I’m chewing through Erich Neumann’s ‘ Origins and History of Consciousness’. Hoo boy. I’m sure its just me but its like being invited to a banquet serving 50 shades of salted cracker.
His argument, that consciousness progresses step by step from a ‘primitive’, maternally based polytheism full of projective identification and totemic identity, to an emerging ego-self axis represented by the crucifiction, by triumphing over the Terrible Mother who symbolises the regressive pull of the unconscious is….
still mashing the cracker then…..
and perhaps culminating in Descartes inflated, ”I think therefor I am”.
Nah, I’ve had enough now, you say sorry to Descartes…
Why, he was a terrible philosopher..
No, you just slaggin everyone off…
You didn’t even give Erich a chance to answer and all the sarcasmic cracker stuff. An’ now your havin’ a go at Descartes. Its not right. Play nicely.
But any two bit lawyer will tell you that coming up with the thought that you exist just because it occured to you is verging on criminally dodgy. Its just like insider trading.
And if Being itself can be subject to thought, then the values which derive from such an arrangement are bound to be the Machiavellian variety and ‘the end justifying the means’.
What Descartes proved was that he was veeeery mentally identified, a state which is..
”only too ready to emancipate (it)self…. from the reality and meaning of symbolic life.” CG Jung (paraphrased from the Psychology of the Transference)
in other words from moral and spiritual considerations.
The ‘new consciousness’, heralded by Uncle Neb, Jacob and David, codified by Constantine, and shipped into your hindbrain at birth, is this deification of Mind. Mind becomes synonymous with Spirit, or at least as divorced from knowing how to behave… as Yahweh was from Sophia/Hokmah before…
Consider the implications: If thinking is fundamental to being, whatever I can think is imbued with this primacy, this symbolic equation with Being itself. Whatever else I might be experiencing is real insofar as it is congruent with thought and it’s heavily invested self-construct.
Oh dear oh dear…
stuff like knowing right from wrong….
or having a gut feeling for something
or compassion for someone.
The problem with the philosophical position of such ‘flowering of consciousness’ is that it also fosters a flowering of depersonalisation and colonialism.
And it seems to me that our supposed consciousness is not worth the candle if it is accompanied by globalised exploitation laughingly termed ‘assisted development,’ where the colonisers have pulled out once the infrastructures of exploitation have been set in place, and manipulate from afar with generous loans the subclauses of which say we run your ship.
I mean, they carn’t govern theselves….
Nah, dun ’em a favour.
Thinking is not enough if I will not talk to me. If there is no reflection, then all that fine thinking is going to wind up in the hands of our darker complexes..
which of course don’t exist and you don’t have to think about..
And since thought and being-able-to-rationalise-what-I-please all come neatly wrapped up in the same box we become like kiddies in a cake factory. A world where wishing should make it so…
Whilst praising ourselves for being so evolved.
I was shocked by many things in Solzhenitsyn’s ‘Gulag Archipelago’, which I read over and over during a rough couple of years to remind myself that things weren’t really so bad. But what got me most was when he began to question the Russian people’s relationship with Stalin.
Did the nation need his regime in some way? Did the suffering he imposed on Russia serve the spiritual life of the People? In any case, nations give themselves the leaders they deserve, seems to be the idea. The same is true for great minds. The victors write the Philosophy of a people as well as their History by supporting those thinkers that reinforce the zietgeist of the time.
Freud too, rose to meteoric success as soon as he revised his theory that parents mess their kids up, (The Aetiology of Hysteria 1896) to mean very nearly the opposite within ten years.
Society like ‘im now.
… give him his job back.
an lotta stuff.
Cocaine and unsupervised access to a massive printing press…..
In his own way, Darwin, too, rode the crest of our collective imagination, with ‘the survival of the fittest’. Though he only used the phrase once in the whole of his ‘Origins of Species’, the social milieu he was in grabbed it with both hands…
poised as they were on the cusp of global colonialisation.
and in need of a slogan.
The neat thing with the survival of the fittest is that it justifies the rules that the fit live by. Our way of being must be right or we wouldn’t be the ones left standing.
This is all on top of the divine sanction placed on thinking.
……….one might just invade India today……..
This martial, dog eat dog, linear way of looking at evolution is taken up and echoed by Neumann.
but if ontology really does recapitulate phylogony (the evolution of the species follows the pattern of individual development) then you’d expect a more organic regime change from Polytheism. After all children generally grow apart from Mother in their own quiet way.
And she generally doesn’t have her stuff desecrated, or her mates killed off…
by a narcissistically disordered demi-urge with psychopathic features……
So Neumann doesn’t do it for me.
Oh, why so angry now..?
Well because… ”if the emancipation of consciousness from the tyranny of the unconscious has gone far beyond division, and bought about a schism…..giving rise to atomised individualism”…. Neumann.
well that’s not very frikkin evolved is it?
And since when was the Unconscious tyrannical?