Category Archives: The Unconscious

If You Blind Yourself to Your Problems, Are They Still Your Problems?

If you blind yourself to your problems, are they still your problems? Nice little philosophical conundrum like, “If a tree falls in the woods and no one hears it, does it still make a sound?”

I think I am doing something like this. My dreams are pretty horrible, and when I am down and out, which doesn’t happen a lot but does happen sometimes, my dreams are  positively suicidal and self-annihilating pure Hell.  Then I wake up and turn the shield on and I feel (comparatively) great! And this is when I am down and out! I first realized what I was doing late last month when I went through a rather hideous depression of maybe 10 days or so.

Obviously subconsciously, I have some horrendous stuff going on – fears, terrors, and utter misery. Those dreams were as virtual of a death wish as I ever had. Then I woke up and all those terrors and horrors were gone because I put that damn shield right on. I figured out what I was doing, but it seemed like the right thing to do. Your problems are your problems, whether you blind yourself to them or not. And they don’t seem easily resolvable.

Some of my terrors that I am willing to share with you (sorry only a few, some are just too personal):

In my dreams nowadays, I am completely ugly and unwanted. I mean literally, nobody but nobody but nobody wants me. I am literally the ugliest, most attractive person on Earth. Now in meatspace, this is an issue, but I really don’t give a damn about it too much anymore as I am getting used to it. And I hardly think I am the ugliest guy on Earth. In fact, I harbor the completely delusional notion that I am still as hot as I was as a young man. Of course, it’s a total lie, but pretty lies feel good, so wear them loud and proud!

I should not talk about this, but impotence is a big theme in my dreams. Somehow, despite my ugliness, I keep hooking up with these hot young sluts (in my dreams, right?), and try as they do, they just can’t wake that sleeping beast much. He wakes up about halfway and then rolls over and goes back to sleep. Actually, things are not quite so dire in meatspace assuming anyone wants to fuck me anymore at all (dubious). Anyway, the answer to the question is no,  I am not totally impotent. But I assure you that many men my age are just that. I am heading into the Dick Flatline Era, so I have that to look forward to. Golden years my ass!

In my dreams, almost everyone hates me and most people pretty much refuse to talk to me. They talk to me for a bit, then they start getting this look like, “Damn you’re weird dude,” and they uncomfortably end the conversation. In my dreams, a lot of the time I try to talk to people, they just ignore me. Or people who know me refuse to acknowledge my presence. It’s not exactly like that in meatspace, although it’s not totally the opposite either. I’ll let you chew on that intellectual mystery meat for a bit!

But my dreams are still sort of fun. Last night I went to Turkey!

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Filed under Philosophy, Psychology, The Unconscious

Four Stages of Love and Personal Development

You will often see in mythology various things centered around the number four – four of this, four of that, four times four, etc.

Carl Jung states that the nucleus of the Psyche or Self works as a fourfold structure. We will looks at this structure first as it relates to personal development and then as it relates to love.

Four Levels of the Psyche

Psyche Level 1: Purely instinctive and biological relations – man as an animal, the Id.

Psyche Level 2: Romantic or aesthetic pleasure, the appreciation of beauty and the higher senses.

Psyche Level 3: The spiritual level, man as a spiritual animal, the appreciation of the ineffable or indeterminate.

Psyche Level 4: A super-wisdom transcending even the most holy and pure. This is something like the state of satori that the Zen monks talk about. It can also be seen in higher states of consciousness by Indian yogis accessed via yoga and whatnot. This may refer to what Nietzsche was talking about when he discussed the Ubermensch, the man who has transcended all base and earthly passions and has risen above it all.

I am thinking that most people in the West never reach Psyche Level 4 in their lives.

Now we will look at the same structure as it refers to love:

Four Levels of Love

Love Level 1: Sexual love. Pure sex and animalism, sex without love, a biological and primitive yet enjoyable act.

Love Level 2: Romantic love. A step above pure sexual love in that it rises above to the level of romance and passion to where one actually feels an almost religious-like devotion to the other person. However, this is still considered to be “tainted” somewhat by base and primitive passion, as there is usually still quite a bit of animalistic sexual passion here.

