out within the psyche?


Discussion On Via Negativa

the via Negativa (54:57)

If you're going to talk to me about internalizing I get it. I'm answering on behalf of Jung. Jung can say I get it. I leave off the indwelling in the world that Corbin is pointing to and Heidegger has been pointing to. But what Jung can say is yeah but you haven't told me what the internalization looks like. How does the imaginal get internalized into the depths of my psyche? So what I'm suggesting to you, this is neither Corbin nor Boober nor is it right Jung. But Bervake is arguing to you that you can integrate the three of them together and then you get something much better than either Jung or Corbin or Boober. I want to take a look next time at somebody who shares a lot with all three of these. Corbin, Jung and Boober and like them is deeply influenced by Heidegger and that's Paul Tillek. Thank you very much for your time and attention.


Great! You’ve successfully signed up.

Welcome back! You've successfully signed in.

You've successfully subscribed to Wisdom In a Nutshell.

Success! Check your email for magic link to sign-in.

Success! Your billing info has been updated.

Your billing was not updated.