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Professor T

Show us your EGO!

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Star and Sheri

"Jung: God, Self and Ego" might be a better topic for a dissertation than a web forum posting :).

Here's my take. I omit "in my opinion" throughout, but that's all it is.

Jung didn't intend his 1959 TV statement about God to replace the 1955 version in Time magazine. He was wrong-footed in the give-and-take of conversation, and the 1960 letter "takes it back." Status quo ante is his slightly but crucially longer 1955 statement:

"I could not say I believe. I know! I have had the experience of being gripped by something that is stronger than myself, something that people call God."

Unpacking that statement is the problem. "Something that people call God" is key, I think. Jung made a distinction between his scientific work and his personal work. "Something that people call God" is a statement about psychology, within his area of scientific expertise. What lies beyond science is what, if anything, is the external reality of this something that people call God.

That everybody is left to decide for themselves, both what's really out there and what Jung thought was really out there. He created a borderland, called "psychological reality," in which he could make "metaphysical statements" but commit himself to no more than that the statements talked about how people experienced things.

The borderland is a barrier to our looking beyond psychology through his eyes. We can only guess what Jung really thinks based on what he includes in his psychological reality. I think it is also meaningful to notice obvious things that he omits. The purpose of "psychological reality" is to compartmentalize, so he might omit things that are too inflammatory, too revealing to include.

For example, the central events of Jung's life, both personal and professional, were his vivid encounters with Philemon, a psychologically real being whom anybody else would call an angel.

https://philemonfoun...n.org/philemon/

Jung places himself squarely within the culture that calls beings like Philemon angels, and he is indisputably steeped in that culture in real reality. But Jung doesn't call Philemon an angel.

What's up with that?

Another omission which I find crucial. Jung clearly believes that what happens in psychological reality is coordinated with or otherwise comes to pass in material reality. He will not explain how that coordination happens, but he will just leave it there that it does happen. The link is not just "agency," that someone might use material means to accomplish some goal they've adopted. But he did that, too, literally building, as in partly with his own hands, his literal dream house. Being an agent is also crucial to acquiring the experiences that promote individuation.

On that backhanded basis, I conclude that Jung's view was that Philemon is an angel, and in the most classic sense, an emissary of God. Perhaps the actual effect of "psychological reality" on Jung's perception, and so on his description, of such things is St Paul's (1 Cor 13:12)

For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.

If so, then who or what is the God who sent Philemon? A voice, like intuition or conscience? I think Jung was quite serious about the phrase "being gripped" in 1955, and that imagery is physical. As the 1960 letter puts it, he does confront a voice of God in the form of conscience, but God is identified with fate, and - wait for it - "My fate means very much myself."

So, I think Jung's God is not an analogy for anything, and is more than any entirely interior experience, but what exactly more than that, he isn't telling. Moreover, Jung's God wouldn't easily be described in words. Duh. However an ineffable God is hardly peculiar to Jung.

If I've got Jung's God right, then I would place Self as God's partner in a kind of theosis in the Eastern Orthodox usage. Their idea is that God and each human partner can exist in a sort of union, always distinct but also always asymptotically approaching unity. That is a process that unfolds over time, and outside of time as well. (Note to Star: theoretically, theosis is the Roman Catholic Beatific Vision, or so I am told.)

Jung's Self, then, maybe the "other party" in theosis, perhaps conceived of as being formed and molded during its actively pursued and ever increasing participation, rather than, say, being some fully formed object which might, in a physical analogy, passively find itself in a decaying orbit around a massive sun.

Just as I find it significant that Jung can go on and on about Philemon without saying the A-word, I find it remarkable that he can go on and on about church history and hardly ever mention theosis. There can be no question that he knew about the concept, however, and I think it is the Ur-model of his ideas about God and Self, to the extent that anything in words might ever capture the idea.

Finally, then, we see our old friend ego. He or she's just the part of the Self that's already lit up with consciousness. Ego would at first seem hardly worth mentioning compared with the enormity of the ocean of Self on which the little boat of ego floats, or the transcendent Cosmic Field whose tugs are the ocean's tides.

But, being lit up, little ego is the only part we see clearly, and the only part we can talk about, because it's the only part that can talk. Well, talk and we can hear it talking.

For now.

