Thursday, January 7, 2010

Not So Jung

It's kind of interesting, Carl Jung has come up a lot in the last several months. Someone was telling me about Jacque Lacan's mirror theory and I ran into a Flickr set about (obscure psychologist, I can't find her name) and the theory about the beast came up in a book on writing and then last week my new freind (sp.) was telling me about him...

So I got out a book... [Tangent: During my karaoke year, I spent so much money on books that Thackeray's actually expanded three of my favorite sections. Sad but cool.] I've been reading "Modern Man's Search for a Soul". I am still in the first section. Ugh, if I even tell you what it's about, it sounds like it belies my point, which is, from what I'd heard of Jung, the collective unconcious and also archetypes (which is not intrinsically bad I've just seen it twisted into a defense of astrology), I thought he was full of mumbo-jumbo, but he's really rock solid.

The first section is about using dreams in analysis and it seems to be aimed towards his peers and it's very common-sense and careful. This has nothing to do at all with the dream books my best friend and I read in Junior High which list keywords "If you dream about snakes it means... you know. (Sorry, that's the only example that has stuck with me.) It's actually more a warning against transference and a reminder that it is more important that the patient understands than the doctor understands.

Then it talks about how the unconscious compensates for things lacking in the conscious and you should try to understand these things and accept them or actually "assimilate" them, like Borg. Repression only gives things more power and it seems to me makes them kind of whats-the-word.

PBS has been running a series all week about emotions and how they work in the brain, etc. Last night they explained the fight or flight response and how the amygdala sends out these powerful chemicals, emotions, whatever to the prefrontal cortex but it's a one way street. There is no direct way to send messages the other way; It's much more difficult for the logical part to control the emotions.

I have often thought about the "part of the brain that doesn't speak English". I've always had problems with watching the news and feeling sad and wanting to save the stupid people in the horror movies and wanting to comfort crying toddlers at the grocery store. Yeah, lady, I'm smiling at your baby, try it.

It doesn't speak in words, so how to talk back?

Thought of a good analogy for repression: Thinking about all the different places you would not eat green eggs and ham.

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