Love Level 3: Spiritual love. Here we see love at one of its highest levels – the love of God or the spiritual realm. This rises above even romantic love; it is more all-encompassing, and it is not even grounded on the Earth or in one other person as romantic love is. It can extend to the love of many or all and to love beyond the simple Earthly plane.

Love Level 4: Love raised to its highest level, even beyond spiritual love. Here we are dealing with a type of “Love” or “Passion” that may better be termed something like “Wisdom” that transcends even the most holy and pure spiritual love. In this sense, “wisdom” is the ultimate form of love or passion.

As with Psyche Level 4, I believe that most people in the West never reach Love Level 4 in their lives.

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Filed under Culture, Disciplines, Meditation, Metaphysics, Philosophy, Psychology, Sex, The Unconscious, Yoga

The Nature of Narratives (Discourse Analysis)

…narratives are not simply a linear string of sentences or clauses but are in fact hierarchically organized such that some parts of the text are subordinate to others…

Do you agree or disagree with this? This statement is from a recent book on Linguistics.

The question regards narratives. Narratives are what might be described as stories. But any time you are describing any sort of sequence of events to someone else, no doubt you are engaging in a narrative. When someone asks you, “What happened yesterday?” generally you will respond with a “story” or a narrative if you will.

So the question is, when we humans recite ordinary narratives, not structured novels or short stories mind you, but the narratives that we tell in day to day life, do we simply usher forth a string of sentences that have no particular relation to each other or do we instead arrange the sentences in some sort of a hierarchy where some of the text is subordinate or superordinate to others.

I would say that narratives have a hierarchical structure where some of the text is subordinate to other parts of the text, but it might be hard to describe this sort of thing exactly.

I think everyone agrees that novels and short stories are designed hierarchically so that some of the text is subordinate to other parts of the text. This is interesting because it implies that anytime you tell a narrative in day to day life about whatever mundane thing you are describing, you may be in effect writing a little novel or short story in your head, which is probably exactly what you are doing. So we are probably all creative writers writing little literary texts in our minds and speech all through our lives.

This branch of Linguistics is called Discourse Analysis and it’s a lot more complicated than you might think. They study this sort of thing and write up some pretty hard to understand papers along these lines.

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Filed under Linguistics, Literature, Psychology, The Unconscious

More on the Male Genius Versus the Female Genius

People seem to be misunderstanding these latest posts of mine.

I am getting pretty abstract and heavy duty here, so try to bear with me. Most people are going to miss the point. I am attempting to make a philosophical point, along the lines of say a Nietzsche essay.

Suffice to say that when I discuss the Female Genius, I do not necessarily refer to very smart or talented women at all. I refer only to the brilliance of a particular type of thinking that can be present in either men or women, but is better done by women.

My position is that there are two types of minds, the Female Mind and the Male Mind. Both are present in both sexes. I also say that genius is present to some extent in everyone, though that might seem hard to believe.

It follows then that the Female Mind often produces in its best form the Female Genius. The male mind often produces in its best form the Male Genius. However, great female minds nowadays often display the Male Genius, and I suppose it’s possible that great male minds might display the Female Genius, though I can’t think of any off the top of my head.

A lot of the really smart women running around pontificating and making everyone think they are really smart nowadays are really using the male part of their mind. People like the Male Genius because it gets right to the point and it’s easy to follow (it is rational and nonemotional). Logical, rational, point 1, 2, 3, 4, it follows that 5, 6, 7, 8, conclusion. The Male Genius is active, rational, conscious, and seeks to rise about sex and relationship stuff (quotidian everyday life). Most really smart men and women nowadays are often utilizing the Male Genius, because it’s more respected and tends to get to the point more.

The Female Genius is more confusing because it tends to wander around a lot, and it’s often hard to tell exactly what’s being communicated, as the message is largely irrational (emotional). The message is often more of a general feeling than something you can summarize with a Powerpoint demo.

I say that the Female Genius is completely different from this. The Female Genius is passive, irrational (emotional), unconscious and wrapped up in sex, love and relationship stuff (quotidian life). It’s all about the Emotional Mind and the World of Relationships. To the extent that a woman is explaining this to us well, it’s an example of the Female Genius.