Those are my thoughts. Hopefully I have clarified something, if not what Jung actually thought, then at least what I think he might have thought.

Hi 8Bits,

I had a discussion with my Mother today regarding Jung (my mum is a retired Psychologist/Counsellor) she also studied Jung and she always wondered whether or not Jung really 'qualified' his theories on the conscious, unconscious and Self with regard to God. As you say (what I've highlighted in red below) happens to be exactly what we discussed, the deeper meanings of: 'Who or what is the God who sent Philemon?' Also pertinent to the question we debated is 'If it was his conscience.. it begs the question "What exactly is our conscience?'

If so, then who or what is the God who sent Philemon? A voice, like intuition or conscience? I think Jung was quite serious about the phrase "being gripped" in 1955, and that imagery is physical. As the 1960 letter puts it, he does confront a voice of God in the form of conscience, but God is identified with fate, and - wait for it - "My fate means very much myself."

It's interesting you bring up 'theosis' which can be likened to his work, but as you say it is strangely absent as there are glaring obvious parallels in his works. He has also been accused by some in the RCC in trying to sabotage the Catholic liturgy. Some of his work echoes "St John of the Cross and the Dark night of the Soul" and I think many Roman Catholics gravitated towards Jung.

In a letter to Freud he said: "I think we must give [psychoanalysis] time to infiltrate into people from many centers, to revivify among intellectuals a feeling for symbol and myth, ever so gently to transform Christ back into the soothsaying god of the vine, and in this way absorb those ecstatic instinctual forces of Christianity for the one purpose of making the cult and the sacred myth what they once were—a drunken feast of joy where man regained the ethos and holiness of an animal."

Jung is a mystery to me! IMO there is some truth in his works but he leans to the occult far too much for my own personal taste. Strangely enough some of his theories work well in Psychoanalysis which is paradoxical for me lol!

Anyway, fascinating stuff and yes it would be more appropriate for a 'dissertation' :D

Apologies Prof T for going a bit off topic!

Edited by Star of the Sea
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@8bits/Star

Very interesting and you(8bits) could be 100 percent on this. I just see it different.

I spent a year (4 times a week) in Psychoanalysis(after my sister was murdered) My opinion only reflects this experience to be clear. In Psychoanalysis, the way I experienced it --one explores the symbolic meaning of their dreams. It is personal to each person and symbols would be a reflection of their own conditioning/ tradition/teachings/culture/religion etc. and these symbols are a way for the person to understand and explore their own life to seek clarity, work through issues and gain understandings and connect to the many aspects of a multifarious self if you will. In other words-- dream books are just a over generalized idea of what goes on in Psychoanalysis e.g. bears will not hold the same meaning for all of us. I think that is the point Jung is making, or as Star suggested is nothing more than archetypes. For ex: I dreamed often of vampires which represented my fears (yet I hold no belief in vampires-- nor do I think I have a personal one, nor do I think they are real. It was just a way to confront my fears at the time subconsciously.) I have a hunch that now a days my representation of fear would not be vampires. I do not think symbols are static. They represent a moment in time. Just my 2 cents leaving me to ponder a lot of intriguing questions.

I think That 'Philemon' for Jung was his representation of objectivity/super ego at the time --just as a vampire complete with castle was mine for fear at the time.

Of course I could be wrong and most likely am. Wouldn't it be grand to be able to have a Jung's Last Session and ask.

For now we are just left with our own ideas on things.

Great conversation 8ty and Star.

Hi Sheri,

I just replied to 8Bits with regard to Jung's works and how paradoxically (for me at least) his style of Psychoanalysis can work really well. Jung is fascinating though, but I'm not sure if anyone will ever fully understand him! There are a lot of our fears/hopes etc symbolised in our dreams and nightmares as you say Sheri :tu:

Edited by Star of the Sea
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Hi 8Bits,

I had a discussion with my Mother today regarding Jung (my mum is a retired Psychologist/Counsellor) she also studied Jung and she always wondered whether or not Jung really 'qualified' his theories on the conscious, unconscious and Self with regard to God. As you say (what I've highlighted in red below) happens to be exactly what we discussed, the deeper meanings of: 'Who or what is the God who sent Philemon?' Also pertinent to the question we debated is 'If it was his conscience.. it begs the question "What exactly is our conscience?'

