chapter  21
4 Pages

Concluding refl ections

The preceding twenty chapters have sought to demonstrate that Jung’s dream of psychology as an architectonic science-linking the various biological specialties and setting the whole on a reliable empirical foundation-can now, in the twentyfi rst century, fi nally be realized. An evolutionary perspective now really can undergird a dependable psychology, and we can fi nally appreciate what Jung meant to accomplish with the idea of “archetype.” The research and the writing of this volume has been guided by the aim of Complex Psychology, namely to identify and appreciate the patterns nested within patterns that characterize the data of the human sciences and pursues this aim much the way Jung envisaged in his unsuccessful journal project, Weltanschauung-by extracting the leading ideas from the sciences, archaeology to zoology, and making them available to non-specialists. This book has pulled a great deal of material from a variety of specialties in imitation of Jung’s own propensity to borrow material shamelessly, like the “accursed dilettante” he confessed himself to be. The original purpose of all this has been to rescue Jung from his undeserved reputation as an irresponsible and muddle-headed mystic, and demonstrate that he was trying to build psychology on a fi rm scientifi c foundation, despite the sketchy nature of biological knowledge a century ago. He did so by making some very astute choices. Archetypes are the intentional dimension of instincts and structure everything we do. They are not images, as is popularly believed; and they are not found exclusively in mythology. They are the products of evolution and evidence of our place in the natural world. They do not reside in some separate spiritual substance resembling Descartes’ soul-for that idea is really theological, a claim that we humans stand above and outside of nature by virtue of our immortal destiny in a Christian heaven. We all have psyches, every living organism on earth; and archetypes are patterns in the intentional process (i.e. psyche) by which every organism not only survives but seeks to thrive. Since evolutionarily we are primates, human archetypes are probably 98 percent identical with those of our cousins, the chimpanzees and bonobos. Although warmly embraced by some, these ideas have proven to be scary for other Jungians who have attended lectures I have given on this material or who have engaged me at academic meetings. If Jung’s psychology has a biological

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basis, some have said, “Where is the magic?” Clearly they assume biology to be as devoid of “soul” as Descartes’ machine-like picture of the body. Paradoxically, however, even as they apparently believe they need the hypothesis of a Cartesian soul to preserve the special numinous and magical nature of the archetypes, some also wax evangelical over the romantic idea of “embodiment.” Implying that Jung was “too much in his head” (or possibly his “soul”) like the mystic of popular legend, they attempt to save Analytical Psychology with techniques designed to assist people to “get into the body.” They fail to realize that it is their own philosophical baggage that stands in the way of their discovering the real Jung. An accurate reading of Jung’s intentions does not begin with his brief association with Freud and conclude that he went off the rails on a mystical rampage. On the contrary, it fi nds his origins where he always said they were, in the “French School” of somnambulism and its investigation of altered states of consciousness. By clarifying the trend of thinking that underlies his more careful defi nitions of “archetype,” an accurate reading of Jung discovers how rooted it is in biology and evolution. Psyche (or soul) is not some esoteric dimension of human nature, it is a universal and essential dimension of every organism. All animals have psyches, even the protozoa. Psyche is the intentional aspect of every living process. Therefore, it is inseparable from the body-inherent in every living creature and dependent upon the complexity of a creature’s anatomy and particularly its brain (if it has one) for its higher abilities. It has been nearly three decades since Anthony Stevens (1983) diagnosed the problem with “Jungians as a group,” that we have been “mesmerized . . . by archetypal symbols” and defensive about the biological implications of Analytical Psychology to the point of ignoring the “behavioral manifestations” and the “phylogenetic roots” of the archetype (Stevens 1983: 29). I would go further. We have been mesmerized by theories about symbols, as though they have no relationship to the body. Such a perspective fails to recognize the top-to-bottom structure of the archetype and the fact that the constellation of any archetype is above all a typical emotional body state. Those fascinated with symbols and their theories see only the very top of the archetypal confi guration, missing the cortical and limbic changes in the brain, the alteration of autonomic nervous system balance, the dispatch of hormones and neuromodulators, bodily posture, facial expression and the like. They call for “embodiment” only because the fi lter of their mesmerized condition has hidden the larger physical portion of the archetype from their awareness. We have to open our eyes to the fact that symbols are the brain’s interpretation of the bodily state itself and include that in our analysis of our patients. In the twenty-fi rst century we can no longer afford to live in the stratosphere of the image alone. We Jungians have lived, too, in the penumbra of Jung’s authority. If that authority has been treated with skepticism in our monophasic society, we have chosen to view that fact with pride. Jung was a misunderstood genius who articulated insights the conventional world is not yet ready for. The effective magic of Jungian jargonanima, transcendent function, enantiodromia, inferior function, numinosity,

