Evan Hanks's Blog (25)

Ego in Fast-Forward

"Though the ego is only one complex of associations in the psyche, it has evolved as a coordinator: what it is drawn to as an object of attention will be where and how its energy is applied. These motives are based on unconscious processes, and only by turning conscious attention to them can we find deeper meaning and purpose beyond the preconceptions of ego and its one-sided, paradoxical intentions." -- …


Added by Evan Hanks on April 26, 2017 at 12:57pm — No Comments

Political Reality

"The underlying tension of the individual's relation to culture... is a fundamental conflict of psychic life, a catalyst for development from infancy to old age. If the individual cannot discern him/herself apart from these impersonal forces, he/she is unconsciously carried along by them, and this herding effect only magnifies the dangerous potential of mass movements. All unconscious conflicts have a dual nature: subjective and objective, personal and social, creative and destructive.…


Added by Evan Hanks on November 10, 2016 at 10:03am — No Comments

The Conscious Perception of Opposites

"Beneath our scientific preoccupations, we remain in the stage of psychological awareness reflected in our religious heritage. Behind the curtain of moral judgment lurk the split figures of good and evil: a model of how we relate to our unconscious natures. Jung has described how those ideas reflect the positive and negative poles necessary to produce psychic energy: the sliding scale along which consciousness fluctuates in its on-going efforts to define itself. Just as it forms the path…


Added by Evan Hanks on September 18, 2016 at 7:58am — 2 Comments

Statistics and the Subjective Mind

"The individual is the only real carrier of life." -- Carl Jung

The undeniable fact that the body is regulated by nature, along with the absurd idea that humans had otherwise freed themselves from the bondage of instinct, dominated psychology throughout most of the last century. That view loosely fit together certain facts while ignoring others. Such self-inflated notions were not seen as projections of a split condition -- nor are they much more acknowledged…


Added by Evan Hanks on August 17, 2016 at 9:31am — No Comments

Science and Religion in a World of Confusion

"The emotional confusion generated by... a major shift in values is only enhanced today by a profound lack of introspectionThe “suprapersonal factors” embodied in religious images are intended to orient us inwardly; to center and protect us from being swept away by mass contagion. Our ideas of religion are changing, and there is no return to the old ways. Deep in the throes of unseen psychic forces, consciousness is being pushed in a new direction. The possibilities for…


Added by Evan Hanks on August 8, 2016 at 11:18am — No Comments

The Search for Subjective Truth

"I tried to give expression to the process as it formed in me. I followed the unconscious directives without preconception as to where they might lead, allowing them as far as possible to create their own picture. The result was both a story and an example, an analogy, of Jung's model: a description of how psychic energy flows toward unconscious aims through the elaboration of ideas." --  …


Added by Evan Hanks on June 6, 2016 at 11:23am — No Comments

The Anthropocentric Effect

"Overwhelming evidence found by an international team of scientists have shown that humans have altered the Earth to the point that the Earth has entered a new geological time period, a press release by the Australian National University (ANU) said on Friday... The exact starting date of the Anthropocene remains uncertain, although it is likely to be around the middle of the 20th century, at the start of the nuclear age and a time of accelerating population growth and rapid…


Added by Evan Hanks on May 12, 2016 at 10:55am — No Comments

The 'Miracle of Consciousness'

It was miraculous. It was almost no trick at all... to turn vice into virtue and slander into truth, impotence into abstinence, arrogance into humility, plunder into philanthropy, thievery into honor, blasphemy into wisdom, brutality into patriotism, and sadism into justice. Anybody could do it; it required no brains at all. It merely required no character.” -- Joseph Heller, Catch-22

(I owe the …


Added by Evan Hanks on April 1, 2016 at 10:27am — 2 Comments

A Mid-life Perspective: Preface -- Part III

“So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.”  -- Genesis

This post concludes the main themes of A Mid-Life Perspective: Conversations With The Unconscious. Jung noted the above quote as a reference to the original bisexuality of the …


Added by Evan Hanks on March 4, 2016 at 4:20am — No Comments

A Mid-life Perspective: Preface -- Part II

“Everything psychic is pregnant with the future.” -- Carl Jung

"Ego and Intellect

The identification of ego with intellect contributes to this problematic conception of nature. It long slumbered in Christian theology as identification with an otherworldly God and a disdain for natural life: an image of self-rejection – one of the reasons guilt weighs so…


Added by Evan Hanks on February 22, 2016 at 1:30pm — No Comments

A Mid-life Perspective: Preface -- Part I

The world hangs on a thin thread; that thread is the psyche of man. How important is it to know something about it?” -- Carl Jung.