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Filed under Gender Studies, Intelligence, Philosophy, Psychology, The Unconscious, Women

Your Dreams Are Smarter Than You Think They Are

I actually remembered some of my weird dreams lately, and they were so funny and awe-inspiring I decided I would share them with you in part so we could both waste one and each other’s time, me in writing them, you in reading them.

Last night I had two seriously weird dreams. In the first one, I had to go some family gathering. That reminds of Thanksgiving 1978 in Huntington Beach. I saw this young couple, 20’s, unlocking their apartment to get back in late at night. Apparently they’d been to some family gathering. They both looked annoyed, especially the woman. “I so hate families,” the woman said. The was hurriedly nodding his head as he unlocked the door. Well, that about sums it up, right? As good as a Dostoevsky novel.

Dream 1

Anyway, this was some shitty family gathering, and to make matters worse, all of the family people showed up from far and wide, including the ones who you swore or had hoped you would never see again. The ones you hated most were their with their wives, who were beautiful of course, and I was single. The message – geek bachelor, no pussy. And my worst kith and kin are sitting up their on their fancy thrones with their hotties.

I got into some big public fights with two of these guys’ wives. In one case, I told her she insulted me and she blew up at me. Everyone accused me of starting it, but that’s what they always do anyway no matter what happens. I had some friends there, but they had some weird get-ups.

One of my cousins was dressed up as a gay leather boy with his dick hanging out, but it was understood to be a joke, since he’s not really gay, though he acts like he is. There was this performance artist dude who had knives or nails or something hammered into his dick and he did some weird naked performance art showing off his mangled organ. We were told that his dick still worked just fine in spite of the damage. All the older relatives thought this performance was really cool.

Of course I didn’t get laid, as I never have in my dreams, even when I was drowning in sex in real life. The message of my dreams is always: You ain’t getting any, chump! I’m always trying to get laid, but I usually never do, you know, kind of like my life sometimes. I’ve been trying to fix this part of my dreams forever to no avail.

Anyway, I saw the first girl I ever went out with (officially dated) there, Cathy Something. I was 17 and she was 15. She was now 50 years old. She actually talked to me and was nice, which was unusual.

Anyway, one of my worst enemy relatives was there with his buddy. They were pretending to be nice and offered me something to eat at the buffet. It was like a can of something but it had this mousetrap like thing in it. You were supposed to chew on the mousetrap too for some reason. I did it, even though it hurt my mouth because the family gathering was so fucked and distressing that chewing on the mousetrap was a good relief for my anxiety and honestly, chewing on that thing took was more pleasant than the get-together. I think there is some allegory going on here.

Anyway, it turned out that the mousetrap was full of sharp metal and glass, soon my mouth was full of sharp glass and needles. There were needles stuck all over my tongue. After a while, I got honest and admitted my problem, and people started freaking out. I was pulling needles out of my tongue and throwing them on the ground. They were all bloody and had bits of tongue on them. I was also pulling little shards of glass out of my tongue and throwing those on the ground too.

People were starting to get upset by this behavior. The relative who gave my thing knew this was going to happen, and he was laughing and saying I needed to go to the emergency room as I had “Needle Mouth,” a common condition. He fancies himself an amateur doc too, so that just made it worse. Every time I thought I had gotten all of the glass and needles out, I would find some more of them.

Then I heard that my worst relative of all was coming, this uncle who everyone hates. He’d been really mean in life and now he had AIDS for some reason, though he was not even gay. He said he had gotten somehow by “going to San Francisco,” and everyone believed him. He could hardly walk and I ran up to him and tried to help him. I told him I was his nephew, and he remembered me, but he could hardly hear, so it took me a while to get through to him.

I had to grab him and steer him through the crowd because he was staggering so much. He got to the buffet and I introduced him, and everyone thought I was a saint for helping the hated uncle. Here I’m playing this Jesus role of loving the sinners. The uncle was staggering back and forth at the buffet table and it was hard to serve him because he kept crashing into the table. It was understood that his disability and pre-eminent death were punishment for his life of evildoing.

Fortunately, this dream ended, but I still had needles and glass in my mouth. I woke up terrified that I would have a mouth full of metal and glass, but I was delighted to discover that it had just been a dream.

