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rhlangan

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About rhlangan

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  1. How Nietzsche made me 'not a Jungian'

    The 'typology' of ressentimment is covered mainly in Genealogy of Morals, with the stuff on ressentiment IIRC in 10-12 of the first essay. But a lot of it is baked into Beyond Good & Evil as well, and naturally Deleuze's Nietzsche & Philosophy is a good compass to work with (for me).
  2. How Nietzsche made me 'not a Jungian'

    He certainly is, but in some ways (at least in my reading of Nietzsche, which is heavily influenced by Kaufmann and Deleuze) all that is serving a deeper agenda. Nietzsche's motive does not seem to me to necessarily be about upheaval--in fact, in many cases he would probably hold revolution in contempt. To be sure, in his own time he seems to have deplored the direction of German and European culture, and in many ways he's lamenting humankind's ill-preparation for modernity... When he says "God is dead, and we have killed him," I have always viewed that as him saying: Are you prepared for the consequences of the death of religion? Of the death of an ideal master? Or will we just settle for mediocrity and safety, why he was skeptical not only of socialism, but in some ways democracy too? For Nietzsche, a lot of anger people hold towards power structures potentially comes out of reactionary force--i.e., a constant occupation to being acted upon by something 'greater' than us. The inability to let go of these 'traces' of reactionary forces is why Nietzsche says the faculty of forgetting is very important, and highly underrated in the constitution of a healthy individual! The bitter individual never forgets. This leads down the path of ressentiment. The resentful person accuses the active force that has afflicted them of a wrong doing, and creates a fiction in which that active force could have chosen to do otherwise. So for instance, Nietzsche uses the example of the lamb and the eagle. The lamb accuses the eagle of choosing to hunt (as if it could choose otherwise), and this also lets the lamb assume a moral highground by pointing it chooses not to hunt (as if it could choose otherwise). This fictional process eventually is turned inward (Bad Conscience and Infinite Guilt), and this is also basically the road on a 'Will to Nothing', or nihilism. Not what Nietzsche endorses. Please note that this talk of lamb and eagle, master and slave, obviously beckons the idea that only the powerful in a pejorative sense can succeed-which is obviously what can make Nietzsche appealing to the wrong crowds. But both Deleuze and Nietzsche insist that the desire to rule over others always comes from a place of reactive force. I sometimes wonder if this is a little too optimistic, and it's interesting elsewhere that Nietzsche accuses Spinoza--who has an awfully similar system in his philosophy--of being too naive about the difference between active and passive affects (which is tantamount to Nietzsche's active and reactive forces). Which brings us to active forces. Active forces come from within, and are based on 'what a thing can do'. The eagle hunts. The lamb grazes. But such capacities aren't always known or defined, which is why experimentation is important to Nietzsche and Deleuze (and Spinoza too, really). This is, in Deleuze's philosophy, akin to partitioning the actual from the virtual (and thus forgetting the true genesis of things in our world). To live from the position of active force is the affirmative Will to Power. And Nietzsche is asking us to always evaluate from forces that truly appropriate something, to evaluate whether it comes from an active or reactive place. The 'transvaluation of values'. That, I think, is the real objective of Nietzsche's project. But again, I'm coming from a very Deleuze-influenced reading of Nietzsche, others may differ.
  3. Jung's concept of the archetype