Jung analogized the difference in time-perception between consciousness and the unconscious through the idea of a million year old man. How would the time-awareness of such a being differ from our more temporal viewpoint? How do we treat him; how does he react to the changes taking place today?

In my …


Added by Evan Hanks on February 14, 2016 at 3:42pm — No Comments

The 'Doomsday Clock' and the Midnight Transition

"It is still three minutes to midnight," the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists wrote... announcing an update to its famous Doomsday Clock, whose estimate of the risk of global catastrophe has been ticking back and forth since 1947... The time has not changed since 2015, however, when the Bulletin's Science and Security Board last moved the minute hand, from 11:55 to 11:57. As the Bulletin's …


Added by Evan Hanks on February 5, 2016 at 3:00pm — No Comments

World in Transition

"A major shift in perspective accompanies today’s fast-paced super-highways of information. Jung's and Neumann's comparative studies of consciousness revealed patterns -- evolutionary swings in its focus throughout history. They saw such shifts as reflections of unconscious organizing and centering functions. Their purpose is to re-orient us at certain critical stages to the more diffuse aims of spiritual and psychological development. Until recently, those aims were the province of…


Added by Evan Hanks on January 28, 2016 at 11:43am — No Comments

Ego, Reason, and the New Faith

"This is a world not of sciences, but of religions... And it is a peculiarity of most religions -- indeed, a general condition of faith itself -- that those who believe in one eschew all others, regard their God or their gods as the true divinity, and their system of conduct as alone irreproachable. Thus the heart of religions... consists of a superior intellectual posture, an absolute intolerance." -- …


Added by Evan Hanks on January 6, 2016 at 7:21am — No Comments

Instinct, Reason, and Subjectivity

"The latest large event -- the engineering of a large-scale atomic chain-reaction, because it involves not just the opinions but the bodies of our species, too -- has waked up every archetype, every instinct, in the billion-year-old breast of humanity. It is hoped by multitudes that the psychological shock will have even more benefit... in better times... from all the fragments of atoms men can harness. It may, if a man at last appreciates he is an animal and takes charge of himself…


Added by Evan Hanks on December 22, 2015 at 9:11am — No Comments

Instinct, Reason, and the Nature of Awareness

"If he sees the world as I see it -- a world of men... acting in national concerts, and privately, by instinct -- a world of men who rationalize what they do so that it will seem holy, or noble... or a personal evidence of "righteousness" -- a world of men who possess sudden and enormous physical strength but hardly more sense than apes -- and if this spectacle afflicts the days and hours of the reader with as much misgiving and anxiety as I have suffered from it, and if he finds in…


Added by Evan Hanks on December 10, 2015 at 9:32am — No Comments

A Cultural Mid-life Crisis?

Though we generally think of mid-life as an individual process, as a universal function, it applies to cultural changes as well. The similarities are notable, and Jung's, Two Essays on Analytical Psychology, highlights the parallels.

Regarding the conversion of opposites at mid-life, Jung wrote: "Just as before... disorders arose because... opposing…


Added by Evan Hanks on September 17, 2015 at 4:45am — 15 Comments

Instinct in the Human Animal

Austrian ethologist (animal behaviorist, different from the human ego-version), Konrad Lorenz, was of a class of empiricists whose integrity stood out in the field of observational science. His book, On Aggression, was a model in his discipline. His dedication to understanding nature equaled his love of animals, and his book was a tribute to both.

One study he recounted was an experiment by Wallace Craig on the effects of loneliness in the blonde ring dove. He separated a…


Added by Evan Hanks on June 9, 2015 at 1:35pm — 1 Comment

Philip Wylie: An Essay On Morals

Philip Wylie was a preacher's son; mainly, a fiction writer in the 40's and 50's. His keen intellect tackled the controversies of his day through the characters in his novels. He was self-educated in that he had no degree, though he'd studied physics and psychology at Cal State and Princeton, "beyond the point at which doctorates are given." He was a critical thinker in pursuit of subjective truth. 

I stumbled onto An…


Added by Evan Hanks on May 28, 2015 at 11:31am — 6 Comments

The Devil's in the Details

In Christianity, the mystery of coming to consciousness irepresented as the expulsion of Adam and Eve from the garden. Jung described the serpent as a symbol of nature's transformation in a twilight half-human which gradually came into opposition to itself. It didn't happen suddenly.

Myths contain an ambiguous wealth of unconscious information which can't be explained discursively. The psyche is a diffuse organ of perception whose wider…


Added by Evan Hanks on May 7, 2015 at 4:40am — 81 Comments

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