Macchars don’t wear sweaters

Eelan – E – Jung

Posted on: May 18, 2008

if there exists something called as wisdom, this man had it.

Anyone who wants to know the human psyche will learn next to nothing from experimental psychology. He would be better advised to abandon exact science, put away his scholar’s gown, bid farewell to his study, and wander with human heart throught the world. There in the horrors of prisons, lunatic asylums and hospitals, in drab suburban pubs, in brothels and gambling-hells, in the salons of the elegant, the Stock Exchanges, socialist meetings, churches, revivalist gatherings and ecstatic sects, through love and hate, through the experience of passion in every form in his own body, he would reap richer stores of knowledge than text-books a foot thick could give him, and he will know how to doctor the sick with a real knowledge of the human soul.

— Carl Jung

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8 Responses to "Eelan – E – Jung"

Jung is a dunderhead. No wonder I’ve never read him. By feeling what he says to be passion, or any other feeling; despair, death, or any other part of life, we can only replicate the feeling and not understand it. If you can’t put it in words it isn’t true. Truth is contained within the language and our understanding dwells heavily on the use of language; if we are to be exact. Anthropomorphism is not a basis for ontology, even in the context of psychology.

all i can say is….whazza??? obviously you have read him more than i have…ive just started to explore him..and i am UTTERLY fascinated. accurate or inaccurate, dunderhead is certainly what he was not. he delved deep into the human psyche, and he saw certain order, a certain conceptual framework which he felt described the workings of the human mind. accurate or not, it is a profound view. and you cant help but wonder, on the one hand there is the adventure of thought/knowledge of people like jung, and on the other hand there are ceo’s who devise market strategies to maximize returns.

No I haven’t read Jung at all but I did read once a book on Behavior Analysis. You have quoted Jung out of context. He’s clearly referring to are the behaviorists who thrived in the mid 20th century and declined in the 80’s. But that doesn’t mean what I wrote isn’t valid. Language and understanding are closely related. I have only an inkling of the process for now, it has been explored in depth by many though.

well, i found the quote as is, so i cant really be blamed for quoting it out of context. i dont think he is specifically reacting against this school or that, but against too much emphasis on theoretical study of the human psyche or treating them as automata governed by instinctive forces(is that behaviourism). more knowledge is to be gained by intimate contact and intutive understanding of humans. if anything, the quote betrays a profound sympathy for human suffering and the human condition (not dunderheadedness)

i am in no way opposed to your marriage of understanding and language, in fact i completely agree. what im not sure of tho, how did that enter the debate in the first place?

oh…i think i get you now….

in systematized knowledge (the so called learning of text books)…..language is essential….and theres always a dialectical interaction going on between language and learning..

but at the same time, humans know another sort of learning….”experience”, it is derived in part from language i guess (we cannot get away from that), but part of it is also derived from direct intutive experience of life – humans, events, situations etc etc. it is this direct intutive learning that jung values, especially when it comes to caring for the ill. human connections may be likened to our reactions to music, some of it seems to go on a very primal pre language level. jung for one had very good understanding of this primal level.

You found the quote as is, fine. But I reiterate his comment is against behaviorism. Behaviorism, radical behaviorism is a very peculiar scientific beast. It completely abrogates the cogito and finds as a basis everything that is external to us. Primarily because external can always be measured and the psyche is pretty well incomprehensible. It discards thus the cognitive aspect. It reduces the study of human behavior to those of animals. Quite a lot of experiments of behavior analysis consists in experimenting on animals (e.g. rat through the maze). And the worst part is that it works marvelously well. Every man is also an animal we mustn’t forget.

As for Jung’s argument the following quote explains it:

“The man draws a sharp boundary line between animal and man, hints at the divinity of the latter and to seom degree even replaces for him the immortality which does not exist.”

It is his persistence to let go of the superiority of the human mind.

Now, about knowledge and anthropomorphism. “All thought is anthropomorphic.” One great thinker wrote. I disagreed and reduced it to “All human thought is anthropomorphic.” But I found that insufficient as well and consequently revised it to “All human feeling is anthropomorphic.” What Jung says is to understand the human heart one should “abandon exact science” feel the same feelings that others have, in order to understand those feelings.
But consider this scenario, you see a person feeling something, say despair, say your friend has lost a job and he’s feeling a bit down. Now, anthropomorphism is not only giving human characteristics to inanimate objects (seeing everything alive). All those emotions are your own emotions. A tree being cut down, and you feeling pain for it has nothing to do with the pain of the tree but your feeling of pain that you attribute to the tree. It is you who put yourself in the place of the tree and imagine what it must feel when it is being cut down. Similarly, your friend who’s lost a job, you put yourself in his place and imagine. That’s all there is to anthropomorphism, seeing yourself in others. “Do unto others…”
So you see Jung advises us to feel, but feeling will not lead to understanding. You can’t put down your feelings in words. They’re still incomprehensible, you know them but can’t explain them.

Now, about language. No, I don’t mean the language you and I speak. I mean the perfect language. Logic. The language of reason. We always explain ourselves with reason. I won’t explain this one because it’ll be a long drawn out affair. And besides many philosophers have explained it. Read Wittegenstein, Quine or Searle even.

I hope I’ve explained myself suitably. I won’t say anything further on the subject.

thanks, you seem like a very enlightened person, with much deeper understanding of the subject than i do.

but i cannot resist making a few comments. “all human thought is anthromorphic” and its variations suck of impertinence. its an almost hopeful attempt to concenptually reduce the complexity and subjectivity involved in human interactions and humans’ understanding of each other. is all intutiuve understanding of humans we gather as we experience life, anthromorphic, that is, “attributing our feelings to the object of our perception”. i think thats a rather bold statement. can we not almost place a bet on how some people would act in situations, and even come out winning in most cases. this knowledge of humans we gather over our lifetime was certainly not aquired through text books, and almost has a certain objectivity to it. its not all about “feeling someones pain”, tho it has that part.

i guess jung’s has a humanist view of humans….with a spark of the divine….transcedental……having a little more to them than you can attribute to them…..i have tremendous respect for this view. is it merely sentimental? perhaps….but we know too little about humans, or even the universe to say that for sure.

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