Dream 2

I went back to sleep and soon had another dream. I’ve never had kids, and there aren’t really even any wives on the horizon, so I’ll probably never have kids. Nevertheless, in the last 5 years I decided that I might want a kid, since before I never wanted one.

So in this dream, I went to this in vitro fertilization clinic. Turns out they have em for guys now too! Cool! Well, thing is, you have to bring in your own egg. This is kind of hard for guys cuz the only eggs we have are between our legs and those hairy things don’t incubate babies, they just inject some baby-making raw materials into the female manufacturing plant.

Well, problem solved. Guys can have eggs too! How, you ask? Just get yourself a chicken egg, crack in two and look at that broken egg there. That there is your egg, young feller. Now go West, young man, until you find a fertiility clinic, and for several thousand $, they will turn that egg into a human baby!

This part of the dream has to be a joke, but it was never stated as such. I had my broken chicken egg (apparently that’s what it was, because that’s what it looked like, though it was never stated exactly what kind of egg it was)  in a Tupperware container, and yeah that was my egg all right. Damn that’s funny! Someone said why didn’t I use some other egg, but I said it was important that the egg be my egg since that way I could pass on my genes. That’s funny! The fertility clinic was located in this weird place that shows up in my dreams a lot.

Sometimes it’s San Pedro, and sometimes it’s San Fransisco. If you’ve been to either, you know what I mean. They are both these cities next to bays on sloping hills with lots of small structures crammed together and narrow streets. In this case, it was also West Hollywood, and the main drag was sort of this San Pedro-like Sunset Strip.

Anyway, the fertility clinic was staffed by these women, mostly young women. I got a job working there, and I was there all the time, often at night and on weekends. I paid $5000, and they were going to try to make my egg into a baby in a few months. But first they had to inject it with methamphetamine. This sounded terrible from a public health standpoint, but they insisted it was fine and did not hurt the fetus.

The women were sympathetic to a guy who wanted to have a baby without a mother, since they wanted to have a baby without a father. No one asked why I didn’t have a female partner. I noted a few times that I didn’t have one, but the women just shrugged their shoulders, like, “Well, I sure ain’t gonna hook up with you!” Like I said, I never get any in my dreams. One time I wondered aloud if any of the women in the clinic would marry me, but they all just looked bored and gave me these looks like, “Yeah right dude! Why would any woman?”

Anyway, there were problems at the clinic. The women kept screwing up and leaving the door open and such, and I kept having to clean up after them. The boss kept me on because I was the only responsible one, being a male of course. All the young females were irresponsible fuckups, apparently because they were young females. The older female boss perfectly understood that males were superior to females in this regard. So you see the sexist message here. It’s also pretty damn funny!

At some point, I discovered that they were making porno movies at the clinic. That’s funny too! I saw some of the movies, and they were filmed in the clinic. The dream then segued into some of the porno movies. I had some stills and I was trying to figure out which actress was which since their bodies were all tangled together.

I’m not sure if the young females were starring in them. I told the boss, and she said sure we make porn, why not, it’s a good way to make money, right? She was totally blase. I agreed, great way to make money, you got it. Then I went to the young women, and they all knew about the porn movies too, and none of them cared. They acted as if the subject was boring.

There were problems with the eggs. Up to 30% of them were dying soon after fertilization. You still owed the 5 grand even if your baby died. I was getting seriously worried about my egg, but the woman workers acted like this was no big thing. On this note, the dream ended.

Dream 3

This one happened a while back. On April 19 of this year, my father died. I’ve had a few dreams about him since then, but he’s always still alive!

In one dream, my Mom called me and told me to come over. My father was lying there in her bed, apparently alive, with a bloody crown of thorns on his head! He wasn’t particularly Jesus-like in his life, but the theme of Resurrection is obvious.

Later on, I had another dream about him. In this dream, my father kept showing up. He’d often show up when I was driving in my car, or when I was sitting down at the table to eat. He would just sort of “beam himself in” like in Star Trek. You’d just turn around and he’d be there. It’s pretty cool when the dead come back to life and come visit us, but these visitations were bothering me because I could not figure them out.