    The 'supernatural edge' in synchronicity is merely referring to the acausal nature of it; in the typical formulation, an inner feeling or thought juxtaposed with a corresponding exterior event. And typically, per Jung, these incidents occur during a period of psychic change or unconscious upheaval. An oft-repeated example is a very rational woman who is Jung's patient, and is skeptical of Jung's methods. She dreams of a scarab beetle and is describing the dream to Jung right when a big beetle lands on his window, and he plucks it and hands it to her. Another example is, while confronting Freud about the possibility of parapsychology, which Freud dismissed, Jung foresaw loud popping sounds to emanate from a nearby bookshelf. See this article for a drive by explanation. It's worth noting that, assuming this incident happened as reported, Jung didn't fully formulate his views on synchronicity till many years down the line. The real interesting thing I've noticed in the Jungian literature on synchronicity is how far scholars are willing to go to endow it with an actual reality or not--that is to say, does it really happen or are we just valuing moments that are 'special' to us, as people? You'll see certain Jungians, especially on the developmental and 'subject-only' end of the scale (Jean Knox, for instance) basically describe it like this: a cute coincidence that can help the mind along the path of individuation, but certainly nothing objectively 'real' about it. Whereas certainly others (Atmanspacher) say there's more going on there, that this is some sort of constellation between mind and matter going on, or maybe a 'collapse' between what we normally perceive to be a distinction between them. Certainly I can't imagine anyone denying that this latter sort, a 'hard' synchronicity, if you will, is what Jung was going after. His work with Wolfgang Pauli pretty much confirms that, and in some ways it seems like it was Pauli who pushed Jung out of the intrasubjective. At the Holism Conference, we saw two examples of a 'hard' synchronicity being argued for. 1) With Harald Atmanspacher's Quantum Holism, where mind and matter are 'decayed aspects' of a singular whole, building off the discussions between Jung and Wolfgang Pauli; and 2) George Hogenson's use of fractals and complex theory. I Hogenson's paper on 'Dragon Kings', he equates synchronicities with systems that become very homogenized and dense, and on the verge of a complete phase transition. This occurs when language-as-signs (like a Chimp's screech referring only to an incoming predator) becomes language-as-symbols (where words can have more than one meaning), and he says that explains why in synchronicity a symbol like the scarab beetle than recurs in both mind and matter.... There are potential issues I think with both these views, not the least of which is I am not convinced they really cohere with one another. But also, in Deleuze's thought there is an inherent problem in taking a reified image, such as a fractal, and then using it to explain events and occurrences. It becomes another reified law whose genesis is not accounted for. Attractors and complex systems have everything to do with Deleuze's idea of the virtual--see DeLanda's work for info on that. But these patterns that we can project out of the trajectory of actual things--the interactions of which are what produce intensive differences--exist only in the actual material, and not as something 'transcendent' to it. In other words, in Deleuze the virtual never 'produces' itself, in a sense--at least, not without matter beckoning it into existence in a way. I think this paradox is very closely related to how you discuss the infinite economy of the Jungian Archetype VS Nature's perpetual evolution. And, because all intensive processes interlink with another (the Body without Organs), this is why, indeed, parsing out certain archetypes is in a sense arbitrary, or at the very least, is serving a practical purpose (but that doesn't mean it's bullshit either!). The 'Dark Precursor' in Deleuze is that moment where a difference in intensities, or a multiplicity of different intensities that would interact in what he calls a 'spatio-temporal dynamism' (this is basically jargon to say that if you have intensities that reciprocate with one another, they are going to qualitatively lead to a new becoming). Of course, it's the actualized products of this process that the virtual and the intensive almost 'hide' behind, and what we then tend to describe in terms of deified generalities. To talk of attractors as transcendent things risks creating a situation where you could discuss "why this world and not another?", or a real v. possible scenario, which is anathema to Deleuze's project, because then real difference becomes completely submerged by a discussion of difference by negation. Think of a dumb comic book with a multiverse and an 'Earth One'. Earth One is then apparently the 'correct Earth', with all the perfected forms that every other Earth features lesser copies of. Not real difference! That's an interesting point you make about the Oedipus Complex, also interesting because doesn't Jung say somewhere-maybe Two Essays on Analytical Psych--that in some respect, the Oedipus Complex was the 'one archetype' that Freud discovered? And yeah, letters like that remind me what an interesting character Freud really was. Embittered, and also very aware of it!
  4. My view of Nietzsche was mainly through Lucy Huskinson's work on Jung and Nietzsche--as well as Jung's reading of Nietzsche-- and so I was missing something. Reading Nietzsche directly, I saw that 'God is dead' and 'Apollo vs Dionysus' was barely scratching the surface, and Nietzsche's philosophy was less about demolition than it was construction and honesty in motive, especially pertaining triumph of active forces over ressentiment and bad passions. There is something in Nietzsche that is very visceral, almost Whitehead-ish at times--he's constantly talking of differences of forces and processes, rather than post-hoc static study of things. There's a passage somewhere in Beyond Good & Evil, I forget where, where he sort of 'gives away the game' of what he's doing and defines the Will to Power as these sort of forces; or rather, he states, quasi-hypothetically, "If I were to define the Will to Power as this...". And from that moment on I realized he was as very much covertly systematic as I think Deleuze or Bergson or any of those guys are, once you pull back the rhetoric. They're building something that requires the archetype, the virtual, the active... whatever you want to call it... both within and without, a concrete universal of the world. I think reading Nietzsche directly sort of gave me the confidence to consider all that without Jung as the foundation for me, if that makes sense. I think that all resonates a lot with what's in Jung, but not starting with the container of 'mind' to get there, which in some ways becomes even more liberating I think, in the same way archetypes being found in nature 'frees' them from futile talk about "do we find them in genes? Or brain structures? Or...". I think all that talk is a waste of time, anymore than trying to find genes for broad personality features often is dubious. I think that 'passage' into the world is what a lot of us who study Jung juxtaposed against another philosopher--whether it be Spinoza, Schelling or Deleuze- are after. Unrelated but I should also note that a 'whole that is never reached' is a very Deleuzian idea as well (The Virtual Idea is never finished).
  5. Welcome to rhlangan!