If so, then who or what is the God who sent Philemon? A voice, like intuition or conscience? I think Jung was quite serious about the phrase "being gripped" in 1955, and that imagery is physical. As the 1960 letter puts it, he does confront a voice of God in the form of conscience, but God is identified with fate, and - wait for it - "My fate means very much myself."

It's interesting you bring up 'theosis' which can be likened to his work, but as you say it is strangely absent as there are glaring obvious parallels in his works. He has also been accused by some in the RCC in trying to sabotage the Catholic liturgy. Some of his work echoes "St John of the Cross and the Dark night of the Soul" and I think many Roman Catholics gravitated towards Jung.

In a letter to Freud he said: "I think we must give [psychoanalysis] time to infiltrate into people from many centers, to revivify among intellectuals a feeling for symbol and myth, ever so gently to transform Christ back into the soothsaying god of the vine, and in this way absorb those ecstatic instinctual forces of Christianity for the one purpose of making the cult and the sacred myth what they once were—a drunken feast of joy where man regained the ethos and holiness of an animal."

Jung is a mystery to me! IMO there is some truth in his works but he leans to the occult far too much for my own personal taste. Strangely enough some of his theories work well in Psychoanalysis which is paradoxical for me lol!

Anyway, fascinating stuff and yes it would be more appropriate for a 'dissertation' :D

Apologies Prof T for going a bit off topic!

Star, I have to share with you I have heard similar things-- this is based on many personal discussions with a Psychologist pal of mine(who still sees clients) it is my understanding Jung is not to prevalent these days.I have to be honest my friend comes from the Freudian school of thought and at 84 she refers to Freud a lot (albeit she did not limit herself to Freud, she studied many approaches) and it is my understanding that although his ideas on unconscious instinctual drives and suppressed traumas didn't hold up, many of his ideas and contributions about the therapeutic setting and practice are still going strong today. It is also my understanding that what seems to hold up about Jung is his contributions to understanding personality-- namely introversion and extroversion. Personally-- I have experienced dream therapy and it was nothing short of fascinating and insightful for me. As you I think Jung's ideas still work for some.

Great post my dear, it was a interesting read.

Edited by Sherapy
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Apologies Prof T for going a bit off topic!

No Worries!

Your Ego's crack me up! :lol:

Besides, this was quite interesting.. I even watched the Jung Interview. imo, it was the delivery of his comment as much the comment it's self that caused such a fuss.

Edited by Professor T
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“ Ego is the biggest enemy of humans. ” -- The Rig Veda

[A polite request: Please don't flame. I am just inserting a relevant quote to a relevant thread.]

Thank you.

Nice quote..

But what are your thoughts on Ego?

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ok what is mine, Prof. T?

Hmmm, tricky....

Youre one of these folks I don't really know how to interpret because you use Ego as a tool, you admire it in others and use others ego to inspire positive change in yours..

From what I've seen of your posts and comments you are very honest.. Honest with your self, and honest with others.. Your thoughtful, difficult to manipulate.. you can be damn stubborn at times....

Am I right?

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I was referred here by someone. Thinks I need analyzed. Anyone who knows me here, have at it.

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Okay. I just happened to be here, so why not?

Mr. Fess, ...politically, you lean to the right. You're a strong supporter of the 2nd ammendment, you're older than the average UM member and you love your dog.

Pretty scary, eh? :)

Edit: Just checked your profile. Agewise, you're probably average.

Edited by Likely Guy

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Okay. I just happened to be here, so why not?

Mr. Fess, ...politically, you lean to the right. You're a strong supporter of the 2nd ammendment, you're older than the average UM member and you love your dog.

Pretty scary, eh? :)

Wow! You're good!

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Wow! You're good!

Okay. You do me! :)

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I AM.

I am an artist. I am a black belt. I am a musician. I am a singer. I am a poet. I am a song writer. I am this. I am that. I am many things....

When you leave all that you are behind all that you are left with is I Am. So, we can define Ego as:

I Am + any label. I Am + Label = Ego. Ego wants to control I Am. Ego wants to be loved. Ego wants, needs, attention. I Am just wants to be.

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Near as I can tell you're an excellent judge of character who likes old timey llamas. Close?

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Edit: Just checked your profile. Agewise, you're probably average.