I’d go visit my Mom and walk out into the living room, and she would be sitting there in a chair. On another chair would be my very much alive father. I’d point to him and ask her, “Do you see that too?” She’d nod her head gravely like she was almost sorry he was there. When he returned to life, he’d often act about as annoying and unpleasant as he could often be when he was alive, and after a while, my Mom started saying, “You know, why don’t you just go back to being dead! Honest, it was more fun with you not around!” That’s funny!

When he came back, my father would start complaining about his diet like he was doing the last few years of his life when he turned into an insufferable hypochondriac. This is a game he started playing called, I’m Sick! He really got into being sick, but not at the end, of course. Most of the time there was nothing that much wrong with him, but he’d get furious if you pointed this out. This people actually love being sick! It’s fun!

He couldn’t eat this, he couldn’t eat that. Bad for his health. My Mom would yell at him, “You’re dead, dammit! Go ahead and eat whatever you want!” That’s funny!

Then he was all upset about paying bills.

He was going on and on about family finances like he’d been doing the last 40 years of his life when he was playing what I call the game of Poorhouse (sort of opposite of Monopoly). They actually had a comfortable standard of living, but to my Dad, it was always, “Were broke, dammit!” I think he liked to feel like he was broke. If he won the lottery, he’d probably be furious because then he couldn’t be broke anymore, and he couldn’t play that game of his.

Anyway, he had all these bills scattered all over, and he was fretting about how he was going to pay them. My Mom started yelling at him, “You’re dead, dammit! You don’t have any bills anymore! Enjoy it! That’s one of the great things about being dead!” But that would not stop him. That’s pretty funny too.

We kept on confronting him. “Look, dammit, you’re dead! We saw you die! We went to your funeral! Just accept it!” He refused to accept that he was dead, did not remember dying and had no memory of any funeral. He’d say, “Hey, come over here and touch me. Do I feel dead to you?”

We started doing all this research on what was going on because most other people could not see him. We wondered if we were going insane. Turns out that this area of life is being newly investigated, mostly by psychologists. The atheist-scientist assholes hate the idea of anyone coming back to life, party poopers that they are, so they said the whole thing was mental illness of some kind. But none of us felt crazy.

The psychologists were calling this phenomenon “Visitations.” No one really knew what Visitations were, but they thought that those seeing the dead come back were usually not mentally ill. There was a lot of debate about whether the person coming back was still dead or was really coming back to life. The psychologists thought that they were probably really dead. It was a complex phenomenon, and no one had any answers. It was also thought that Jesus coming back to life in the Bible was an example of a Visitation. Once again the dreams are tying my rather unholy father in with Jesus.

This Visitation crap started really getting on my nerves. I’d wake up in the morning in my dream and think, “Damn, I so hope I don’t see him again today.” Then he’d show up again.

I talked to some folks and they said that the dream means that I haven’t really accepted that my father is really gone. Perhaps…

******

What’s interesting in that my dreams, and maybe yours too, operate on a very complex level almost like great literature. There are characters in the dreams, and they actually do symbolize this or that. I’m not very religious, but there are a number of religious themes in my dreams. It’s only when I wake up and start to analyze the dream that I start figuring out all the weird symbolism. The symbolism is not intentional; the dreams are just doing it on their own without me directing them.

My dreams, and maybe yours, are also very funny. I’m not making my dreams like a film director and deliberately throwing in jokes. The dreams are just making up these rather hilarious jokes by themselves. It’s often not until morning when I think about the dream that I realize how damned funny it is. The humor, like the symbolism, often operates on all sorts of complex levels.

It’s common nowadays to trash Jung and especially Freud for placing emphasis on dreams. The new thinking is that dreams are just mental garbage that don’t mean much of anything at all. I wouldn’t place too much weight on dreams, but I think they are more than mental garbage. They are actually some very amazing mental phenomena, and perhaps they are evidence of the existence of an unconscious, another concept that is being heavily trashed nowadays. Modern theory often says there is no unconscious, or even if it exists, it means nothing. Freud and Jung were smarter than we think they were.

By the way, Jung’s autobiography below is an incredible read.

References

Jung, C. G. & Jaffe, A. 1962. Memories, Dreams, Reflections. London: Collins.

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Filed under Christianity, Dreams, Freud, Jung, Psychology, Religion, The Unconscious