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ego-self axis-these words and phrases have become the secret language of initiati practicing a mystery religion, saving those blessed souls who have thought they were lost because they could not accommodate themselves to the comfortable mainstream. In working like this, we had no authority but Jung’s to rely upon. We pulled sentences and images out of the Collected Works to justify our claims on the bare evidence that “Jung said so” and that it must therefore be true. Now, however, that several scientifi c specialties have uncovered the biological basis for the phenomena Jung named nearly a century ago, we Jungians can begin to fi nd the theoretical foundations of our own therapeutic interpretations, or perhaps discover that they are not as sound as we had long believed. The crucial scientifi c work is being “extracted” from its primary sources for us-not in a convenient single journal as Weltanschauung was designed to be-but in an endless series of well informed and well written books, many of them by the very scientists themselves who did the primary work. These are the secondary sources I have relied upon and summarized in this volume. Widespread support from the biological sciences-as unexpected as it may seem to be-also forces us to shift some of our perspectives. Altered states of consciousness are a case in point. All Jungians surely employ them when we attend to complexes and dreams and when we practice active imagination. Jungians as a group are minimally polyphasic, but we have not recognized the wider implications of these activities-the fact that Jung, in encouraging us not to resent the irrational, has implicitly called for a much more vigorous polyphasic approach to life. In the last dozen or so years of my practice of Jungian analysis, I have found it extremely useful to attend to the spectrum of conscious states induced in me by the analysand (through limbic resonance) or implicitly reported by the analysand himself as he describes crucial experiences from his childhood or just the past week. For to identify and experience-that is to feel-the altered states that our monophasic society denies or denigrates is to be in touch with corresponding body states. Every discrete body state generates or is induced by its own discrete state of consciousness. To feel that state is to be in touch with the archetype, top-to-bottom. Every “symbol” either induces or is the conscious evidence of a discrete state of body-and-mind. The reason for this is that the symbol appears in consciousness as a sort of report from the brain about the state of my body. This is why in the previous twenty chapters I have avoided speaking merely of “unconscious contents,” as Jung does. The expression “unconscious content” suggests an image; and the danger is that we will merely speculate about the meaning of the image and ignore the soul-and-body state that it induces in us and in the analysand who reports it. We will be “mesmerized by the symbol,” as Stevens (1983) warns. In turning our attention away from the symbol itself and toward the changes it brings about in our consciousness, we are making what I discovered in researching and writing my book on Tantra to be the essential move in every mystical tradition (Haule 1999b).1 Here I refer to “mystic” in the other sense of the term-not an irresponsible and muddle-headed way of thinking about monophasic realities-but

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a serious discipline that learns to use altered states of consciousness for psychological and spiritual development. Mystics in this classical sense are accomplished polyphasic practitioners. This is the sense in which Jung really was a mystic. We shall pursue the implications of Jung’s mysticism and his challenge to the limitations scientists impose on their investigations in the second volume of Jung in the 21st Century, which begins with a discussion of how altered states can be mastered and goes on to explore those extraordinary altered states that prompted Jung to propose his doctrine of synchronicity: not merely a study in psychology but a cosmology as well. He asks the question science has not yet asked: What sort of a universe must this be if organisms and their inherent psyches can evolve in it?