Saturday, April 23, 2016

Looking Inward: Jung, Perception and What is it?

A recent article on The Mind Unleashed by Gary Bobroff offered 5 ways Carl Jung's psychology 
leads us to our inner life. They are: dreams, personality types, archetypes, synchronicity and the "realness" of the unconscious. The essay develops a short explanation of all five and concludes with this statement about the reality of what lies beyond our conscious awareness:

"...there is more to the psyche than just the conscious mind. With this in mind, engagement with the inner voice is pursued not as a form of inner housekeeping, but rather in the humble service of the development of a relationship with an intelligence present within us but greater than our own. Committing to that service means relating more deeply to our inner nature; its only end-goal is the whole-bodied, whole-hearted, full blossoming of who we really are."

I have done quite a bit of research on the mystical or wisdom tradition and its correlation with personality type. My conclusions, completely supported in psychology of religion literature, is that wisdom and mysticism involve  the integrated awareness of both the outer, sensing thinking and the inner, intuiting feeling mind; the latter being an absolute necessity for a balanced appreciation of subjective reality. Mystics are always intuitive perceivers (NF or NT on a Myers-Briggs).

Mr Bobroff goes on to describe Jung's idea of synchronous awareness, prompting my thoughts of the vast realm of subjective reality and our, often limiting and delusional, attempts to objectify what simply cannot be fully defined. That which is beyond objectification and for which words and ideologies must allow accessibility to more expansive interpretation than dogmatic precision seeks to impose.

"Jung’s psychology is only really understood when it is a lived experience, and nothing exemplifies this more than the mystery of synchronicity. Jung coined the term synchronicity to refer to extraordinary moments when outer happenings reflect inner states. What we see in such a coincidence of events is a MEANINGFUL INTERPLAY alive in our reality."

In all cases of spiritual/psychological/social development, we must understand that our identity (and this is way oversimplified I'm sure) exists in relationship with our self, our higher power (that which is beyond the self), and others (people and planet) outside of our self. These relationships can be objectified, as if they are separate from our self, but they are not. What we think, see, hear, smell, touch, taste does not the whole experience compose. There are other perceptions and interactions at work in relational reality beyond what can be objectified. These are interactive energies of memory, emotion, presence, and others I don't even know how to name. These are ancient mechanisms for survival and attunement that are complex, to say the least.

Christof Koch, a researcher of consciousness, proposes that "Any system that possesses some nonzero amount of integrated information experiences something. Let me repeat: any system that has even one bit of integrated information has a very minute conscious experience."

Can you imagine how many integrated systems are operating for you to be reading and understanding this right now?

Spirit is by definition, unseen. We are so stuck on the idea that what is true must be see-able, or thinkable, when in reality all we see or think defines no more than a point in space. One point, no matter how big or small, in an unknown - unknowable eternity of "what is it?" It "is" a point we conjure, alone or together; an object or concept nidus to be agreed upon or argued over. Everything our sensing "sees" is relative, in many ways, not the least of which is how aware we are of our inner world.

"We see only so much of the world as we have apperceptive (introspective) organs for seeing. We see things not as they are but as we are–that is, we see the world not as it is, but as molded by the individual peculiarities of our minds."
The Psychology of Prejudice, Current Literature GTW Patrick, 1890

There is always more. Everything I can discretely perceive with my mind or outward sensing is but a moment manifestation of something beyond the manifestation of "what is it?" Something life giving, as manna to the Israelites. Something life-informing, like the room around me. But not something that lasts forever. "If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?"

Experience is beyond the objective. It rises and falls into awareness on a sea of subjectivity that is eternal and undefinable. Consciousness is perhaps the best word we have for it right now. Ultimate reality? Absolute Truth? These are all words that are never limited by definition. Like God. Like grace. Like possibility. These are symbols, like every single word we use, they both inform and confound, because subjective experience is built into them...and also beyond them.

Perhaps we should remember to ask, "What is it?" more often. The word manna, literally means, "What is it?" In story it seems to be the substance from which the desert wanderers made bread. It is that which kept them alive, but spoiled in a day and had to be refreshed with the new days supply of "what is it?" Manna, we are told, was the white stuff that appeared like dew on the ground each morning and was gone by noon. The "what is it?" sustained an entire people for 40 years. I think it was more than bread makings. Much more.

_/\_Peggy @ Ecumenicus

Postscript: One of the hallmarks of intuitive inquiry is asking one's self, "What does this mean?" Intuition always looks beyond physicality or superficial circumstance for meaning and value. Both are subjective, remembered, experiential additions to objectified reality.

Taking pause, being quiet, allowing space between the event and the interpretation will assist in bringing intuitive wisdom to the experience. Be still.

Sending all of you joy and peace!

Mind Unleashed article at this link: Five Ways Carl Jung Led Us To The Inner Life