Ha, I wasn't gonna say anything but I thought so.

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Hmmm, tricky....

Youre one of these folks I don't really know how to interpret because you use Ego as a tool, you admire it in others and use others ego to inspire positive change in yours..

From what I've seen of your posts and comments you are very honest.. Honest with your self, and honest with others.. Your thoughtful, difficult to manipulate.. you can be damn stubborn at times....

Am I right?

yup pretty much, or at least as close as someone can be.

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Near as I can tell you're an excellent judge of character who likes old timey llamas. Close?

In a way, not really.

1st off, I'm not an excellent judge of character. I just pay attention to what people say and I remember it, as well as their perspectives. In a discussion, nothing gets lost on me.

2nd off, it's a Bactrian Camel. Sort'a close though.

Edit: In short, your ego is developed and out front (you're a strong believer, in the way of not much confusion). Mine is, oldschool, maybe smug and reserved. :)

Edited by Likely Guy
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Hey Prof T, would be interested to hear from you about what you think my ego is. You seem to be quite good at this, quite impressive how much you can learn about a person just from the way they interact with an online forum. Don't hold anything back ;) I'll be truthful in letting you know how accurate you are. At least, from what I've learnt and know about myself.

Was kinda interesting and big these past months have been to me. Did a lot of thinking and had a few things happen to me in the negative area. But yeah, almost come to peace with a lot of problems I've had. I thought I knew myself before but wow, I've become a better person in my eyes. As in a person I am happier with. Not sure if this is off topic but I definitely feel this has a connection with the ego in some way.

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Hey Prof T, would be interested to hear from you about what you think my ego is. You seem to be quite good at this, quite impressive how much you can learn about a person just from the way they interact with an online forum. Don't hold anything back ;) I'll be truthful in letting you know how accurate you are. At least, from what I've learnt and know about myself.

Was kinda interesting and big these past months have been to me. Did a lot of thinking and had a few things happen to me in the negative area. But yeah, almost come to peace with a lot of problems I've had. I thought I knew myself before but wow, I've become a better person in my eyes. As in a person I am happier with. Not sure if this is off topic but I definitely feel this has a connection with the ego in some way.

Firstly, I don't think exposing Ego is a one off thing.. I, you, or any other member here is quite capable of identifying a persons more dominant Ego trait from their posts imho.. But that's not exposing what ego is, that's only exposing an outer layer of it, or one of the masks.

Hmmm, I'm not sure I can tell much about you. I've not conversed with you much over my time here in UM, so I havn't really built up much of a mental picture of you or your ego.. Also, just looking at your profile and last posts doesn't really tell me much..

Will have a go though.. And base this almost entirely on intuition, so please, let met know if I'm on the mark or not..

Me thinks you liked to expose other peoples weaknessess, your ego found it empowering.. But I somehow think that aspect of your ego was discovered and dropped.. I think the discovery was a bit of a shock to you. Now you are more fluid and less concerned with controling other peoples opinions of themselves.. Letting go of that part of your ego has made you more aware of your own self an your own needs and feelings...

Am I right?

Edited by Professor T

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Okay, time to come clean regarding my hidden agenda in this thread..

My hidden intention was to get the one or two people (who I suspect of being fakes) and exposing them through their Ego's in this thread.... unfortunately, the usual suspects have not showed up here & not posted.. This surprises me............. Perhaps Ego is something they are very adept at discerning, and as such they wouldn't come near a thread like this? Especially considering how this has developed. Basically I've used this thread as a proving ground for playing with My Ego, and playing with one or two other ego's as well.. I've maintained that I'm no expert, and that is the truth.. I believe anyone can identify other peoples more dominant Ego traits so long as they have a healthy ego themselves and so long as they have a good understanding of the Ego traits that they have discovered in themselves or others..

Anyway, the unexpected results from this thread has been very educational.. I hope everyone else who's taken part has learned something about themselves and each other.. I think there is a basic progression with Ego, the more you learn about it the more empowered you become.

Once people become aware of their Ego's & subtle ego's they learn how to control it.. And from there-on-in I think people learn to see and manipulate the ego in others as a result of knowing themselves.. This gives people who are "Ego Aware" a lot of power, because they can use their awareness to manipulate & control the actions of others, (Self serving & disempowering) or use it to help others become "Ego Aware" which makes being controlled by others at an Ego level almost impossible (Serving others & Empowering them).. Either way, Ego Awareness = power.

