Charles Darwin’s great contributions to human psychology was to make it irrefutable that the human being is just an animal. We have a large and complex brain. We make up stories. We order our society politically. We have discovered cognitive tools such as money, commerce, maths, science, technology which tools have allowed us to become the top predator on the planet, the most successful invasive species, increase our population to exceed the carrying capacity of our natural environment, cause nonhuman species to go extinct, and wreak havoc on the natural systems that sustain us. Then we have the gall to call ourselves wise, civilized, progressive. But what’s the alternative? To externalize the means of our “salvation”? That seems as ridiculous of an idea as externalizing evil.
“God is a metaphor for that which transcends all levels of intellectual thought. It’s as simple as that.”
I think that the archetype of the religious symbolic life which is most neglected is the Fool. How foolish is it to see the value of both faith as defined in terms of evidence and reality and the value of extreme negative empirical skepticism? Both justified true belief and empirical skepticism are protections against naivete and gullibility – both what fools are known for. What are fools not known for?
Symphony 3, 4th movement
Text from Friedrich Nietzsche’s Also sprach Zarathustra: the “Midnight Song”
O Mensch! Gib Acht! Was spricht die tiefe Mitternacht? “Ich schlief, ich schlief—, aus tiefem Traum bin ich erwacht:—Die Welt ist tief, und tiefer als der Tag gedacht. Tief ist ihr Weh—, Lust—tiefer noch als Herzeleid. Weh spricht: Vergeh! Doch all’ Lust will Ewigkeit—, —will tiefe, tiefe Ewigkeit!”
O Man! Take heed! What says the deep midnight? “I slept, I slept—, from a deep dream have I awoken:—the world is deep, and deeper than the day has thought. Deep is its pain—, joy—deeper still than heartache. Pain says: Pass away! But all joy seeks eternity—, —seeks deep, deep eternity!”
Might a daimōn take up residence in the libido? I’m tired of this unquiet mind.The Greek philosopher Socrates, for example, spoke of his daimōn as a spirit that inspired him to seek and speak the truth. Out of my heart years ago. Out of my mind today. Long enough. Tired of being demented by whatever spirit is messing with my mind. Tired of being double minded.
The power of life and death is in the spoken word. Sound and light interacting with psyche alchemizing libido. Tongues of fire from heaven. Deaths of the sons of Aaron for offering strange fire. Apostles know not of what spirit they are when they propose to call down fire from heaven.
About Carl Jung’s “Psychology of the Unconscious: a study of the transformations and symbolisms of the libido” -
Having demonstrated to his own satisfaction that the libido (the energy of the unconscious) transcends sex, Jung sets about showing the reader how it is so. Never denying Freud’s crucial insights into sexual history and fantasies, he goes beyond them to tell a story prefiguring mythicists like Joseph Campbell’s. The libido becomes a hero, escaping from confinement, having multifarious adventures in the world, but always returning to the source of its power–the unconscious–in dreams and imagination. This powerful, elastic theory is still in use today, and Jung’s Psychology of the Unconscious deservedly takes its place among those books that have most greatly influenced the way we think about ourselves. –Rob Lightner
This in terms of evolutionary epistemology from Ernst Mayr – “I have heard there’s a field called evolutionary epistemology. They use a very simple Darwinian formula that can really be stated in a single sentence. If you have a lot of variation, more than you can cope with, only the most successful will remain. That is how things happen. In epistemology and countless other fields. Variation and elimination.”
Quote about Wolfgang Giegerich’s book “Neurosis: The Logic of a Metaphysical Disease” – Neurosis, according to the thesis of this ground-breaking book, comes from the soul, even is soul; the soul in its untruth. Indeed, both it and the modern field of psychology are successors of the soul-forms that preceded them, religion and metaphysics, with the difference that psychology’s reluctance to recognize and take responsibility for its status as such has been matched by the neurotic soul’s clinging to obsolete metaphysical categories even as the often quite ordinary life disappointments of its patients are inflated with ABSOLUTE importance. The folie à deux has been on a massive scale. Owing their provenance to the supplement they each provide the other, psychology and neurosis are entwined in a Gordian knot, the cutting of which requires insight into the logic that pervades both. Taking up this sword, Giegerich exposes and critiques the metaphysics that neurosis indulges in even as he returns psychology to the soul, not, of course, to the soul as some no longer credible metaphysical hypostasis, but as the logically negative life of the mind and power of thought. Using several fairy tales as models for the logic of neurosis, he brilliantly analyses its enchanting background processes, exposing thereby, in a most lively and thoroughgoing manner, the spiteful cunning by which the neurotic soul, against its already existing better judgement, betrays its own truth. Topics include the historicity of neurosis, its soulful purpose as a general cultural phenomenon, its internal logic, functioning, and enabling conditions, as well as the Sacred Festival drama character of symptomatic suffering, the theology of neurosis, and “the neurotic” as the figure of modernity’s exemplary man. Unquote
I don’t think there is any shame or ought to be any offense regarding neurosis. It’s the human condition. It’s perhaps fundamentally caused by the moral sense and values of human nature being alienated from those of the numinous. Are the ideas of the soul as metaphysically numinous obsolete in our empirically scientific age? Belief in the soul for me is belief in Truth, belief in Logos. Is the possible justified true belief that the soul in untruth IS the metaphysical logic of neurosis. More importantly is to balance neurosis with health, escaping the neurotic trap to dance with Neurosis – to exist in the moral autonomous space between the ups and downs, the back and forth with truth and untruth, health and disease, wholeness and fragility.
Existential neurosis is most evident in attempting an intimate soul mate experience. Two souls overcoming power struggle, the dominance/submission dynamic, learning to accept unshared and unabated metaphysical values. Two souls dancing together in that existential space between relationship health in harmony with combined good judgement being and becoming faithful to shared truth and between disease, relationship neurosis. It takes two unique individuals already aware and accepting of their own and each others health and disease. It is also a dance between isolation and differing evaluations and evolved insights into intimacy. Challenging!
With our evolved logic in this scientific age and coping with possible obsolete metaphysical conditions and with historical and philosophical insights into Logic, can the logically negative life of mind and the power of thought be counterbalanced by something unconsciously and logically positive? Like the instinctual dynamic toward Eros – the life of the libido, the body, the anima, the elan vitae?