    Thanks for the welcome! And I was actually going to go with Buddy Christ, but this picture of Jesus holding a roll of Mentos is an old message board stand by for me, so i figured to use it for old times sake. In case if anyone's wondering, I'm an independent scholar who did his Masters in Jungian Studies at University of Essex. I had the pleasure of meeting @Gord Barentsen at a conference on Jung, Deleuze and Holism last week, and he kindly invited me to take part in your community here. Look forward to many interesting discussions to come!
  6. Jung's concept of the archetype

    @stimmung79 From what I've read, I think a lot of commentators would agree the Jung-Freud relationship was doomed from the start. IIRC, Jung, an upstart psychiatrist eager to meet Freud, sent him some of his written work in 1906, and Freud responded favorably. In their initial correspondence, it's clear that Jung is not 100% on board with the primacy on the sex drive that defined Freud's work, but he goes along with it anyways, and eventually he becomes Freud's heir apparent in psychoanalysis. Under the surface though, Jung is convinced that Freud's missing something with the unconscious. This had more to do with just Freud's preoccupation with sexual libido. It has a lot to do with the respective schools of thought each men came from in regards to early psychological theory. Freud's work with hypnosis and studying hysteria had a lot to with repressed memories (first real, than imagined) and wishes. The unconscious for him became an adjective of sorts where thinks were 'submerged' from conscious thought, and in some ways you could picture his model of the psyche as 'vertical'. Jung's early work dealt a lot more with 'complexes' and the 'splitting' of the psyche--you could think of this as a more lateral thing, as his unconscious became a proper noun, a sea of contents that the conscious mind is but one island in. This complete difference in ontology was never really rectified between Jung and Freud, and as Jung started giving more and more credence to symbols, myth, and the libido as being more than sexual drive, the further he drifted from Jung. I forget why they eventually pop off on eachother in their final letters to one another, other than the relationship had been strained for a while leading up to 1912. Jung accuses Freud of being manipulative and an asshole (probably). Freud says they're better off not taking to each other. Jung quotes some Shakespeare ("the rest is silence") and that's that. Freud dismisses all of Jung's later work as rubbish and says somewhere Jung's upper-class Protestant sensibility is why he got skeeved out by the sex theory. Jung has an awkward essay around 1920ish where he insinuates that Freud being a Jew is why he was obsessed with sex. Stay classy everyone.
  7. Jung's concept of the archetype

    Hope you don't mind me adding my two cents here weeks after the fact, but... As you say, Jung in his later work grounds the archetypes in the physical through the concept of the psychoid, which seems to the point where "the archetype can no longer be considered strictly psychic", or whatever the phrasing is. This device let's Jung from the late 40s onward talk about the archetypes- or at least, their manifestations- a as being something 'exterior' to the individual, as he does with the 'mass-hallucination/myth making' ideas in Flying Saucers, or the supernatural edge in Synchronicity, or even just the mass societal movements in 'Undiscovered Self'. And even in examples with a more ethological tinge, such as how a spider knows how to spin its web, or the insect that knows what to do in its short existence, I think its implied Jung is dealing with something that is in some way dependent on the material world, and certainly not just the anthropomorphic mind. And oddly I've always felt that Symbols of Transformation of the Libido, that early breakup note to Freud, in some ways is the biggest 'peak behind the curtain' as to what archetypes really are. When the priest keeps having dreams he sees as a crisis of faith, until he goes on his mission work and ends up joining a different church, you essentially see there the archetype as a solution to an unconscious problem--where the problem is something 'grounded' in reality, in the material world, and the archetypal material is apprehended by the priest. This is the crux of Christian Kerslake connecting archetypes with the 'problem-ideas' (or virtual ideas) in Deleuze's philosophy. And if we are willing to make that jump, there are still very interesting questions about "how do you demarcate which archetype is which?" but in a realm less anthropomorphic and eminent than Jung's potentially is, which I like. Anyways, just my two cents.

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