Err, hope that makes Sense... I guess a good analogy of peoples ego being addressed and used against them would be to have a look at the entertainment and advertising world. Big name actors are selling their wares and goods to your Ego, not to you..

Anyway, Basically what started as an egotistical experiment has proven to me the above is true.. I Kind of hope this thread continues and more people become "Ego Aware" for the right reasons because Ego is something we hardly ever see within our selves, but others see daily in us..

Through honest appriasal, intuition, and honest feedback about our ego's we can discover a lot of empowering truthes about ourselfs and others.. that imo, is something worth persueing..

Edited by Professor T
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I AM.

I am an artist. I am a black belt. I am a musician. I am a singer. I am a poet. I am a song writer. I am this. I am that. I am many things....

When you leave all that you are behind all that you are left with is I Am. So, we can define Ego as:

I Am + any label. I Am + Label = Ego. Ego wants to control I Am. Ego wants to be loved. Ego wants, needs, attention. I Am just wants to be.

And ego wants to be noticed..

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Okay, time to come clean regarding my hidden agenda in this thread..

My hidden intention was to get the one or two people (who I suspect of being fakes) and exposing them through their Ego's in this thread....

Not asking you for any identities Professor, but what do you mean by 'fakes'?

I can make my own guesses from there. :)

Edited by Likely Guy

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And ego wants to be noticed..

That goes a long way Professor T, to explaining the fascination with seeing other people on TV. What do people watch on TV? Other people! I find it very interesting in a way that most don't because I chose a long, long time ago not to watch TV. I don't even have one. But, walk into the living room of the vast, vast, majority of Americans and there it is...front and center. Probably true of most of the Western World.

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Not asking you for any identities Professor, but what do you mean by 'fakes'?

I can make my own guesses from there. :)

Fakes as in people who post comments about themselves, their own lives, their way of life and achievements and deeds which are false and un-true..

Edited by Professor T
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Fakes as in people who post comments about themselves, their own lives, their way of life and achienvements and deeds which are false and un-true..

You probably just opened up your PM to the guessing game! :yes:

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That goes a long way Professor T, to explaining the fascination with seeing other people on TV. What do people watch on TV? Other people! I find it very interesting in a way that most don't because I chose a long, long time ago not to watch TV. I don't even have one. But, walk into the living room of the vast, vast, majority of Americans and there it is...front and center. Probably true of most of the Western World.

So true!! & good on you for not having one..

I hardly watch TV nowadays myself, only the news.. I find the people/personalities are plastic.. Their acting or actions depending on the show are egotistic or down right manipulative.. They portray false drama and smile their plastic empty smiles.. I have a 50" TV in the living room.. a X2 meter projector TV in the sitting room. A Two 40" TV's in the bedrooms & I'm currently typing at a 43".. These TV's aren't hardy used, and when they are turned on all I do is moan about the advertising which again, is adressing my Ego, telling my Ego that it needs to buy, to consume, to be in on the lastest fad or support this or buy that or think this way or that..

It's laughable when you start to understand it, but TV's like you say are front and center.. Ego is lead to believe they are there as status symbols or forms of entertainment, but in reality they are tools that control us through the manipulation of Ego.

Even the news I'm finding more and more manipulative rather than informative.. It it weren't for being a bit of a wizz with satellite dishes and having multiple options for news sources from around the world I'd probably get rid of all but one TV.

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That goes a long way Professor T, to explaining the fascination with seeing other people on TV. What do people watch on TV? Other people! I find it very interesting in a way that most don't because I chose a long, long time ago not to watch TV. I don't even have one. But, walk into the living room of the vast, vast, majority of Americans and there it is...front and center. Probably true of most of the Western World.

Hey Joc, we've something in common! I got rid of my TV about 7 years ago. Don't miss it one bit! If you come to my house, the internet's on and so is the radio. That's more than enough entertainment/information.

Professor T, I wonder how many other UM'ers have a TV aversion?

Edit: also @ Professor T, I wonder what it says about my ego to come back just to edit one minor spelling mistake. Ego thing, or a compulsive disorder? :)

Edited by Likely Guy
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